Sunday, December 04, 2005

Government Regulations Amount to Censorship?

I'm on the mailing list for one of those 'pro-marriage' groups. I think the methods of these groups is sometimes a little tacky/hokey, but in general I support their goals, so I tolerate it. I recently received a follow-up e-mail, although I don't think I received the initial notice to which it refers. Here's the text of the e-mail I received:

"Correction
Dear Friend of Marriage,

The action alert you received last week announcing a planned involvement by United Families Canada's Defend Marriage Canada Project in the federal election now beginning in Canada was in error. Applicable laws and regulations prohibit United Families or any associated groups from being involved in elections.

This means that neither United Families Canada nor any groups associated with it will be involved in this election in any way. We apologize for any confusion this has created."

My question is, how long have these regulations been in effect that prevent Canadians from using the associations they create to speak during an election contest? Is this association incorporated in a certain way that prevents it from voicing the concerns of its members during an election, the one time it can probably most effectively accomplish its goals? It sounds like a load of government garbage, and unless there's more to it than is related here, we in Canada are walking a line with a predictable destination - somewhere we should be afraid to tread.

I assume that Buzz Hargrove, the CAW president, is held to at least the same standard as a voluntary association like the one mentioned above. At least in the case of the above organization, we can be confident that 100% of its members support the organization's aims. In the case of the CAW (or any of the 'mandatory' unions), why is its leader speaking in veiled language about issues for which it has no conceivable mandate. On a related note, why does my union state positions on issues like abortion and SSM, when it's not even remotely related to our profession - as thinking adults who comprise this union, we can all voice our concerns democratically without the imposition of a politically correct position from our 'leaders'.

4 Comments:

Blogger Aizlynne said...

I agree that unions have no place in dictating the social and moral fabric of a nation. But we all know that Buzz has Jack's back pocket and socialists being socialists well... this is what you get.

Perhaps as a union you can vote on removing Hargrove?

Sunday, December 04, 2005 8:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cyrano said...

I don't know if my union (I'm a teacher) is connected to the CAW in any way. It's beyond my understanding why unions get into the business of taking position on controversial issues, as though our membership has that degree of similarity in our viewpoints towards these issues. Even if we did, if it's not job-related, it makes no sense for a union to take a position and use that to influence public policy.

Sunday, December 04, 2005 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Buzz and his crowd would be muzzled if they were tax exempt, like churches, religious and charitable organizations. Neither the Red Cross nor the United Way (for example) can endorse candidates.Is it censorship or is it simply placing boundaries around organizations that benefit from tax exemptions?

kgp

Monday, December 05, 2005 3:58:00 PM  
Blogger Cyrano said...

Fair enough, in regards to the tax exemption. The organization I mentioned, as far as I know, doesn't endorse parties, and only supports particular individuals, whatever their party affiliation. This is how it always was/is in pro-life circles - questionnaires are sent out, all responses are tabulated and presented to the membership, with the intent that candidates who answer a certain way will be less likely chosen.

The other issue, and perhaps best explored from the 'inside' of each union, is how do positions on certain issues not directly related to that profession get included in the union's mandate of influence. I've identified a couple issues teachers' unions like to push, with no easily discernable connection to my area of professional competence. Perhaps legislation should be enacted that allows professionals to work in certain fields, outside of the union. Morally, this would be easier for me to accept than the status quo.

Monday, December 05, 2005 9:29:00 PM  

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