The Conservative Monopoly

Certain issues encompass all that is wrong with rigid ideology, wherein abstract commitment to certain “principles” fails to incorporate the real world application, blindly soldiers on no matter the evidence or circumstance. The now approaching SIX year battle to end the Canadian Wheat Boad “monopoly” is reaching climax, and it really is quite instructive to review the history and all the egregious moves by this Conservative government. I won’t rehash here, but any superficial analysis will see a consistent pattern of oppressing opposing views, using government tools to try and influence the process, ignoring democratic will, failing to put forth a true economic argument that draws on independent support, a DIRTY fight that shows true colours, when push comes to shove..

There is nothing more STUNNING that Gerry Ritz evoking the Conservative mandate as moral justification for ending the CWB. Ritz uses democracy for underpinning, yet democracy is undoing, it more clearly than anything shows ideological zealots bent on achieving some ideal, NO matter what opposition or expression they face. Supporters of killing the CWB can blather on all day long, it will never change a core fact: farmers have democratic rights enshrined within the CWB; the mechanisms are already in place to allow for reforms or outright extinction. Farmers have opportunity after opportunity to elect anti-single desk directors, and YET every time votes are cast, they keep electing CWB status quo defenders, in overwhelming fashion. To my mind, freedom means self determination, western farmers have continually expressed themselves and supported the single desk. The vote over this summer another decisive result that is being ignored by the Conservatives shows an arrogance that doesn’t respect core pillars of democracy.

There is a pile of misinformation floating around, so it’s hard to decipher what is true and what is exaggerated, when trying to comprehend who will benefit, should the CWB cease to exist. For my money, no more powerful “proof” of upside to CANADIAN farmers than the close to TWENTY legal challenges over the years from the AMERICANS, wherein they claim unfair advantage. What we have here is a Canadian government giving American farmers what they’ve always wanted, and simply intuition should raise RED FLAGS when comprehending true benefits. Sift through all the bull, there is no escaping the clarity our competitors have revealed, a strong united collective is a powerful force which gives certain advantages, not my view, there’s expressed time and time again.

The CWB is really a “strength in numbers” proposition, the little guy banding together to create a potent manifestation that has true power. Once you destroy that entity, you are left with small players who will ultimately be at the mercy of multinationals:

The Winners: Richard Gray, University of Saskatchewan agricultural economist, says big grain handlers such as Cargill, Viterra and Bunge should end up better off. They will face a huge new supply of sellers competing to unload their product and make money off the marketing margin, or difference between the purchase and resale price.

The Farmers: Ottawa is not promising farmers will see more money for their grain, but is instead talking up the potential for more investment such as pasta plants to drive demand for the crops. Studies have suggested the average price fetched will in fact drop because sellers will be competing for business with foreign buyers. And as Prof. Gray notes, just south of the border, where grain is already sold freely, there’s not an abundance of pasta plants. Pasta is fragile and plants tend to be built close to large population centres.

When the government announced they would be plowing ahead with CWB extinction (pay no never mind to this nonsensical idea that it can survive with “choice”, a naked attempt to appease with no empirical underpinning), Viterra stock rose, because it is commonly assumed the big players will make more money under a true “free market” expression. Isn’t it interesting, with all this talk about corporate greed, multinationals marginalizing local interests, gaps between rich and poor that this government intends to enact new rules which will benefit the very entities under the microscope? This talk of local economic benefit is the stuff of unicorns, other jurisdictions have shown the promised jobs will never come, but we know full well where the loss will be seen. True is, there is really little economic justification for getting rid of the CWB at this time, plenty of ideological stubbornness, but not much in the way of independent backing.

The Conservatives will likely win this battle, but it has been a shameful exercise, they have conducted themselves like thugs during the process, truly embarrassing for a national democratic government. All Canadians should worry another example of policy being guided by pre-determined biases rather than evidence based expressions. It’s days like these I almost feel we are being run by a single minded cult, rather than being provided the “good government” we generally assume.

Click HERE to read more from Steve Val.
Article viewed on: Oye! Times at www.oyetimes.com 

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