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Sunday, December 10, 2006 

Pro-Monopoly Farmers Win Canada Wheat Board Vote

From Reuters: WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - "Farmers who support the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly on wheat and barley sales will continue to hold a narrow majority on the agency's board of directors, election results showed on Sunday.

Pro-monopoly candidates won in four out of five districts, leaving a total of eight farmers on the 15-member board who support the agency's monopoly on sales of wheat and barley from the Canadian Prairies to millers, maltsters and export markets.

"I think it's time for the government to pause and have a result at what these results really mean," said Ken Ritter, CWB chairman."

These results will make it more of a challenge for the Stephen Harper government to continue with their bullying tactics in the unilateral dismantling of the Board's single desk mandate. There seems to be a desperate drive by the Conservatives to kill the Board. These director election results will make it more difficult for Harper and Strahl to justify their heavy handed approach.

Reuters - Board Director Election
Winnipeg Free Press - 'Harper may Be Selling The Farm'

This may not be "THE" issue that snaps the Conservative government's fragile back, but it's one of those not so subtle reminders that Canadians aren't really on his side. There have been quite a few issues like this that have been going on lately, and in my opinion, not nearly enough. Either way, the writing is on the wall. Harper will be out in the next election.

Just to play the role of snarky economist, but the Wheat Board is actually a monopsony (not a monopoly). A monopsony is a single buyer with many sellers. A monopoly is a single seller to many buyers.

In dealing with the Wheat Board, farmers are actually dealing with a monopsony. I'm surprised the media continues reporting this as pro-monopoly candidates.

As Winstone Churchill once wrote "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings;the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries" and those of us who make a living growing course grain in Western Canada and want to market them under our own jurisdiction are definately feelin the miseries.

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