But learning that many of the new NDP MPs, are union organizers gives me hope.
... the front benches of the second party in the House—traditionally seen as a government-in-waiting—will feature many tough-minded former union leaders. “We have some pretty major labour folks,” says veteran Vancouver NDP MP Libby Davies. “That’s a connection to a very solid base of activism, an understanding of politics and how it works.”If there was ever a time to have activists and organizers in the House of Commons, it's now. Because that's probably all we're going to have in the next four years or so, as Harper implements his neoconservative agenda.
Under the "austerity" banner, labour forces are being threatened everywhere.
In Saskatchewan, the government of Brad Wall, a spin-off of the corrupt Grant Devine neoconservatives, was given a special condemnation from the UN for its labour abuses.
Several U.S. states are scaling back unemployment benefits and suspending collective bargaining.
Erin Weir reports on a study conducted by economics professor Engelbert Stockhammer, where he analyzes the effects of a pro-labour strategy to a pro-corporate strategy.
The pro-labour strategy aims to increase wages by promoting collective bargaining, raising minimum wages, etc. and to redistribute income through progressive taxation, social spending, etc. Given higher propensities to consume at lower income levels, a larger wage share and more equal income distribution generate more consumption spending. Greater demand for goods and services then prompts more business investment.On the other side of the argument:
The pro-capital strategy aims to increase profits by deregulating labour markets, cutting corporate taxes, etc. Higher profits produce more business investment, and lower business costs increase net exports through greater international competitiveness. More investment and exports then increase demand for labour, which translates into more jobs and higher wages.Stockhammer concludes that a pro-labour strategy is more effective and the fable of "trickle down" is just that. A fable.
But try telling that to Harper and the gang.
I predict that there will be a lot of social unrest over the next four or five years, similar to that we experienced in Ontario under Mike Harris.
So the cloud does have a silver lining when there is a large group representing the 60% of Canadians who did not vote for the Harper government, who know how to handle activism properly.
I think this will be an interesting session of Parliament.