Puddle Jumpers

Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel

Strike Pay

It’s time for a quick update before I head to work.

I’ve been thinking about our Canadian prorogued parliament (Professional Rogues), and I can’t help but think of union workers who go on strike. As far as I understand, a union leader goes to the membership and suggests to go on strike when all other options have failed. After some discussion, a vote is cast, and the union files a notice that they will be striking. When this happens, the workers no longer get their wage from the employer, and the union pays the workers strike pay.

Now, not that parliament, or government, is a union (they only conduct business for the unity of Canada, that’s all…), but many of the same principals apply. For instance, they follow Robert’s Rule of Order. Like a union, not one person can make a final decision, but make decisions based on the will of the majority. So, when a question is asked, discussed and concluded, it’s done through consultation, debate and discussion with the group as a whole.

When unions and employers meet to figure out their contracts, sometimes a third party is brought in, in the form of an arbitrator. This person is supposed to be unbiased, who concludes (hopefully reasonably) what the best course of action should be taken. In the case of our Canadian parliament, the parties went to the arbitrator (the Governor General), presented their sides, and the GG weighed the arguments on both sides, consulted with experts and looked a precedents, and made her decision to prorogue, or suspend, parliament.

That’s all fine and well, except that in a way, a prorogued parliament is like a union that has gone on strike. Sure, people are still working, but are they working to the same level as before? Do they put in the same number of hours? Are they being effectual? Are ALL of them working as much as they had been? Should they be paid their full wages, or a minimum daily wage, like strike pay?

Now, being a cynic and all, I’m inclined to think that out of the 308 seats that make up the House, not all are working 100% to 110% capacity. Look, it’s the Christmas season, and what better time to get a little break and go back to your constituency than just before Christmas. You can cry and bemoan the “undemocratic” nature of the events that led up to you sitting by the Christmas tree, feet up on the ottoman, rum and eggnog in hand, and taking a little break before you go back into Mr. Milliken’s grade 7 class to practice hurling spitballs and try out your newly minted bullying tactics and insults. What’s even better, the work you did in fact do over this break at 30% capacity, still paid you 100% of your wages. And that nerdy kid in the glasses that bugged you so much? He’s been moved to the back of the class so you don’t have to even look at him any more. After Christmas, Mr. Milliken’s class will have all the bull-dog bullies going after each other, scrapping outside after school by the bike racks. You’re almost in grade 8, and this is practice for the gladiatorial ring of high school.

We should all consider politics as a viable career…. and then go on strike at Christmas.

Ingrid
Pro Puddle Rogue

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One comment on “Strike Pay

  1. barbro
    December 13, 2008

    Point well taken! What could possibly be an argument against? /B

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This entry was posted on December 8, 2008 by in Main and tagged , , , , .

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