Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Study In Contrast: Ritz Attacks Goodale, While Goodale Takes High Road

Received another of Ralph Goodales "eNews" pieces today. At the same time, I had the distinct "non-pleasure" of reading a blog about Gerry Ritz's attacks on Ralph (Ritz actually sent a mailer to Goodale's riding - which has to contravene SOME Parliamentary mailer law - and had the gall to mount Mr. Goodale's head on a different body waving what appears to be a Nazi salute).

It is interesting to contrast Ritz's angry, hateful, conservative ways. The amateurish mailer could have been written by a grade-schooler (and Ritz's mind isn't much further evolved). Now, just what is an MP from almost 400km away doing mailing into the riding of Sask's only Liberal MP? Having lived in Ralph's riding of Wascana for most of my adult years, and working closely with Ralph's team, I have a lot of experience with the type of attack sniping Ritz is doing. In 93/97/2000 it was the constant attacks by people like "Farmers for Justice" (a right wing farm lobby of mainly Reformers), the NCC (full page ads taken out in the Regina Leader Post), etc. Reformer friends told me, "we're going to get Ralph". The effect on the riding may have been somewhat the opposite: Ralph won record victories with huge margins... The Conservatives managed to scare all the "normal" people into voting. Thousands of NDP supporters joined the middle-of-the-road voters in renouncing the efforts of the angry Reformers.

Over the past couple of years Ralph has faced sniping from Sask. Con MPs. Recently Ritz has been at the forefront. These slack-jawed losers can't manage to debate Ralph in the House, so they resort to this type of underhanded (and perhaps against Parliamentary guidelines) wastage of tax-payer's funds (that's right - YOU and I are paying for this garbage).

Ralph's rebuttal? Stick to the facts. Stick to a discussion of the issues, and point out just how "out of touch" Conservatives are with the needs of real people, and the average voter. Mr. Goodale continues to take the high road, when any lesser person would have difficulty doing so.

So, here's Mr. Goodale's latest email - taking some pretty solid shots at a very shaky Conservative Wheat Board position - supported by solid facts and polling:

A fresh survey among prairie farmers shows clear support for the Canadian Wheat Board.

Conservative Minister Gerry Ritz leaked just snippets of the survey last week – trying to twist the message as anti-Board. But the full results contradict his destructive interpretation.

For example, two-thirds of producers say they support the Board; they find its views quite similar to their own; and they’re confident the CWB will maximize returns to farmers.

Two-thirds of producers also believe the Board gets higher prices from the marketplace because of its single-desk system. By a similar margin, they suspect a “dual market” would disadvantage the CWB because it doesn’t own any elevators or terminals.

Close to 70 percent feel the more flexible pricing and delivery options recently initiated by the CWB provide many of the perceived benefits of dual marketing – without sacrificing the advantages of the single-desk.

This poll also highlights strong disagreement with the under-handed tactics the Harper government uses against the Wheat Board.

Specifically, 77 percent say the future of the Board should not be determined by politicians, but by producers themselves and the people they elect to be CWB Directors.

But Mr. Ritz is proposing the opposite – i.e., he has introduced a new law to eliminate all producer control and allow the Conservatives to kill single-desk marketing by issuing secret orders from the federal Cabinet.

There would be no consultation. No role for the elected Directors, or Parliament or the Courts. No vote among producers. No democracy. No transparency. Nothing!

If Mr. Ritz is so sure of his position, he should simply act under the law as it exists today.

Hold a fair and respectful producer plebiscite.

Ask a direct, honest question – “Do you want the CWB’s single-desk system or the Open Market?”

And then abide by the results.

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