The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is a Five-member Invite-only Club

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6079_Smith_W
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is a Five-member Invite-only Club

Quote:

While the CTF's mandate is to hold elected officials to account, who holds the CTF's five members to account? Each other. Who decides who else can become a member? They do. It should be no surprise that the CTF has, as a result, faced accusations of being an Astroturf organization — a fake grassroots organization.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/manitoba/canadian-taxpayer-federation...

Damned CBC slackers. Maybe we should boycott them for this story too.

 

kropotkin1951

So I guess both you and the CBC have been asleep on this story for years. Good thing some alternate media keep up on things so that eventually the CBC can play catch up. So do you think the CBC deserves an award for this ground breaking coverage?

Quote:

In a stunning development, membership in the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has slumped close to 17 percent -- from six members, to five!

Alert readers will recall Alberta Diary's revelation in March 2013 that the much-quoted organization, which is as pure an example of political AstroTurfing as can be found in Canada, in reality has only five members. 

Quote:

In a stunning development, membership in the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has slumped close to 17 percent -- from six members, to five!

Alert readers will recall Alberta Diary's revelation in March 2013 that the much-quoted organization, which is as pure an example of political AstroTurfing as can be found in Canada, in reality has only five members.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2014/02/shocker-canadian-ta...

 

 

kropotkin1951

I just noticed the author of this piece is a Liberal strategist. Great that the state media weighs in after the change of government.

6079_Smith_W

So they shouldn't have published it? Or Liberals aren't allowed to write? Or both these things means it is all just propaganda and they are wrong and the CTF is actually a solid grassroots organization?

How many years after one story being written do we have to wait to start a new thread? If waiting over two years - as in this case - is unacceptable then what is? Five years ? 10 years?

Or is your opinion that if something is posted in a blog that means we are forbidden from starting threads about it, on pain of scorn and mockery?

Please inform, as I don't see  any of these rules, important as they obviously are, in babble policy.

 

 

kropotkin1951

Lets see you post this piece and instead of a comment about the content you taunt people that don't like the CBC. Then the story turns out to be another indication of the very bias that makes them look much like every other state media in the world. I suggest you put down the shovel your hole is merely getting deeper.

But for the in your face taunt I likely would have not said anything about this dated story. LMAOROF

NorthReport

krop

Sometimes you post some interesting stuff but it loses a lot when you level the personal attacks. Let's try and stick to the issues and leave the personalities out of it as best we can.  

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So I guess both you and the CBC have been asleep on this story for years. Good thing some alternate media keep up on things so that eventually the CBC can play catch up. So do you think the CBC deserves an award for this ground breaking coverage?

Quote:

In a stunning development, membership in the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has slumped close to 17 percent -- from six members, to five!

Alert readers will recall Alberta Diary's revelation in March 2013 that the much-quoted organization, which is as pure an example of political AstroTurfing as can be found in Canada, in reality has only five members. 

Quote:

In a stunning development, membership in the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has slumped close to 17 percent -- from six members, to five!

Alert readers will recall Alberta Diary's revelation in March 2013 that the much-quoted organization, which is as pure an example of political AstroTurfing as can be found in Canada, in reality has only five members.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2014/02/shocker-canadian-ta...

 

 

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin, you didn't even post in the thread I was referencing, and if you are taking a general comment about boycotting CBC as getting "in your face" I'd suggest you might be being a bit hypersensitive.

In fact I did just find out about this today from seeing this link on FB. So what? Is this a competition?

And again, it is kind of bizarre to spin it as politicking just because it is an editorial  by someone who holds a Liberal Party membership.

Bias? How? Is there anything in there pushing the Liberal brand? If anything it calls into question the CTF going after the Manitoba NDP.

My point is that the CBC doesn't spend all its energy smearing people who have been convicted of promoting anti-Semitic hatred. They do actually publish worthwhile pieces on occassion. Like this one.

Fair comment, I'd say.

kropotkin1951

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And again, it is kind of bizarre to spin it as politicking just because it is an editorial  by someone who holds a Liberal Party membership.

My point is that the CBC doesn't spend all its energy smearing people who have been convicted of promoting anti-Semitic hatred. They do actually publish worthwhile pieces on occassion. Like this one.

Fair comment, I'd say.

That would have been fair comment but that is not what you posted.

Quote:

Damned CBC slackers. Maybe we should boycott them for this story too.

This is what you posted and it is not a comment on the CBC but a new thread to harass people you are fighting with in another thread. Again I urge you put down the shovel.

