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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday, 9 July 2012

So long, Industrial Economy - And Thanks For All The Fish

Heather Mallick pulls no punches, as is her right - though if she intended to spread word on her concerns about the Hudak/Hillier White Paper on Unions (because that's truly all it's about), invective like that won't help her connect with the unconverted.

She makes some serious points, though. In the non-unionized world, employment is frequently a subset of serfdom - employees are expected to do market research, strategic planning, leg-work, etc. with no training, little or no direction and frequently under the thumb of negative micro-management (criticism of the non-constructive kind). Employers see their responsibility limited to the provision of payment, with turn-over being the best way to root out problems. This in spite of the mounting evidence that these rigid top-down employment models are highly inefficient.

Of course, there is an obvious model of yore that, consciously or not, the Hudaks and Hilliers are trying to copy. It's called Feudalism. Feudalism was an incredibly inefficient model that kinda sorta worked for a few back when populations were smaller and property was more rural - but it isn't a model that has any hope of survival in an urban reality.

Thing is, Ontario's an increasingly urban place - with increasingly urban voters. Hillier's micro-targeted plan might appeal to the landowner crowd, libertarians and some of the 1%, but anyone thinking about the long-term will see this is a dead-end strategy that would exacerbate the broader, structural problems we are facing.

Hudak has spent his entire adult career in politics - all he knows is wedge-issues and attack messaging. Leadership requiers a bit more than that; you need to look beyond voter blocks and think of the big picture. I would suggest Team Hudak go back to the drawing board, think a bit bigger, talk to the Christine Elliots within his Party. Ontario needs a plan that moves us forward; we can never go back to before.

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