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Western Standard Editorial Contest Winners

December 1st, 2006

Congratulations to the top three winners in the Western Standard Editorial Contest: Michael A. Platonov; Dr. Michael Reinhard; and Robert Holmes.

And without further ado, here is a non-winning entry by At Home in Hespeler:

In the run up to the NDP’s national Convention in Quebec City on the weekend of Sept 9-10, conservative blogger Stephen Taylor leaked the draft resolutions that the party would vote on during the convention. While many of the more controversial resolutions got dropped before the convention, including one that called our soldiers war criminals, the resolutions tell us much about how the left is thinking these days. They included resolutions to privatize the oil and banking industry, which created barely a ripple in the tidal wave of reporting about the very predictable resolution to pull Canadian Forces out of Afghanistan.

Three weeks earlier, the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) held their annual convention. While the press was breathlessly reporting that CAW President Buzz Hargrove classily proposed to his girlfriend, Ontario Ministry of Labour mediation officer Denise Small (which makes a person wonder, how do you get a fair shake in a battle with the CAW in Ontario?) in front of the delegates, the delegates on the convention floor where adopting a policy paper called Eye of the Storm: The CAW and the Remaking of Canadian Politics.

Eye of the Storm was a broad based policy paper which discussed why the CAW felt the need to break it’s association with the NDP, why the Conservatives with their “unpopular, extremist leader,” won the last election, how the CAW saved the day for all Canadians with strategic voting, and how to stop Prime Minister Harper from implementing his agenda.

We all saw Buzz Hargrove standing on the stage with then PM Paul Martin in Windsor during the last election. The CAW has traditionally wielded influence far outside their ability to bring votes to the table in Canadian politics. When an organization with this kind of political influence releases a policy paper in which the title refers to the “Remaking of Canadian Politics,” you would think someone would notice. Outside of an op-ed in the online version of the Globe and Mail by national Citizen’s Coalition’s Gerry Nicholls, however, there was no reporting on this issue.

The document does not couch the issues in vague phrases as the NDP did. In a section of the paper headed “CAW Statement of Principles on Working Class Politics ” the Canadian Autoworkers Union calls for transforming “our economy and society, replacing capitalism with socialism.” Subjugating yourself to tyrannical economists is now a working class value. Who knew?

Certainly not anybody who reads the daily newspapers. The story had a significant lack of notice in Canadian papers and magazines. To put that in perspective, news services that have put sizeable resources into Stephen Harper’s weight, his lack of attendance at an AIDS conference and their own battle with the present government, neglected a story in which a major player in the Canadian political system calls for an abolition of the way we do government and economics in Canada.

The NDP and the CAW, in a period of less than a month, have both called for the nationalization of private assets from everyone from banks and oil companies, to the entire economy. It is a call that, if ignored for too long, could become a danger to our way of life. Yet ignored is, so far, what has happened. We continue to do so at our peril.

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