Friday, 19 October 2007

Blog Postings Hitting a Nerve with Mainstream Media

Leader-Post political columnist, Murray Mandryk (in an October 19 article) raises a number of questions regarding my recent postings identifying that certain businesses, and some in the main-stream media are making financial contributions to political parties. He then goes to great length to outline things I "didn't say" in these blog postings.

The postings referred to by Mandryk are: here and here.

Had Murray bothered to pick up the phone and call me to ask me his questions - I would have gladly responded and answered any questions or concerns he has.

You see, I'm not in charge of how political parties file their returns related to disclosure of political party revenues and expenditures. That is "their" legal obligation, not mine.

Mandryk seems to have completely missed the point - which is simply this: Business is participating in the electoral process in a very, very, very significant way. They contribute millions of dollars every year to political parties, and they lobby constantly. They occupy the halls of power (at every level) and they wield significant influence over political parties and over government policy. (Aided at every level by many in the main-stream media - which they own, and control).

The playing field is not level, and there are far more "suits" - "lawyers" - "representatives of the business crowd" - and "corporate lobbyists" constantly walking the halls of the legislatures and parliaments of this country than there are regular working stiffs.

So for some in the media to get righteously indignant that labour and unions are participating in the electoral process (all the while pretending that business is not) is quite frankly biased and distorted.

Workers and their unions have a rightful place in the electoral process:
"Free expression in the labour context benefits not only individual workers and unions, but also society as a whole. In Lavigne v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union, [1991] 2 S.C.R. 211, the reasons of both La Forest and Wilson JJ. acknowledged the importance of the role played by unions in societal debate ......... As part of the free flow of ideas which is an integral part of any democracy, the free flow of expression by unions and their members ...... brings the debate on labour conditions into the public realm."

- Supreme Court of Canada, January 2002

16 comments:

The NDP Boogeyman said...

Larry,

You're about as disingenuous as they come. Play it straight for once.

The entire intent of the post was to try to embarrass donors of the Sask Party. It's a tact of unions.

Don't try to make it look any other way. Outright lying isn't flattering on you.


You say, "Business is participating in the electoral process in a very, very, very significant way"

And union pamphlets outright lying about Sask Party policies are trying to influence union members?

I'll make you a deal; you publically take a position that allows business talk to employees about who they think they should vote for, like union brass does with it's members, and I'll contribute to the significantly to the SFL and the NDP.

I think that money will stay securely in my pocket.

Anonymous said...

I will agree with you Larry that the document refered to was not and is not your issue. You reported on what was documented. On your other comment I see no difference at all between a corporation donating and lobbying the government and unions donating and lobbying the government. Both are comprised of nothing but people that want something. That's lobbying and everyone can do it.

leftdog said...

Hi Larry - good for you! I see that Saskatchewan Party Radio (or News Talk Radio) is all over this today putting their typically pro-Sask Party spin on it.

CJME is SO in favour of Brad Wall, their entire salary costs should be counted as an election expense by the Saskatchewan Party.

Bridgman said...

Nice try, Larry. The point of your post was to smear the Saskatchewan party, not to make some lofty philosophical point about lobbyists.

Nobody is "righteously indignant" about organized labour participating in elections. You can and should do so.

You are boxing with shadows.

Larry Hubich said...

Dear Mr. Boogeyman,

Thank you for participating in this blog.

You would like to make a deal with me? Certainly - disclose your identity and we can start the discussions right now.

In fact, once I know who you are - we could get together and have a coffee. I'll buy.

Arnie De Vaan said...

It appears to be your turn Mr. Boogeyman. You have been challenged to take your mask off and come out into the open. Enjoy your coffee with Larry but I doubt Larry will have to buy. I believe that is the way you put it.

Arnie De Vaan<====My real name BTW

leftdog said...

Boogeyman probably works for the Saskatchewan Party Caucus - his knowledge level is a little too precise to just be an average joe.

pissed off union member said...

As it turns out, Rawlco DOES DONATE to the NDP!!!! The NDP have hidden the donation, along with donations from many, many other corporations (and I suspect unions) in a line that indicates over $400,000.00 in donations. Makes me wonder what else they are hiding. A hidden agenda, perhaps?

And the comment about "NDP Bogeyman" knowing more than the average Joe about politics is a clear indication of what the NDP think of the intelligence level of 'the average Joe".

and Larry, if making a profit is such an evil evil thing, why do the Crown corporations keep spinning off businesses? Do we really want people who think making money is evil running the province?

The NDP Boogeyman said...

Speculation on who exactly the NDP Boogeyman is... hmmm.

I'll say this.

I am a citizen in the province of Saskatchewan engaging in free speech.

Other than a card carrying member of a couple of political parties (I'll let you figure out what those might be), I have no official position with any political party (nor do I care to).

I'm just a citizen who is very pissed off with the way union brass (not hard working rank and file members, who, by the way, have become my very best source of information about your orgainzations)and the NDP have ruined my province.