My point, now that you have tried twice to misrepresent my views, is that the CBC did not publish this piece when the government was the main booster of this right wing corporate propaganda mill. In fact through those years after the CTF membership structure was well known they kept quoting them as an authority on the economy. Unlike the CCPA which they never fail to identify as a "left wing" organization they consistently have presented the CTF as a reputable source.

That in Chomsky speak is called manufacturing consent. So get off your fuckng high horse and stop opening threads with taunts aimed at posters from other threads. If you wonder why the tone is often not real civil then try looking in the mirror. Your cheap shot was not called for and it certainly didn't deserve a new thread, just to deliver your mealy mouthed insult.

6079_Smith_W

Consistently? Well not in this case.

And I edited a bit, so you may have missed my question. If you really think this all comes down to Liberal bias then how is that reflected in the editorial? There are links in there showing the CTF criticizing the Manitoba and Alberta NDP - news pieces (along with one about a NB Liberal soft drink tax) that would seem to be called into question here.

But hey, if a Liberal Party membership is all it takes to get in on editorial decisions at the Mothercorp nerve centre in Toronto, maybe I might consider getting one myself. Not sure how that works given that their board is still mostly Conservative supporters, but then it isn't my theory.

 

 

kropotkin1951

Its all about the timing. The CBC is subservient to the government of the day. When the government of the day likes the CTF they quote it despite the fact that any one with an internet connection and a desire to look has known for a long time that it is merely a corporate shill outfit.  However after the government changes to one that doesn't like the CTF they then publish an attack piece written by a member of the Liberals.

That kind of slavish following of the government line is why I respect them so little. Our opinions on the CBC are obviously different so don't bother trying to convince me that they are independent journalists.

Also before you go into one of your absurd strawman arguments I have never said the CBC has never published anything that was worthwhile. Frankly if they didn't keep up a bit of a facade even imperial sycophants might start to see the truth and they would lose their audience of self righteous do gooders who salivate at the prospect of regime change in far way places.

6079_Smith_W

Doesn't that seem a tad conspiracist to you?

I mean, yes I do know that media have biases and slants just as you do (some of them major), but do you really see this editorial as some kind of policy reversal directed by the Liberal Party? And suppose you were right, and the Liberals actually were bitterly opposed to the CTF and the Fraser Institute (also called out in a piece by Lamont from earlier this year, linked to in this article).

Do you think that would be a bad thing?

But I am not sure how you imagine that 180 turnarount is happening, since the CBC board is still dominated (8 out of 10) by Conservative Party donors appointed by Harper. Do they and their appointees no longer run the CBC? If there is some other body that is making these decisions (quite a lot of decisions if this fellow in Manitoba got the directive for this hatchet job) please tell me how you imagine that is happening.

http://www.friends.ca/reformtheboard/

Is there a secret Liberal CBC Star Chamber somewhere that is really controlling everything, or are all those Harperites shilling for Justin Trudeau now?

And to repeat my question, how exactly do you see this as a Liberal bias? Do you think the Liberals are not a business party? How does it play into Trudeau's machinations for the CBC to reveal their criticism of Greg Selinger and Rachel Notley as bogus? And if it they do in fact want to use the CTF when it suits their evil purposes why would they slag them like this at all?

(assuming your theory that this is all part of some Liberal Party plan, and they control every editing decision right down to the fake story facade to make critics think they are progressive, and that this is not in fact separate writers with their own perspectives on the issue)

kropotkin1951

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Doesn't that seem a tad conspiracist to you?

I mean, yes I do know that media have biases and slants just as you do (some of them major), but do you really see this editorial as some kind of policy reversal directed by the Liberal Party? 

...

(assuming your theory that this is all part of some Liberal Party plan, and they control every editing decision right down to the fake story facade to make critics think they are progressive, and that this is not in fact separate writers with their own perspectives on the issue)

There you go with the strawman arguments again. It is your favourite go to when you have put your foot in it. And just to show that you love good dialogue you throw out the conspiracy theory meme. I even asked you not to use your strawman card but apparently that is the only thing you know how to play.

LMAOROF

The biggest and most constant conspiracy theoory on this board is the Russian cyber war conspiracy theory. You know the one that says that anyone who agrees with Russia often must be being paid by Putin's minions with his direct approval. Hell it is so pervasive that they pay people to come on babble to undermine freedom and democracy. 

