Friday, March 11, 2011

And This Is How You Fight Back

Corporatism's favourite weapon is money.  They use money to make more money.   Often that comes in the form of financing compliant legislators or skewing, even perverting public opinion.  It's the time tested way of overcoming or sidestepping inconvenient democratic restraints.   Oh, let's be honest - call it democracy rape.

Well you can fight back.   Just ask Wisconsin's firefighters.   A number of them discovered that Madison's M&I Bank, recently acquired by Bank of Montreal, was one of the major financial backers of union-busting Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker.   And so they marched on the bank in protest.   And then they marched into the bank and withdrew their savings.   Bank drafts all around!   Cashier's cheques please.

It seems the M&I bank branch went catatonic, shutting its doors and closing for the day at 3 p.m.   Two retired firefighters withdrew $600,000 between them.   Now M&I is losing those deposits but it also knows its competition is getting that money.   Ooopsie, not nice.

That's how you fight back or at least it's one way.   There are others.   What if even a quarter of Liberal and NDP supporters took the time to identify Harper's biggest corporate supporters and walked out on them, forever?  At the very least they would have to think twice, knowing that they're not "consequence free" any longer


doconnor said...

I won't be so easy to identify the corporate supporters in Canada because corporate donations are thankfully banned and individual donations are limited.

Their support comes is different ways, like friendly media and think tanks who sources of funds are a secret.

The Mound of Sound said...

It would still be good to know who is providing soft support to the Tories. Just as I wouldn't subscribe to FOX News on my cable systemm I'll no longer watch CTV or Global for essentially the same reasons. It turns out I can get pretty much all I need from online newspapers, BBC and the occasional gander at CBC.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has info on corps providing support or freebees to Cons, please post the info here

UU4077 said...

The bank says it didn't contribute. However, employees are free to do what they want.

fern hill said...

Small correction (I got it wrong from the same source): BeeMo is in the process of acquiring M&I. Not a done deal. Yet.

Susceptible to Canadian pressure?

Carter Apps, dabbler of stuff said...

While I agree it would be nice to punish corporations that are offering soft support its a big ass complicated job to identify these corps.

I suppose we could analyse all the biggest Canadian board of directors and publish who is a closet Con, we can publish this information and promote progressive attendance at yearly annual meetings, at proxy time and demand their ouster etc.

Most companies however probably don't have a unified political culture and to punish the entire corp for a few evil bastards is unfair, not that I mind being unfair but peoples retirements are tied up in these companies so a little condiseration is required.

As for CTV we should show no mercy for Con controlled Media. Now that Bell has bought them I think now is the ideal time to pound BCE with complaints about biased editorial content and demand a shake up of their editorial board.

Being a damn fine writer and blogger you should really lead such a charge. I would attempt such a thing but as I work for the bastards I don't need to get fired at this time

Anonymous said...

It is true that Corporations are banned from making direct contribution just like in Wisconsin. But that is easy to circumvent like what M&I did. But you can find out the corporation donating to a party by tracing the executives, their relatives and friends contributions. If everyone of these people that have to do with that corporation have contributed the maximum of $1,100, then yeah they are a major contributor.

That's how Wisconsin found out about M&I. Not sure if we have as open record of contributors here as they do in Wisconsin. Are contributors record here in Canada openly available? Wisconsin donors are required to put the corporation they worked for.

The Mound of Sound said...

@GAB, I think boycotting should be secondary. It would probably be far better to identify progressive firms and businesses, let people know about them and try to shift our dollars to them. I would hope those on the prog side, those few, would appreciate being recognized but maybe not.

One idea might be to do an e-mail survey of various companies suggested by readers. Ask them for the volume of their business that is done in Canada, the number of Canadians employed, the number of positions outsourced, support of progressive causes, etc.

Your thoughts?

Carter Apps, dabbler of stuff said...

I would agree that helping progressive companies as we find them is important as long as we don't do it in such a manner as to drive away non progressive customers.

ON the media however because of consolidation and the importance of their product to the political discussion we need to go to war, making it clear that our investment dollars, our consumption of their product and that of their advertisers is dependant not on a progressvie view point but balance and fairness.

The Mound of Sound said...

I totally agree with you on the media issue. If the US is any example, going after the advertisers works - if you can get the numbers of consumers behind you.

I'm troubled by the lack of attention to concentration of ownership and media cross ownership in the opposition ranks. These are already critical problems and threaten free communication and the expression of the broadest possible range of opinion. We used to understand how essential that was to a functioning democracy.

Now with an increasingly corporate media you have an ideal situation where the media and the rightwing government in power can give each other a corrupt helping hand and screw the public interest.

"Thank you so very much for your assistance, now may I show you your new seat in the Senate?"

doconnor said...

If you want to go after Conservative friendly media outlets, you should submit complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. I had good luck with them in the past.