"Our government has always put farmers first, which is why western Canadians gave this government a strong mandate, and now they expect us to deliver on our commitments," Ritz said Monday in a written statement.
Let's follow the logic to its rightful conclusion. Again, the government now speaks of this mandate from the people which has some direct corelation to killing the CWB. The underpinning for this decision is the democratic will of voters, which surely must be respected and acknowledged. Let's adopt this assertion, but if we do, let's show some consistency before we champion "mandates".
The CWB isn't some monolith that exerts its will on farmers, it's a democratic entity that ELECTS members to the board. Further, this issue of single desk vs choice has been a central issue for many past elections, and guess what? In almost overwhelming fashion, FARMERS keep electing people who favour the single desk, who favour a monopoly. If memory serves, in the last expression, 3 of the 4 elected were single desk proponents, it was the central message in their "campaigns". In other words, when we speak of "mandates", what carries more weight a true, clean majority will or a party which has FOREVER ignored said democratic expression, even going further and attempting to bastardize choice, blur lines and downright deny CWB participation in expressing a point of view? Ritz using democracy and mandates to solidify the Conservatives decision is laughable and selective, the record is clear, this government has continually ignored the very tenets it now champions as absolute.
In addition, this government is creating a false reality as they dismantle the CWB. It defies the most basic of common sense, that if you eliminate the single desk, the CWB can still function on a voluntary basis. The Conservatives argue the CWB can still operate, but it's all a ruse to soften the true impact of their decision. What is inevitable, a slow death as the CWB influence wanes and competing interests swamp any idea of collective. If the government were truly being honest and upfront, they would just admit, their reforms will kill the CWB, let's all just move forward with this clear assumption confirmed.
You can argue that every individual farmer should have the right to decide their own direction. You could also argue that every single Canadian voter should have that right as well. However, with democracy, you speak of the collective want, you speak ot expression in their totality when deciding directions and policy. Those that oppose the CWB, but must remain within it's grasp have a right to dissent, no disputing many farmer don't support. However, again, you could extend this to the great population, many of us don't support Harper, but alas we are stuck with him until we can convince more of our fellow Canadians to turf him (and this is a kind analogy because the CWB support is a majority in ever sense of the word, not one borne of structure and inefficiences). Farmers unhappy with the CWB, you have a healthy, grassroots expression at your disposal, VOTING. Why do the single desk proponents keep winning elections in overwhelming fashion? If the CWB is so a slight that needs to be destroyed, surely we should see more farmers voicing their opinion by voting in like minded individuals?
After watching how this government has acted towards the CWB since it came to office, there is nothing more laughable that people now referring to mandates and democratic will to justify their decisions. If this was really about said democracy, then it would be business as usual, because beyond the wider populus, it is clearly what FARMERS want.