 

swallow swallow's picture

In the Chomsky model, there's no need for the Liberal government to dictate to the CBC what they say about the Canadian Taxpayers "Federation." The propoganda system works insidiously, so that media like the CBC - and private media even more - reflect the bias and the desires of the power-holders. So it absolutely makes sense as kropotkin says that the CBC would now do an expose about the CTF now that it's no longer "in" with the current government. 

I also did not know it had only five members. No shock, but revealing nevertheless. Perhaps we'll see less of the silly "Tax Freedom Day" annual stories now? 

Unionist

CBC Manitoba posts an op-ed about the CTF - and we are to conclude that this is because of the change in government?

I'm suspicious, skeptical, cynical about the MSM - but this goes way way beyond paranoia.

I did a 5-second search, and here's a sample item from the Harper era - March 2014 - which roasts and ridicules the "anti-taxers" of Fraser, CTF, Rob Ford, Kevin O'Leary, and yes, Harper himself. And it's not by some unknown op-ed type - it's by the "senior producer at CBC's business unit":

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/taxes/not-all-business-people-hate-taxes... all business people hate taxes - but just try to get them to admit it[/url]

Excellent analysis, actually.

So, please. Relax. Take a breath.

And by the way, we need the CBC. That doesn't mean we need to believe all the crap parts of what they report. But we need a public broadcaster. Just need to improve it.

 

6079_Smith_W

It was an honest question , and I am going by your words.

You are saying that CBC flips on a dime because Justin Trudeau is PM, even though the boards is full of Harperite hacks, and that any articles that run counter to the party line are just there by design as a diversion.

I'll repeat: doesn't that seem a tad conspiracist to you?

Now do you want to talk about it, answer some of my questions and back up some of your claims - about how you think they are doing this, and how going after the CTF is in fact pro-Liberal propaganda -

or do you not want to talk about that, and not back up any of the things you have said?

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It was an honest question , and I am going by your words.

You are saying that CBC flips on a dime because Justin Trudeau is PM, even though the boards is full of Harperite hacks, and that any articles that run counter to the party line are just there by design as a diversion.

I'll repeat: doesn't that seem a tad conspiracist to you?

I did not say that you lying asshole. Please stop with your disingenuous lies about what other people post.

6079_Smith_W

Quote:

Its all about the timing. The CBC is subservient to the government of the day. When the government of the day likes the CTF they quote it despite the fact that any one with an internet connection and a desire to look has known for a long time that it is merely a corporate shill outfit.  However after the government changes to one that doesn't like the CTF they then publish an attack piece written by a member of the Liberals.

...

Also before you go into one of your absurd strawman arguments I have never said the CBC has never published anything that was worthwhile. Frankly if they didn't keep up a bit of a facade even imperial sycophants might start to see the truth and they would lose their audience of self righteous do gooders who salivate at the prospect of regime change in far way places.

Guess I must have imagined it.

Look k, I'd rather not fight about this, and I don't think anyone else is too interested in that either.

Do you want to talk about this or not? Having a conversation is going to be kind of hard if you think it is unfair for me to make reference to things you said, and ask you to back them up.

 

kropotkin1951

Lying Asshole wrote:

You are saying that CBC flips on a dime because Justin Trudeau is PM, even though the boards is full of Harperite hacks, and that any articles that run counter to the party line are just there by design as a diversion.

This is a lie. I never said that. You interpreted my words in the worst possible light. Of course when I say you display an anti-Russian bias you insist I find those exact words in your posts not extrapolate from what you write. As usual you hold others to a different standard than you hold yourself to.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Lying Asshole wrote:

You are saying that CBC flips on a dime because Justin Trudeau is PM, even though the boards is full of Harperite hacks, and that any articles that run counter to the party line are just there by design as a diversion.

This is a lie. I never said that. You interpreted my words in the worst possible light. Of course when I say you display an anti-Russian bias you insist I find those exact words in your posts not extrapolate from what you write. As usual you hold others to a different standard than you hold yourself to.

Well I have asked a couple of times what you meant, and you don't seem interested in clarifying how you are NOT saying that. Maybe you can start by explaining how this opinion piece constituted a flip of policy, and how the Liberal government managed to get CBC Manitoba to run this piece. Same for your idea that CBC runs pieces as a diversion. 

Maybe this piece is actually one those diversions you are talking about. How do we know which is the real propaganda? Assuming your theory is correct (as I understand it, anyway) that might make more sense if Justin decides he wants to run a story using a quote from the CTF sometime in the future.

