During every election campaign many different groups come out to take positions on various issues of the day. In some cases, that involves taking a stance either against or for a certain party, as a means to dealing with that issue. In this day and age though, getting involved in that way could mean needing to register as a third party group or not do anything, it really all depends on how far you want to go or the kinds of resources that you have.
It has been with that in mind that I’ve been paying closer attention to what various groups that could be covered by third-party rules are doing, how they are going about their business and just how out there they are deciding to be. So it was with that in mind that I came across an ad from the United Steelworkers, one that was not only quite cheeky but was putting a position out there that some might not be expecting this time around:
Well that was kinda cheeky, wasn’t it? That was a cute ad that makes a good point about the number of broken promises from the Liberals and does it in a fun way that connects. It has good visuals and makes a great point. And if you’re surprised to see the Steelworkers put out an ad in support of the NDP, you really shouldn’t. They have been among the strongest labour supporters of the New Democrats and have worked closely with many members of their caucus on important issues like pension protection.
But being the current political environment that we are in and the NDP facing struggles, some might have expected the Steelworkers to join other unions who are either supporting strategic voting on some level or straight out voting for the Liberals. Despite all the broken promises, the Liberals have been comparatively better with labour than the Conservatives, but let’s face it, that wasn’t hard to pull off. The Conservatives were openly at war with labour for most of their time in office, so anything was going to be an upgrade. But why would the Steelworkers still be so strongly in the NDP campaign, when others have had second thoughts? Well maybe it might be incidents like these:
Yes folks, that’s Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Bob Bratina, the former mayor of Hamilton, a city known for its history in the steel sector. As you can imagine, the Steelworkers are a force in that region, and represent thousands of workers there. Local Steelworkers were meeting with Bratina earlier this year, asking for his support for NDP MP Scott Duval’s Bill C-384, a bill which would have seen pensioners become secure creditors when a company liquidates, therefore helping to protect those pensions in bankruptcy cases. If you remember the bankruptcies of companies like Nortel, Sears and Abitibi-Bowater and how those cases cost those workers and retirees their pensions, you can why such a bill would have been important.
So these workers, some of whom were likely constituents of Mr. Bratina, went to meet with him, did they get a warm welcome or support from him? Nope, they got a series of f-bombs lobbed in their direction. Holy Sunny Ways Batman! After an event like that, I guess you could understand why the United Steelworkers might not be so willing to take Mr. Trudeau and his party at their word or believe that they are looking out for their best interests.
Now did that outburst lead to this ad coming to pass? Probably not. But that outburst was a part of the Steelworkers experiences working with this government and was obviously enough to make them think twice about what they should do for the upcoming election. Will this ad and their efforts be effective? I guess time will tell, but I find it interesting none the less to see chickens like these come home to roost and resulting in such witty, fun campaign advertising.