This is the elitist mindset: Ram through an unpopular and dangerous ‘free trade’ deal before the Canadian people can be heard.
According to a report in the Globe & Mail, Guy Saint-Jacques – Canada’s former ambassador to China under the Harper majority government and for a short time under Trudeau – wants to see ‘free trade’ talks begin ASAP – because he doesn’t want the issue debated in the election.
It’s arrogance and elitism personified.
According to the report,
“Canada’s former ambassador to China says he believes the two countries must begin formal trade negotiations this year so that the question of whether to deepen economic ties to Beijing does not get tangled up in next year’s expected federal election.”
Interesting. Most of us would consider an issue being “tangled up” in an election part of the democratic process.
The article notes that while the Trudeau government is pushing ‘free trade talks,’ the Conservatives are against it, and that it could be an election issue – as it should be:
“A federal Canadian election is expected by the fall of 2019 – four years after the Liberals won power – and the question of whether Canada should draw closer to China under the authoritarian administration of President Xi Jinping could very well crop up on the political campaign trail.”
Yes, the issue should absolutely come up on the campaign trail, since whether we bow down to a ruthless authoritarian state for a ‘free trade’ deal that would betray our workers and companies should absolutely be decided by Canadians, not politicians behind closed doors.
Saint-Jacques apparently thinks that because the Harper Conservatives were more receptive to ‘free trade’ with China (a big mistake of the Harper government), it somehow invalidates the tougher stance against China being taken by Scheer now.
“Mr. Saint-Jacques, speaking to The Globe and Mail on Monday, said the Conservatives appear to have forgotten that the former Harper government came close to launching trade talks with China in 2012 under the administration of former Chinese president Hu Jintao.”
It should be noted that – while Harper wasn’t as tough on China as he should have been – he was far tougher than Trudeau. Harper actually protected some sensitive Canadian companies with national security implications from being taken by China, while Trudeau let China take them. Additionally, Harper was mostly dealing with China before the increasingly authoritarian (now dictatorial) Xi Jinping expanded his power to become President For Life.
Avoiding the will of the people
Patriots know that the government exists to serve the will of the Canadian people, yet Saint-Jacques want the trade talks rushed so that the will of Canadians isn’t heard.
“The government needs to act quickly to start talks before the next national ballot, said Guy Saint-Jacques” notes the article.
That is the elitist mindset personified: Saint-Jacques thinks ‘free trade’ with China is a good thing, but he’s worried Canadians might not support it if it gets debated in an election. So he wants the talks to start ASAP in order for the issue to be taken off the table.
That is profoundly arrogant, and profoundly anti-democratic.
Amazingly, despite admitting that ‘trade unions in China are “completely token organizations,”‘ he still thinks ‘free trade’ with them makes sense.
Perhaps it does from the perspective of the governing and corporate elites, but it would be devastating for Canadian workers. In fact, China wants to be able to import workers from China into Canada as part of any deal, and we can only imagine how much that would hurt workers in our nation.
In fairness to Saint-Jacques, he is merely saying what most of the governing and bureaucratic-connected corporate elites think. It’s just rare to hear it expressed so out in the open. He probably thinks he’s doing the right thing, but that ‘right thing’ will only benefit a tiny slice of the country, while hurting the vast majority of Canadians.
The attitude exemplified by Saint-Jacques is why Canada needs far more democracy. Those in power think our voices don’t matter, and they want to use us for tax revenue while ignoring our right to decide what the government we pay for does in our name.
It’s yet another reason we need to keep speaking out against the destructive idea of ‘free trade’ between us and China, and we must stand against anyone who tries to ignore the voices of the people.
Photo – YouTube