candidates claim they will make the CWB more responsible and
accountable. Very few will divulge openly and forthrightly
what their true vision is and instead attempt to conceal their
hidden loyalties. To help us discern the truthfulness of the
candidates word, the "good book" encourages us to look at
their "fruits" or work they have accomplished.
Eduard's biography distributed with the ballots and his supplemental
bio as published in the Farmer's Independent weekly provide an
indication of my "public works".
Furthermore, among Canadians, there is a growing awareness amongst
many of us who see the recent US trade actions against Canada as
decidedly not friendly, even going so far as to call US trade
actions as a form of economic war with too many of our Canadian
leadership not prepared to call a spade a spade, but "go
along" as we loose more unnecessary ground to the US.
The trade harassments surround Salmon and more recently the soft
wood Lumber and the many CWB trade challenges each provide examples
of different types of businesses, regardless whether privately
operated or quasi publicly as with the CWB, all forms are under US
attack and attempted tack-overs.
Two newer issue, the current pork countervail and the BSE border
closure are further examples. With Japan having stated
publicly that if Canada tests every animal they will buy from
Canada, why do our leadership refuse such a relatively low cost item
and through their refusal continue to give monopolistic control to
large US firms in being able to pick up bargain basement meat from
Canada and selling it at full retail in the US, while farmers are
I find it encouraging that someone such as Murray Dobbin has FINALLY
put this into perspective as per the article below. I will
add, this divergence that he spells out so clearly between what our
"leaders" are leading towards and what the public wants is
what I have been referring to a too many of our leaders "going
along to get along"...
This difference is also a key attribute which distinguishes the
other two "pro-CWB" candidates in District 10 from myself
where further public information shows where they have a history of
going along to get along and in so doing shoot farmers in the foot.
Now follows nationally known author, Murray Dobbin's article.
- link will open into a new window
Is Canada's Elite at War with its Citizens?
While expert 'realists' tell us to play nice with U.S. global
aims, Canadians see a 'rogue' next door.
Fri., Nov. 19, 2004
By Murray Dobbin
is happening in this country that is unprecedented not only in our
nation's history but is likely unmatched in any other country in the
developed world. I am referring to the fact that a large portion of
Canada's economic and political elite is rushing headlong in the
direction of abandoning the nation altogether in favour of being
assimilated by the U.S.; and the rest of the country is rushing
headlong away from the U.S. and its imperial minded president.
At no time in the past 50 years, at least, has Canada's elite been
so openly contemptuous of their own country, or so eager to give up
its self-appointed role of protecting Canada's unique place in the
world. And at no time in this same period have "ordinary"
Canadians been more proud of their values and traditions and so
confident in them.
It is a stunning disconnect. The tensions implied by this profound
clash of values and goals are playing themselves out in many ways
but perhaps the most important implications go to the question of
democracy. An elite so fundamentally out of touch with the citizenry
and so determined to see its annexationist agenda implemented, has
no choice but to thwart the democratic will of the vast majority of
Canadians. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that this
disconnect represents a crisis of our modern democracy.
Learning to love the 'hyper-power'
In this elite call-to-surrender we have good cops and bad cops. The
so-called Calgary School, which includes Stephen Harper's eminence
gris, Thomas Flanagan, are so hostile to everything Canadian they
seem barely willing to leave the confines of their bunker at the
University of Calgary. But even the good cops, like Allan Gotlieb
refer to any independent foreign policy based on Canadians' values
In his embrace of real politic Gotlieb rejects any criticism of the
new U.S. "hyper-power" - such as distancing
ourselves from the invasion of Iraq. In a speech for the C.D. Howe
Institute, he asked whether the Martin government ". can design
a foreign policy that is less overreaching, less narcissistic, less
sanctimonious..." This is how the former ambassador to the U.S.
sees an independent, principles-based foreign policy.
"Canadians who argue that the way to affect U.S. behaviour is
through trying to constrain Washington with new rules of law,"
says Gotlieb, "are romantics, not realists."
But ask Canadians what they think and you really do get the sense
that we are talking about two different countries. Almost 80 percent
of Canadians believe the U.S. behaves like a "rogue
nation" according to a poll reported by CanWest media. In stark
contrast to the US and its culture of fear, Canadians see AIDS and
SARS, and global warming as the two top threats to their interests -
ahead of terrorism. Three quarters of those polled think we should
play an active role in the world - not a passive rubber stamp for
every adventure George Bush dreams up.
Delusions of influence
Half of Canadians polled believe that the U.S. cannot be trusted to
treat Canada fairly. Contrast this with the view expressed by
Gotlieb, that by currying favour with the U.S. we will have
influence on them: "Our potential for influencing the world's
greatest power is our comparative advantage in the world. It gives
us credibility in other capitals." This declaration verges on
the delusional, as Britain's Tony Blair has learned. When asked,
post-speech, what Britain gained by backing Bush, Gotlieb replied
that the benefits to Britain were "subtle." Indeed. Just
how playing the role of U.S. sycophant will gain us
credibility in a world almost universally appalled by the Bush
agenda is left unexplained.
This chasm between Canadians and the political and economic elite
who claim to speak for them is nothing new. The Ekos polling
group has for years tracked the values gap. Looking at 22
possible roles for government, the elite
("decision-makers") place the Canadian public's
highest priorities - equality, social justice, collective rights,
full employment, even privacy - at the bottom of
Until now this new normal for elite attitudes has gone largely
unnoticed. But, as the song says, the trouble with normal is
it always gets worse. The reign of George Bush has spooked the elite
and accelerated their plans for our further assimilation into the
U.S., and has brought forth Canadians' values in ways that have not
been seen for decades. It is as if we had taken our values for
granted until George Bush reminded us just what we stood for.
Yet Canadians may not realize that among CEOs, business think tanks,
media corporations like CanWest, and both the Liberal and
Conservative parties, this resurgence of Canadians' progressive
values is not seen as something to celebrate. It is seen a crisis to
be dealt with. Unless Canadians insist loudly that their values and
priorities guide public policy, the "decision-makers" will
again find a way to thwart their vision.
Author and journalist Murray Dobbin's 'State of the Nation' column
will appear twice monthly on The Tyee.