Saturday, June 25, 2011

Have the NDP Fallen Into a Trap?

Tom Mulcair and Jack Layton - Protecting Canadian Unions

It's possible Jack Layton doesn't know Admiral Ackbar, but one wonders whether the two should meet.

The longer the NDP filibuster continues on, the more I feel that they've fallen into a highly clever trap set by the governing Conservatives. By filibustering the back-to-work legislation, the NDP have undercut their own argument about wanting postal workers to actually work. Whether or not the postal workers get shafted because of it is almost a moot point - most Canadians, I don't feel, sympathize very much. But the NDP are suggesting that, a) postal workers want and need to go back to work for Canadians, but b) we won't let legislation that does that to pass through.

It's a contradictory stance, regardless of the specifics, which may or may not justify their actions. But again, it doesn't matter; it doesn't matter whether its a strike or a lockout, the NDP are stopping the snail mail. That at once will hurt them, hurt the postal workers (I mean, who really needs them with the internet taking over so much?), and could very well give the Conservatives a boost in support. After all, the Conservatives are the ones who want to give Canadians their postal service back - or so the spin goes.

It's a trap, and the NDP have fallen for it flat-footed.

(PS: watching this filibuster, where did that whole civility thing go on the part of the Dippers? Ha!)


  1. There is a huge difference between lockout and strike. A huge one indeed.

    I remember when I was a teen-ager in the early 80s, my dad was a high school teacher and regional union rep for the Montreal Teachers' Association. He would get plenty pissed when folks would call a lockout a strike during a bitter dispute between management(schoolboard, admin, etc) and MTA and the teachers, themselves. It was that same year the Levesque gov't just voted themselves pay raises while management was trying to force pay cuts down the teachers' throats. It got more ugly after that. National Assembly forced teachers back to work. My father wasn't quite the same after that. At least, not with regards to his profession. The day of that back to work legislation, he would refer to it as Black Thursday for many years afterward.

    Now, we're here in 2011, with Canada Post workers. What Harper is doing is purely ideological, showing his anti-union and most likely, anti-labour standard biases. C-6 goes through. What's next? And something will be taken away next from another group. Once unions would be neutered, Harper goes after non-unionized workers--I'm talking about minimum labour standards-labour laws with regards to things like health and safety, minimum wage, working conditions, child labour laws, etc. etc. That's right, he'll chip away at those too.

    What the NDP has been hammering, essentially, is all that Harper has to do is get management to unlock the doors so management and Cupw can continue negotiations.

    The rotating strikes weren't hampering much of anything and they weren't happening for all that long a time. In fact, they were suspended for renegotiations before the management locked 'em all out in an act of bad faith.

    Before we go to the meme of but..but...the economy!! or the pensions are too darned generous as they are. Stop and think, the CPC has one of the most bloated cabinets in history, they gave their staffers raises. Hikes in severance packages for themselves and staffers, etc. And another challenge for all Politicians of any partisan stripe; give up their gold plated pensions after only a few terms. Instead of the propoganda machine throwing public servants to Canadians for them to use as whipping boys, how about bringing what I just brought to their attention?

  2. Oh, and contrary to the misinformation cpc is spewing, welfare, cpp, and family allowance checques are still being delivered.

  3. And contrary to Liberal spin, resistance to government high handedness is not "taking the bait". It is what opposition parties are supposed to do. We had 5 years of the official opposition "opposing" by rolling over every time the government told them to. That looks to have changed.

  4. The Conservatives didn't allow this filibuster, due to schedule had no choice. Time Allocation couldn't fit in on time.

  5. I think the lot of you are missing the point here - the NDP fell for a fun trap set by the Conservatives on this issue. The Government has oodles more ability to spin facts and a greater ability now given the fact that this entire filibuster attempt failed in such a dramatically sad way to accomplish ANYTHING. It was a waste of time, of dollars, and of everyone's voices. And the New Democrats will defend it to the death - and they won't win the PR battle on it, guaranteed.

    Doesn't matter the specifics, doesn't matter if its "conviction" or whatever other justification you can give - the real world is leaning towards an NDP loss, and I'm willing to bet the Conservatives knew exactly how it would go.

  6. The Conservatives didn't do it on purpose though. No grand strategy to set up this situation for the NDP to shoot themselves in the foot.

  7. On purpose, maybe not - but I think they thought through the situation and were well prepared in case it did happen. I don't think they were caught totally unawares, so to speak.