It has come to our attention that certain readers of the Lakeside Leader are displeased that we run opinion columns from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The reason being that the CTF is (they say) supported by somebody called ‘The Koch Brothers.’
This may be true. It also may be true, as alleged, that the KBs have a political agenda that is dangerous and worth resisting. Many, of course, would disagree with that.
However, the yardstick we have to apply to these sorts of things is whether the submitted pieces are in themselves offensive, disrespectful, outrageous, untruthful (or whatever). On the whole, they aren’t. They are generally well written and thoughtful. They do present a position consistent with a philosophy that less government spending is better. That deficits are bad. That government should get its hands out of people’s pockets and off the backs of the folks who want to invest, develop and make money.
This is not radical stuff. Whatever the agenda of the backers of the CTF may be, the product itself is not so far out in right field as to be offensive. It is well within in the bounds of the normal political spectrum as we understand it. So banning them (which is apparently being advocated) isn’t reasonable.
However, as always, we could be wrong. Alternative views are welcome. Local opinion columns are accepted and will usually get precedence over non-local ones.
The playing field may not be a level one, because there is more money behind the right-wing agenda than the left-wing one (so they say). But at least at this publication, nobody is holding a gun to anybody’s head. If you’ve got an opinion, sit down and start typing.
After writing the above, we got a call from the CTF, inviting us down to Tim Hortons to see the ‘Debt Clock,’ which is touring the province. So we put it to the guy, who is Colin Craig, the Alberta director of the CTF: ‘Is the Canadian Taxpayers Federation funded by the Koch Brothers?’
‘No’ he said, adding that its supporters are displayed on the ‘debt clock’ trailer for all to see. They are regular folks, he said, from Alberta and elsewhere in Canada. David Climenhaga, writing The Tyee, asserts at least an indirect connection between the CTF and an American organization supported by the Kochs.