But just calling me a liar isn't really making your points any clearer.

kropotkin1951

We have gone around the CBC issue on more than one occasion and like I said above if you had not posted this in a new thread with a taunt to people who don't agree with your views on the CBC I would likely have not bothered, much like in the Boycott CBC thread.

Having said that I will make one last point before letting this thread die a natural death. You are absolutely right in everything you post and have an uncanny ability to cut to the heart of other people's positions and garner a more fuller understanding of the nuances of those positions than the poster themselves can even imagine. Cool

6079_Smith_W

Well if we are done with the personal stuff, I was actually curious as to why you thought this opinion piece played into Liberal ideology.

Because honestly I don't see it. Certainly not something so serious that we would have CBC building stories around CTF press releases one day, and then as soon as Justin Trudeau gets in they are shown up as not representative at all. Again, the Liberals aren't that far removed from Harper when it comes to financial policy. And the only story they cited going after Liberals was a hard-hitting one about soda pop.

 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

And in a totally coincidental manner this is from the CTF home page and appears to predate the CBC piece on the CTF membership issue. 

Quote:

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today slammed Prime Minister Trudeau's pledge to impose a rising national 'floor price' which could result in the average Canadian family paying $2,569 per year in new taxes by 2022.

http://www.taxpayer.com/news-releases/ctf-slams-trudeau-s-carbon-tax

Unionist

Okay, I'm gonna try this again. This is from MARCH 2014 (Harper time), and it's by the "senior producer at CBC's business unit":

Not all business people hate taxes - but just try to get them to admit it

Quote:
There is an entire Canadian industry, claiming to be pro-business, that wants us to hate taxes.

The Fraser Institute, a charity funded largely by wealthy donors and a few corporations, has its Tax Freedom Day, which it bills as "the day you stopped working for government and started working for yourself." 

Then there's the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, "dedicated to lower taxes, less waste and accountable government."

There is also one of Canada's national treasures, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who, whether on Jimmy Kimmel or closer to home, can't stop talking about government waste and his campaign to eliminate "the gravy train." 

And, of course, our prime minister, Stephen Harper, who once famously said, "I don't believe any taxes are good taxes."  

My colleague Kevin O'Leary, of CBC's Lang & O'Leary Exchange and Dragon's Den, takes a similar line.

Please read the whole thing. It's a far more powerful indictment of the right-wing talk tanks than the recent CTF article.

The CBC is a mixed bag of confusion. It quotes the CTF naively one day, and runs decent attacks on Harperism the next. As a whole, it's toxically infected by the neoliberal script of the day. But not nearly, not even slightly, in the same way as the dirty rags owned by billionaires. So instead of looking for conspiratorial explanations of why it runs particular articles, we should IMHO attack it when it does badly and encourage it when it does well.

This time, it did ok. Can't we just say so, without selling our souls?

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Thanks, Unionist.

And yes, I agree that there are a lot of competing forces within CBC, not least of which is that Harper-appointed board I mentioned.

Which is why I find this theory of Justin running the show behind the scenes, to the point of running some stories to keep up appearances, bizarre to say the least.

But hey, if the CBC never runs another quote from the CTF so long as he is PM I will be happy to have been proven wrong about this conspiracy.

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Which is why I find this theory of Justin running the show behind the scenes, to the point of running some stories to keep up appearances, bizarre to say the least.

I find it bizarre as well. If you think it is bizarre why have you postulated it? No one else has said that only you.

Your strawman posts are so trite and predictable and boring. 

Mr. Magoo

If the CBC were really a bought-'n'-paid-for mouthpiece for the right wing, I'd expect Conservatives to say "it's balanced and fair".

If the CBC were really "the pinko press", eager to endorse all things Left, I'd expect the Left to say "it'a balanced and fair".

The fact that the CBC can apparently be biased in favour of the Left and the Right at the same time, such that neither side is happy with them, makes me think maybe they're balanced and fair.

Quote:
we should IMHO attack it when it does badly and encourage it when it does well.

You mean we shouild attack them when we disagree with them?  Because I think that's going to be everyone's take-away.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist didn't mean that Magoo (though I am sure you are right that some will take that from it).His bottom line is that the CBC is worth supporting, and I agree.

I know this has turned into a bit of a snark fest, but despite the accusations, I'm actually not trying to steer it in that direction.

I am actually inviting a more indepth conversation about some of the ideas raised. It just doesn't seem to be forthcoming.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Unionist didn't mean that Magoo

I don't think he did either, but if that's not when we know they're doing badly, how will we know?

