About an hour from now the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance, the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board and the National Farmers Union will hold a pro-monopoly rally here in Winnipeg.
I wonder what the point is, but I don’t mean that to sound like a challenge. I actually do wonder what they hope to achieve. Do they think they can actually stop the government? Do they think they will ignite a mass movement that can turn things around?
Or is it just a case of people opposed to the government’s strong-arm measures making sure they get their objections out into the public, covered by the media and therefore evident in the records for historians to look back upon years from now?
If I get a chance, that’s what I’ll ask a few of them. Do they have a strategy, or are they just ensuring that the government doesn’t get away with the perception that no farmer really cares about this, or that it’s being done with farmers’ tacit consent.
Another question I want to ask is: why weren’t you doing all this six months ago? Isn’t it a bit late to be doing these sorts of things? If there was any hope to change anything the government was going to do, wouldn’t it have made sense to make a lot more noise in the summer? The CWB held its own rallies, with lots of the pro-monopoly folks from today’s rallies there, but they seemed a bit half-hearted, methought.
My sense is that most on the farming political left were stunned that the Conservatives won a majority, and I think they had no Plan B. Perhaps they spent a few months in shock and bewilderment and are only now getting their mojo back in recent weeks.
Or maybe those on the farming political right are right: farmers generally don’t care that deeply about this issue any longer, and it’s hard for the left to rouse them up.
Anyway, in 45 minutes I’ll get to see how many farmers show up at this event, sense the energy, and ask these questions to a few folks.