The contrast between two stories recent news stories about the Public Service Alliance of Canada (“PSAC”), the union that represents most federal civil servants, struck me as a perfect illustration of the obliviousness of modern public sector labour unions (though by no means a solitary one).
The first story covered PSAC’s ongoing campaign to oppose federal government austerity measures, in this case by flying a banner reading “Stephen Harper hates us” over Parliament Hill. It is a telling attestation to the childish mentality of public sector labour unions that the (quite modest) attempt by the federal government to fulfil its fiduciary duty to the citizens of Canada by imposing a modicum of fiscal discipline on the public sector is attributed to the ideological or personal enmity of the Prime Minister. As if only irrational hatred could explain his desire for fiscal rectitude.
The second story reported on PSAC’s endorsement of the separatist Parti Quebecois (“PQ”) in today’s Quebec election. Now, I’ll let you ponder that for a second. Here is a labour union, the vast majority of whose members work for the government of Canada and either live in English Canada or are staunch federalists living in Quebec, endorsing a provincial political party whose sole raison d’etre is the breakup of Canada. Think of the absurdity of a union whose members are overwhelmingly Anglophones endorsing a party which views Anglophones as second-class citizens. The disconnect between PSAC’s political position and the interest of its own members is mind-boggling.
But it’s the contrast between the two stories which really highlights the absurdist delusions of PSAC and other public sector unions. On the one hand, in a pathetic attempt to protect their private economic interests, they lament that the Prime Minister “hates” them. On the other hand, they endorse a political party whose policies and platform are simply antithetical to the values and interests of more than 90% of Canadians (including, if tonight’s election is any indication, a solid majority of Quebecers). Indeed, it’s hard to think of an endorsement better suited to induce a (quite rational) hatred of PSAC by the Canadians its members serve than to endorse a party dedicated to the destruction of their country.
It’s a testament to the obliviousness of PSAC that it could, at the same time, insult and offend both the citizens its serves and its own members by endorsing the PQ, while complaining that Stephen Harper hates them. If he does, could you blame him?