Quote:
though I am sure you are right that some will take that from it

Have you ever seen anything else here?

Have you seen someone post "well, I totally agree with ___________, but I think the CBC really dropped the ball by not talking more about the costs and problems associated with it"? 

6079_Smith_W

And darn, so much for wishful thinking. It hasn't been two hours since I made that pledge at #23 and the CTF pops up as a source in another story. Does it count if they are being used to criticize someone in the Sask Party?

(look for the pic most of the way down the page)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/gth-land-deal-bill-boyd-never...

Though again, if they were to be kept in reserve to use as a foil against Trudeau's enemies, then why the directive to run this editorial at all?

 

 

Mr. Magoo

As they say, "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog".  Or, five dogs.

But on the flip side, how many people make up the CCPA?  Does anyone even care?  They have six offices, so it must be at least six.  

Welcome to the internet.  The CTF is bogus because it's only five people.  But "the Saker" has much to teach us.  He's ONE people.

 

sherpa-finn

Just to get back to the original point about CTF only having 5 "members"...

I appreciate the righteous indignation ("They call themselves a FEDERATION!"), but if truth be told, the overwheming majority of charitable organizations, NGOs, foundations, etc use a very similar governance model as CTF.  ie they may well have a large pool of "supporters" / friends / donors / members -but the ownership and control of the organization is held by a very (very) small group that is relatively closed and "self-perpetuating" in the sense that the current board gets to appoint the next board,- be that themselves or one or two others.  

One common variation is for organizations to have an inner circle or "council of members" - by invitation only. And then a star chamber style smaller group which makes up The Board. 

The number of truly membership-based organizations run on wholly democratic principles (become a member, you get a vote and can contribute to policy and run for leadership posts) is relatively small, - and generally limited to co-operatives, unions, political parties and a very small sub-set of civil society and community organizations.

FWIW, I believe Rabble itself has a member's council of about a dozen, and a board of four. I for one am not complaining and wish them all the best in their labours.

MegB

K, your posts are becoming personal attacks. Take a couple of deep breaths before hitting "post comment", okay?

Unionist

sherpa-finn wrote:

Just to get back to the original point about CTF only having 5 "members"...

I appreciate the righteous indignation ("They call themselves a FEDERATION!"), but if truth be told, the overwheming majority of charitable organizations, NGOs, foundations, etc use a very similar governance model as CTF. 

I don't think the "righteous indignation" is about their governance structure. Personally, I wouldn't give a damn if they had 10,000 raving bigoted neocons as members with bottom-up democratic decision-making.

The problem is this: That they are very often quoted by the media as if they somehow represent the "taxpayers'" viewpoint and interests. Whereas the Council of Canadians (for example) is never quoted as representing the viewpoint of "Canadians".

If the CTF was in fact a mass organization of "taxpayers", its viewpoint would be legitimately sought out and reported - even if it was the same putrid lying viewpoint that it now spews. The point is that they are neither a "true" federation of anyone, nor do they have a significant number of taxpayers whom they represent, nor do they have anything more important to say than (say) rabble.ca (to choose your example). So it's not a bad thing for an op-ed to expose that besides being dinosaurs, they are also frauds.

sherpa-finn wrote:
FWIW, I believe Rabble itself has a member's council of about a dozen, and a board of four. I for one am not complaining and wish them all the best in their labours.

And you must have noticed that Rabble is never cited by the MSM when it's reporting on what the rabble thinks and wants.

6079_Smith_W

Indeed. I think perhaps it is a matter of false perception. Chomsky gets quoted all the time, and he is just one guy. But the idea gets judged (for the most part) on its own merit.

With the anti-tax, anti-government gang the false assumption is that they speak for the masses, so the spiel is that this is what we have to do, even if it makes no sense. Kind of like that old "silent majority" line. Just as much a lie then as it is now.

No different either, than when I hear right-wingers claiming to speak for "small business". Usually they don't, nor to they bother to check. And I seriously doubt that the large contingent of self-employed artists are in support of their policies.

 

kropotkin1951

Mr. Magoo wrote:

As they say, "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog".  Or, five dogs.

But on the flip side, how many people make up the CCPA?  Does anyone even care?  They have six offices, so it must be at least six.  

Welcome to the internet.  The CTF is bogus because it's only five people.  But "the Saker" has much to teach us.  He's ONE people.

