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Politics and its Discontents: Thomas Walkom Today

The union movement is one of the last remnants of the great postwar pact between labour, capital and government.

That pact provided Canadians with things they still value, from medicare to public pension plans. Good wages in union shops kept pay high, even in workplaces that weren’t organized. Unions agitated for and won better health and safety laws that covered all.

True, union rules made it more difficult for employers to axe slackers. But they also ensured that when someone lost his job, it was for real cause — not because he or she had refused to sleep with the

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Politics and its Discontents: McGuinty’s Magical Thinking

“We’ve been through tough times before. This is one more.”

At his leadership review yesterday, that was Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s rather understated response to his recent string of political misfires, misfires that include his costly efforts to win seats in the last election by shutting down two gas-fired power plants at great expense to the taxpayer, his failed attempt to bribe his way to a majority government in the Kitchener-Waterloo byelection, and his hamfisted and unnecessary strategy for reducing the provincial deficit by stripping teachers of their collective bargaining rights, despite the fact that teachers had offered

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