Have you met the boss?

Kerry Knudsen

Kerry Knudsen

A driver in Honduras a few years ago described the country’s political system. He said Honduras is run by two families that take turns being in power. Each takes a turn at the treasury, and they switch off to avoid a civil war, as happened in El Salvador.

A few years before that, an associate in Turkey described the upcoming election that resulted in the defeat of the secular state envisioned by Mustafa Ataturk. He was concerned, so I pointed out it was going to be a democratic election.

“Yes,” he said, “it will be democratic. But the people at the polling station will be Muslim Brotherhood, and they will watch how I vote. And if I vote wrong, they will kill my sister.”

Earlier this month, Colorado voted to recall two Democrat state representatives because of their positions on gun control. Irrespective of one’s position on gun control, it appears these two got voted in, and switched their loyalties from their constituents to their party. It’s as though they were saying there was a democratic election, and now it is their turn at the treasury.

Somebody forgot who the controlling bosses are.

This may not surprise some readers, but I occasionally write to my MP, David Tilson. The bigger surprise is that he answers every letter, even if just with a form letter that deals with the issue of the day. I don’t get the sense Tilson sees a magazine. Wood Industry is just too small. I get the sense he sees a constituent.

To me, that means a lot, since I write letters in my job. If they deal with issues requiring a response from the Wood Manufacturing Council, the Canadian Woodworking Machinery Distributors’ Association, the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC in British Columbia or a few other industry-related groups, they are often ignored. That sets the protocol as “bureaucrat functionary above MP.” It is a warped perspective, much on the order of looking through the big end of a binocular. However, being a big-ender is not always flattering.

It seems this idea — I’ll call it a sense of entitlement —permeates Canada from top to bottom. I have mentioned before the offence of Ontario’s Liberals in announcing the destruction of all e-mails and evidence associated with the infamous closing of some hydro plants for political reasons. The Liberals allow it was illegal, but tack on an understood, “whatcha gonna do ‘bout it?”

Canada could take a page from Colorado. I hope somebody is working on that.

To make the joke complete, the people that are accused of greed and grasping are small- to medium-sized business owners and Big Somebody, where “somebody” is oil, food, pharma or transport. Has anybody considered where the world would be without successful oil, food, pharmacology or transport? For myself, I would like to talk about Big Education, Big Pension or Big Environment. We will call the second biggies Big Whatever.

On paper, my property line extends halfway across the Credit River. That means a double-handful of “organizations” want to claim authority over what I can do, when and how with my home. I am noticing that Green means money unless I want a public path through my back yard to “save the Credit.”

Taken to its logical conclusion, this sense of entitlement, and, especially the development of entitlement rights by declaring an entitled group has run rampant. Taken to its logical end, it destroys countries and societies, just as it destroys companies and individuals. This is a matter of historical record.

You will notice an eight-page, bound-in insert in this issue. It’s a monograph that takes an extended look at the development of political entitlement inside an industry … ours. You can see on its face we have taken a huge risk in publishing this. If you believe in somebody, you have to take a risk when it’s time. Wood Industry believes in Canada’s manufacturers.

It is time for a change of leadership, and this time it’s your turn.

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