Imagine Magoo slurring a progressive site and lumping them in with the CTF. The CCPA is very open about who they are and what they do.

Quote:

The CCPA is a registered non-profit charity. We depend on the support of our more than 12,000 supporters across Canada. Donate today

https://www.policyalternatives.ca/offices

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
The CCPA is a registered non-profit charity. We depend on the support of our more than 12,000 supporters

sherpa-finn addressed this.

Quote:
the overwheming majority of charitable organizations, NGOs, foundations, etc use a very similar governance model as CTF.  ie they may well have a large pool of "supporters" / friends / donors / members

Or are you telling us that those donators are also voting members?

Rev Pesky

One of the differences is that the CCPA doesn't call itself the representative of any particular group. They are not the "Canadian Federation of Leftists", or the "Canadian Federation of Progressives", or the Canadian Federation of anything. Their name is actually a quite reasonable, and they don't claim to represent anybody:

Quote:
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.

Contrast that with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a group that purports to represent 'taxpayers'.

Quote:
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is a federally incorporated, not-for-profit citizen’s group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste and accountable government.

The CTF calls themselves a 'citizens' group, which is not really true. Nor is it true that they are a 'taxpayers' group. What they are is a group similar to the CCPA, but they try to enhance their legitimacy by the careful use of a name that suggests they are a broad-based group representing taxpayers.

6079_Smith_W

Good point. Plus they are in no way a federation.

The CCPA, which has regional offices across the country, could probably get away with using a name like that. But five people who answer to no one? It is completely false.

 

 

sherpa-finn

FWIW, - with regards to CCPA, this is how they describe their governance structure:

"The Members’ Council has a heavy responsibility to be the “keepers of the flame,” to ensure that the essence of the CCPA is maintained and that the core of the CCPA that gives it such strength and legitimacy is protected while growing the Centre’s ability to influence the political and economic debate in Canada. The Board of Directors — the president, vice-president/treasurer, and four other board members — are officers of the Members’ Council with a direct responsibility for the oversight of the National Office, and general responsibility for carrying out the decisions of the Members’ Council with respect to mandate, purpose, and so on, throughout the CCPA."

(There are 27 members of the Members Council, largely a mix of progressive academics and trade unionists. From amongst their numbers, they select the six to sit on the Board and provide more direct Executive leadership.)

The CCPA chapter here in Nova Scotia which is more volunteer based and volunteer-driven than some of the other (larger, better resourced) chapters, provides some basic democratic space by having a steering committee that is elected each year by and from CCPA-NS supporters.

But I think it is true to say that the CCPA positions and presents itself as more of a think-tank than a social / citizen's movement, and is generally perceived as such.  The conversation around accountability of think-tanks tends to focus more upon the funders (who is paying for all that "thinking"?)  rather than "who sits on their board?"  As has been discussed on these pages with particular reference to the Fraser Institute. 

Rev Pesky

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Good point. Plus they are in no way a federation.

The CCPA, which has regional offices across the country, could probably get away with using a name like that. But five people who answer to no one? It is completely false.

They're kind of, sort of, partially, maybe, thingy federation. They were formed from the confluence of two groups, one from Saskatchewan and the other from Alberta. I'll grant that 'federation', at least to me, implies a lot more than a couple of groups of disgruntled citizens, but the dictionary would allow it, I think.

And really, they say their list of supporters is 80,000 long, but in a country of say roughly 20 million taxpayers, 80,000 is hardly representative.  In fact it's about 0.4%. You could probably find more people that believe in crop circles.

The only reason their opinion is given any credence at all is because we live in the age of 'balance'. In a story on the roundness of the earth, the journalist will spend ages trying to find someone to offer the opinion the earth is flat in order to provide 'balance'. Truth or falsity doesn't enter into it.

6079_Smith_W

That's what I meant. They are in no way a federation like Canada, but their structure is closer (however slight) to the meaning than the Canadian Taxpayer's' Federation, which is in no way a federation no matter how far you stretch the meaning.

As for the opinion and credence thing, like I said, one person can speak with authority if the ideas are sound and backed up. The problem is when a group tries to pass off bad ideas based on the false assumption that they speak for a majority just because they have a fancy name. 

As it happens, in the story I just posted they were a broken clock, and happened to be right that a minister arranging a land deal for three times what it was worth was not a good use of taxpayer dollars.

But more often it is just some "don't spend" mantra with ideas that aren't thought through, don't make sense, and in the long run don't represent savings at all.