Friday, December 28, 2007

In which a virulent wingnut ....

Holds himself out as an example by proving this to be true while referring to this post.

Marginalized Action Dinosaur (MAD for short) seems to have a comprehension problem. In the post he refers to, the issue was whether the Harper minority government has the authority to change the operation of the Canadian Wheat Board by cabinet order. There was, as any intelligent reader can see, nothing indicating a position "for" or "against" the existence of the CWB. The point was that Harper and his minister of agriculture are required to conduct this democracy in a democratic fashion. Thus, if they wish to change a Canadian statute, in this case the Canadian Wheat Board Act, it requires legislation passed by Parliament.

Clearly, MAD doesn't get that. In his post under the category "commies" he wrote:
So you can create the wheat board by an order in council. But when all the farmers vote to get rid of their temporary war measure and another order in council is passed thats unlawful.
Umm... no. The Canadian Wheat Board was actually created in 1935 by an act of Parliament.

The temporary war measure MAD refers to was actually The Board of Grain Supervisors established by the Canadian government during The Great War for the 1917-18 and 1918-19 crop years. After the war, the government created the first Canadian Wheat Board to market the 1919-20 crop.

In 1920 the Canadian Wheat Board was disbanded by the government. Period. Except that western farmers actually liked the concept.
The CWB of 1919-20, like the BGS before it, was seen as an extraordinary measure by both the federal government and its political supporters in the Canadian grain trade, one that it was felt could not be justified as a permanent marketing arrangement under peacetime conditions, so it was disbanded in 1920 after one year's operation. However, in this one year the concept had gained widespread support among farmers and farm organizations throughout Western Canada. These organizations opposed the abandonment of the CWB in 1920 and began immediately to press the government to re-establish it. When the government refused to do this, farmers took action of their own and created "Wheat Pools" in each of the three Prairie provinces in 1923. The Pools also set up their own jointly owned Central Selling Agency for wheat and their system of payments for wheat deliveries was similar to that established under the 1919-20 Wheat Board.
Uh oh. Farmers doing their own "pool" marketing. And the government refused to participate.
The Pools operated well for several years, but the federal government was once again forced to intervene in grain marketing after the collapse of international wheat prices in 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression. Wheat market prices fell to such low levels that the Wheat Pools could no longer hope to recover from the market what they had paid out in initial payments for the harvest of 1929, and were facing bankruptcy. From 1930 onward, the federal government had to step in and provide the bankers of the Wheat Pools with a federal guarantee on their loans to the Wheat Pools, and had to guarantee the Pools' initial payments to farmers. In this situation, it decided to put its own representative in place as the general manager of the Central Selling Agency.
In MAD's world, this simply would not happen. He's a Reformer. The farmers would have been allowed to go bankrupt... causing a ripple effect that would have left Canadians eating tree bark.

Still, the federal government wanted to avoid being involved.
In the early 1930s the federal government still hoped that its involvement in grain marketing would be temporary and that it would be able to extricate itself from this in time and return all grain marketing activities to the private sector.
But the Depression was still strong and the farmers actually wanted a single-desk marketing agency.
When it became clear by 1935, however, that its involvement was going to be longer-term than originally envisaged, it decided to formalize that involvement and enact the Canadian Wheat Board Act, which was signed into law on July 5, 1935. As with the 1919 Wheat Board, any losses incurred by the new CWB on its operations were to be absorbed by the federal government and any profits were to be returned to producers who delivered wheat to the CWB.
So, MAD's assertion that the CWB is a temporary wartime measure is a blatant falsehood. That or he's lazy and doesn't bother looking things up.

Take your pick.

And if you're wondering about the title of his blog, this should explain it.

I know. It puts self-pity on a whole new level.

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