About that National Post op-ed…

A few days ago, the esteemed Kelly McParland of the National Post published a piece on the Post’s online group blog Full Comment on the Quebec student protests and education boycott.

He included this paragraph,

[The York Federation of Students’ (and various leftwing groups’)] petition, posted on the website of Stephen Taylor, director of the National Citizens Coalition, heaps praise on the efforts of the small minority of Quebec post-secondary students who managed to disrupt the final weeks of the school year through a program of street violence and intimidation.

I read the piece on Full Comment at the time and it didn’t strike me as odd or out of place. But then again, I know my position on the student protests and McParland does too as he published my own op-ed in Full Comment on the Quebec student protests and how Charest would do well to polarize against them. In fact, McParland has been nothing but fair to me and, as you can see, has been good enough to me to encourage my own contributions.

Yet, the piece ran in print today and boy, did we get letters at the National Citizens Coalition! Are we in favour of the student demonstrations in Quebec? Have we donned red squares and joined the riots? Have we lost our good conservative minds?

No, no, and no.

It is the petition that I uncovered that heaps praise on the protesters. It of course heaps praise upon them because it was written by Ontario Marxists. I was only bringing it to everyone’s attention. The sentence structure in McParland’s op-ed takes two ideas (my website and the petition) and breaks the flow between mutually exclusive actions (posting and praise). I posted the petition. The petition praises the protesters.

In short, I think the petition is mad. And those spoiled students don’t know how good they’ll still have it in seven years time.

I hope that clears things up!

Quebec-style student strike to come to Ontario?

The entitled madness may be building in Canada.

Members of the Canadian Federation of Students are petitioning the organization to call an Ontario-wide strike vote this fall in order to show solidarity with the students in Quebec. Here is their letter,

Solidarity For Their Own Good: A history of the Canadian Federation of Students

This past week, the Graduate Student’s Association at the University of Calgary overwhelmingly voted to leave the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). The CFS has faced much opposition from students on a number of campuses on which the organization represents and many universities are moving to decertify themselves from the organization.

An extensive document dropped in my inbox this afternoon detailing troubles with the CFS and goes into great depth on the topic. I’ll quote from the executive summary:

Although the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) has been the subject of a great deal of criticism in recent years, few have sought to gain a detailed understanding of the organization and understand how it functions in practice. At present, many students are attempting to leave the organization, but most of these attempts have been blocked through various legal maneuverings. This paper is partly an organizational analysis of the CFS, partly a political argument, and partly an exposé.

Drawing largely on a large number of primary and secondary source documents, this paper argues that the CFS is governed, de facto, as an oligarchy consisting of a relatively small group of staff and directors. Due to a number of structural factors, the proper relationships of accountability between staff and directors, and between the CFS and its member students’ unions, are partially inverted, turning the organization into a top-down structure whose corporate culture is essentially bureaucratically-oriented, rather than membership-oriented. As a result of this bureaucratic orientation, the CFS’s interest in maintaining and increasing its membership (and source of funds) eclipses its commitment to respecting democratic decision-making, local autonomy, and freedom of the speech and of the press.

The paper was written by Titus Gregory and I’m only starting to go through it in any detail. I’ve reproduced it below. Please feel free to use the comments section below to discuss/debate the ideas presented.