Economic Protests Changing the World – Egypt, Libya, Algeria, are China and Canada Next? Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – February 28, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – Egypt, Libya, Algeria, is China next?  This weekend protests were reported in China.   Economics are the main theme of protests around the world as food and fuel inflation have been hurting people’s ability to survive.

Mix in corruption in many countries and you get some very frustrated people.   Now these countries are not unique when it comes to corruption.

Just turn on your TV here in Canada like I did on Oscar night Sunday and you’re bombarded by Government ads just before an election call.   We have MP’s lying to Parliament and that’s not even Odagate; she simply was caught, and a general apathy from the public here in Canada towards politics and politicians in general.

It’s all about balance; not justice or fair play, but balance.  If enough people in a given time feel that they are not having opportunities you have demonstrations and change.

My question is why do we have to have revolutions or blood shed to effect change?  Why do we allow our systems to become so corrupt?    Why do we continue to support systems that fundamentally favor one side and hurt so many?

Nearly 100 years ago labour movements began to gain traction and in the 30’s, during the depression they gained enough movement to cause change.   Those changes led to the big “Red Scares” in the 50’s where Labour was labelled as Communist and a threat to free society; which was of course hogwash.  It simply was about balance and people simply wanting to make a living and survive; take care of their families, and make sure they had pensions and some benefits.

Today in 2011 that pendulum is swinging back.   Wisconsin is changing things in the US that are going to hurt Unions and movements at a time when they’re already suffering because of government’s allowing domestic industry to move production offshore thus bypassing local labour laws and unions; if even applicable.  (In the US there are a lot of Right to Rule states that have crippled Unions already)


For the right, this is about reasserting the power of elected officials and the people to decide public policy. Basically, that individuals will be free from the power of the state. For the left, it is about preserving labour union power, the only real counter-balance to the power of corporations and the wealthy. Basically, that individuals will be free from the power of the elite.

Which side you are on really comes down to who you fear more: big government or big business.

The bottom line is that we all lose as our systems deteriorate and crumble.   In Quebec a two year lock out at Le Joural de Montreal ended with employees agreeing to a management offer after the paper improved its bottom line while the strike was ongoing.


As a part of the new deal, 60 of the 253 locked-out workers can return to their jobs at the newspaper, while $20 million in severance pay will be divided amongst the rest.

At a press conference Saturday, union president Raynald Leblanc said he had no choice but recommend the offer to his members because the work stoppage had gone on too long.

Calling the vote a “victory for the employer,” Leblanc said it was a “sad day” and a “day of mourning.”

“Twenty-five months later, it has to stop,” he said in French.

Andre Forin, president of the National Federation of Communication, said scab workers created an imbalance between locked-out employees and the company.


So where do we draw lines in society?  In the US, more so than here in Canada literally BILLIONS of dollars are spent lobbying government and advertising positions to sway voters.   That’s BILLIONS.

Do we need to regulate basic common sense?   Is Democracy even working any longer?  What do you think?  You can post your comments below.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

Cornwall Free News


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