Thursday, January 19, 2006

I have no solidarity with Buzz

I will start this off by explaining that I am a union sister -- a member of CAW local 567, no less. And I'm a Shop Steward. I believe that unions are essential organizations that improve people's lives by making their working conditions more bearable. They have also been one of the driving forces behind most of the progressive legislation ever enacted in Canada.

That being said, I am furious at Buzz Hargrove. This blog didn't exist when he pledged his support for Paul Martin the first time. You'd think he would have heeded the credible critics from within his own community. And he didn't have to give Paul the fucking leather jacket. It's making my gag reflex act up again ... And this week, he was on television again, actually campaigning with Martin, and then proceeding to stuff his foot way down his throat by making contradictory and inappropriate comments about Canadian unity. The press is referring to Buzz as "one of Paul Martin's most high profile supporters." It would have been nice if he had thought about maybe asking CAW members what they thought of his newfound love for the Liberals.

If he had, many of us would have reminded him that Martin was resposible for the single, most devastating action to affect Canadian social programs: the massive reduction to the Canadian Health and Social Transfer in 1995. He set in motion a horrible cycle of cutbacks and provincial-municipal downloading that led directly to the crisis in our health care system that the Supreme Court recently ruled on. Martin's government also gutted Canada's Employment Insurance program (changing its name from Unemployment Insurance, in a bizarre case of Orwellian doublespeak), leading to huge budget surpluses --which the Liberals turned into tax cuts, largely for corporations.

And where do the rights of the worker figure into this?

Now, I know that the alternative to the Liberals is much, much worse. But Buzz has no business endorsing Martin -- it undercuts the CAW's credibility as a voice for working people, and frankly confirms a lot of people's notions about the union movement being an "old boys' club."

1 comment:

Queer As Moi said...

...let's hope Jackie L manages to push electoral reform. If we only had a no-votes-wasted system, no one would feel the need to pander desperately to the next best alternative.