Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Canadian Truckers

There is at least one poll suggesting the majority of Canadians approved of the general severe crackdown on the truckers. I didn't see where it asked "Do you approve of freezing the accounts of people who donated $40 to them?" as such wordings depend heavily on who is sponsoring the poll and what the pollsters think they want. Most Canadians are likely not aware of such details. Sometimes researchers don't have to fudge the data, they just have to ask the questions in the right way

Grim, with proper caveats about "Is this really a reliable measure?" is concerned that the average Canadian is signing on to this level of intrusion and negation of rights. I am concerned as well, though I suspect that passive signing on in ignorance, though also a problem, is the more likely culprit.  Yet let's pretend it's all true, just for the moment. 

We are familiar with the deep resentment against the ultra-rich, especially if they come from another tribal group, everywhere.  Putin punished the oligarchs and became popular with the people.  Xi is punishing some oligarchs now and the others are retreating into quiet. This has been popular in China. OWS, Bernie Sanders, and a long history of Americans resenting the 1% show we are not much different, and resentment against elites is now popular on the right - just a different elite than before.  Donald Trump started his campaign on the basis that the ultra-rich should pay much more in taxes, though that receded. (In late 2015 he and Bernie were nearly identical in key issues, but each dropped one or more along the way and they became sundered.) This much we have long known, that resentment of people who seem to have too much for no good reason, which may even be instinctive from hunter-gatherer millennia when it was a clear sign of chicanery in a tribesman, is very typical of humans.

Yet how to explain such resentment against truckers, who might be prosperous but not wealthy? This is supposed to be the workingman who was lionised and defended by the communists and other leftists. I used to wonder the same thing about the resentment against guys making money in petroleum and automotive industries.  It was not merely the people at the top, who we might associate with the price-gougers and oppressors, but anyone who seemed to be making a great deal at those endeavors.

I concluded that this was about the Wrong People making money, and "this cannot be allowed to stand. It is an insult to struggling journalists and starving artists, people who are from the right tribe and doing really important work." It is my Arts & Humanities Tribe reemerging. I think the truckers have fallen into this category.  Even though anyone who stops to think about it for fifteen seconds knows that truck drivers rather epitomise blue-collar, highly-inconvenienced, sometimes-on-the-edge workers, yet at an unacknowledged level, they are from the group of Wrong People.  None of them read Urdu poetry or even have a clear idea what country that would be from. 

The Wrong People cannot be allowed to prosper. They must be quietly headed off, to make the world safe for social workers and junior editors at publishing companies.

8 comments:

GraniteDad said...

I think it’s likely much simpler than that. I think people are just sick of the disruption, and that’s what they are responding to. I have no objection to people protesting in general, but if they closed down the street by the high school and I couldn’t get by easily, I’d get pretty sick of them quickly. People are saying they’re OK with it because they’re sick of the people causing a ruckus

Grim said...

From what I hear from people in Ottawa, the police checkpoints are causing a lot more disruption than the truckers ever did. But you are probably partly right: "We will restore order to the galaxy" was Lord Vader's pitch too. Martial law is often popular, at first.

PenGun said...

Canadian truckers are about 90% fully vaxxed, that's about 6% more than the general population.

Christopher B said...

I am reading various places that even though the Canadian Parliament voted to extend the Emergency Measures for 30 days on Monday that Trudeau is lifting them effective immediately. I have not seen any reporting on the ones he wanted to make permanent.

Christopher B said...

Update - The authority to freeze accounts without judicial review has apparently been made permanent via regulations issued by Canadian banking authorities.

Speculation is that a combination of lack of support in the Canadian Senate (a body of appointed members similar to the British House of Lords) and possible repercussions to banks from the account freezes triggered the reversal.

Unknown said...

Christopher -- It was deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland PC MP who spoke of making the emergency-act 'financial controls' permanent.

I'm not sure that there were really any $40 donations that resulted in frozen bank accounts without other much more direct involvement in protest planning, communications, or strategy. Yes, some who had donated had bank trouble, but it wasn't really established that this was anything more creepy than being locked from mis-inputting pins or passwords -- the specific cases I read about had no trouble in-branch doing transactions.

That said, I'm extremely troubled by the police and government reaction to the protests.

I'm also not so sure about the "None of them read Urdu poetry or even have a clear idea what country that would be from" line. One facebook friend who lives in Ottawa spent several days at the protest talking to the truckers. She was particularly keen to show photos and videos of people who like her were immigrants from former soviet and eastern-block countries, but she also had pictures and videos of many different truck-drivers who were in Punjabi dress. I find Urdu speakers in the west tend to dress western, but one can tell the Pakistan or India origin when hearing them speak. There was no shortage of Indian OR eastern-European accents amongst the drivers in her videos. In all it was disorienting, seeing her on-the spot reporting of a family-friendly safe and joyful event, and then hearing on Radio-Canada in the car the same described as scary for passer-by who suffered sexist and racist-abuse from the demonstrators.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Unknown - heh. I chose the Urdu poetry line because it is one Obama used campaigning in 2008 to try and ingratiate himself with an urban audience that had many Pakistanis in it. It's one of those "I am widely read, including in international literature" sort of attempts. I didn't even think of the possible angle of their being actual Urdu speakers among the truckers. I should do bettter research a

Zachriel said...

Assistant Village Idiot: Yet how to explain such resentment against truckers, who might be prosperous but not wealthy?

Because the majority Canadians believe that mandates in response to a deadly pandemic are reasonable. The truckers had their say, but then defied a court order to disperse. Parliament affirmed the government's emergency powers. Once the problem was resolved, the emergency powers were revoked.