My dad, (a small-c conservative) worked for the (Ontario) provincial government for 20-something years, got out early with a fairly decent pension. He was on strike in the OPSEU strike in 96, and seeing him on a picket line was fairly bizarre. He has voted large L Liberal at times, but it was never a good fit.
Today he recieves in the mail a letter from his union which is of course encouraging NDP support in the federal election.
My dad says “what a load of $#!^. Why do they do that? Why can’t they mind their own business. I think unions should stay out of politics!”
I almost fell out of my chair. Since Im not going to bite the hand that feeds me and since my own life is a little messy right now, (and I promised my Mom to “play nice” with Daddy while Im living there) I just stared at him with my jaw open for a while. Then I closed it, shook my head and said “Well, unions are political.”
My dad isn’t the most educated man, or tolerant man, or politically saavy man I have ever met. But this comment left me astonished. I didnt even know where to start unless I went and got old history text books out of the boxes in their basement.
But then I thought… is there a case for trade unions to be non political? Or support right of center parties? I would say no, but I dont have a lot of Canadian social/labour history in my background, so don’t have ALL the facts. Im interested in what others might think… particularly in the Canadian context, but not limited to it as such.