And all I'm doing is exposing the NDP and the SFL for what they really are.

(I love the new media.)

And since I'm anonymous, what I say really shouldn't be getting your attention, should it.

So Larry, the coffee's off. I have absolutely no interest in meeting you. I've got your scare tactics to expose.

Besides, I just don't think we'd get along.

Rad Bawl said...

Dear Pissed Off Union Member: You listen to Gormley way too much. Your hate response mechanism is turned up way high and you're going to blow a gasket one of these days. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, "I gotta find a job as a manager, I gotta find a job as a manager, I gotta find a job as a manager." Who knows? Your boss migh overhear it and invite himself over to your place for supper, some fine night. Play your cards right and you'll be snuggled up to the big guy. You could end up with a cubicle with "Assistant Something Or Other" pasted on your desk.

Anonymous said...

My feelings?

Murray continues to attempt to undermine Larry Hubich’s credibility while neglecting to point out that Larry. as President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, is quite simply looking out for the best interests of working families in the province of Saskatchewan, as he is elected to do.

Another fact that Murray does not acknowledge is that the SFL fights for people who aren’t unionized as well. The latest example of these numerous and ongoing efforts by the SFL is the fight for an improved minimum wage for all workers in Saskatchewan. We know that many, if not all, employers never add that request to their lobbying platforms!!!

Does Murray not know how many employer lobby groups exist? These numerous employer associations, lobby all governments on behalf of self-serving business interests. As most people would guess, employer lobby group agenda’s very seldom, if ever, include lobbying of governments for improved wages, benefits, labour laws; or employment standards for working families.

In addition, these same employer lobby groups have many members who donate to the Saskatchewan party by far bigger amounts then they ever donate to the NDP.

Perhaps Murray needs to be reminded that employer’s in Saskatchewan are not hurting.For example, please read recent headlines regarding Saskatchewan and Canadian CEOs:
 Fuelled by a resource boom, Saskatchewan's biggest companies are raking in big profits and their senior executives are receiving pay packages to match. (CBC April 16, 2007)
 By 12:13 pm on New Year's Day, while many Canadians were still nursing a hangover, Canada"s 100 highest paid CEOs had already pocketed what will take minimum wage workers the rest of 2007 to earn (Canadian Centre for Policy alternatives January 2, 2007)
Let’s compare those above statements to the following:
 Inequality is continuing to grow year after year in spite of the current economic boom — a period of prosperity that would traditionally see the extremes between the wealthy and the poor drawing closer together.
 The richest 10 per cent of families also earn more than 82 times the income of the poorest families in the country (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, March st, 2007)
I really feel that Federal Conservatives and their right wing provincial allies such as the Saskatchewan party will do little for working families and much more for employers. I would think, quite simply that this is why employers prefer to contribute their large sums to the Saskatchewan party rather than the NDP.

Why do I say that? Just check out the Saskatchewan’s party’s position on minimum wages and compare it to employer lobby group agendas.
All you have to do Murray is connect the dots. It’s not difficult- a little bit of research is all that it takes.
It is no wonder that Larry Hubich, as President of the SFL, is concerned about the Saskatchewan party agenda. I am too.

pissed off union member said...

Dear Red Bawl:

What are you going on about? Implying that I should sleep my way 'to the top'? What the hell kind of comment is that?

I'll ask again: Why do the NDP feel the need to hide who donates to them? Do they have a hidden agenda?

Pissed off union member

Anonymous said...

Why are u so obsessed with the NDP and what budget line they put the contributions in?

There are so many more significant issues than this very minor one.

This NDP budget line will not change the issue regarding who speaks best for me. I know that I will be supporting the party that is not simply in the hands of business.

The majority of the population in Saskatchewan are not business owners and never will be.

Saskatchewan is doing better than it has in years. It has one of lowest unemployment rates in Canada; it was recently reported that it had the number one retail sales increase in Canada. Saskatchewan has the second lowest costs in Canada for public utilities.

Public auto insurance costs less than auto insurance for almost all other provinces in Canada.

This is a disaster?

Doesn't feel that way to me!

Richard_Cranium said...

It is only a big deal if the contributions were not reported to support the NDP cry that they are the party of the people and SP are the party of business and special interrest groups. If, in fact, those contributions are from businesses and sigs then they have been using that to deceive the public. Then it becomes an issue. If all the donations in that fund were from unions and individuals then it would support their claim.

Anonymous said...

It all becomes a hudge issue if the hiden contributions comes from the crowns buying there employees tickets to the leaders dinners. which means the all saskatchewan residents are funding the NDP's campain.

Anonymous said...

And what have u found out- I totally feel that this discussion over contributions is just a red herring.

You can depend that the Chamber of Commerce and CFIB are donating far more to the Sask party than they are to the Sask NDP.

And that puts the Sask party as the party of private business or why else would they support them?????