Post-Bolshevik socialists, encumbered by the grim and inconvenient realities of the inherent slavery and destitution of applied Communism, cannot count on the revolutionary fervour of ideology anymore and are driven to substitute instead simple populist stumping. From the London Free Press:
At first glance, there would seem to be a conflict between the populism of regulating affordable gasoline prices and the party's other populist plank of carbon-fear environmentalism, signalling an apparent pragmatic departure from strict ideology. But there is no contradiction nor any ideological easing. The burning compulsion of Marxists to seize the levers of material production and exchange are merely smeared with a thin paste of sympathy for drivers, but the proletariat ownership of the means of production is accomplished as readily by putting it under the jurisdiction of bureaucratic whim. The end result of politics driving the engines of supply instead of market demand being, as always, a shortage of supply — and, in this case, the one policy would neatly supplement the other.
The Ontario New Democrats say drivers are being hosed at the pump and it's time for Queen's Park to step in and regulate prices.
According to the Free Press, the NDP's proposed regulations would impose a retail price for gasoline for all stations in Ontario based on market cost of production, "legitimate" transportation costs, the "legitimacy" presumably adding another layer of bureaucratic "expert" determination, and the wonderfully fanciful "fairness to consumers," which in the old days was understood to mean what consumers were willing to pay but which can now be added to the job description of yet another layer of bureaucrats. Once bought off by political concerns, the price would be "locked" for two weeks so that the bureaucrats can take a breather. The system, in other words, would work almost precisely like this (via Freeway to Serfdom):
Neatly, then, government-sponsored price-fixing appeases the same regulatory appetite that spurs their environmental fear-mongering, and by sapping Ontario's economy will achieve the politically advantageous effect of a negligible global difference in carbon emission. Huzzah!
The owner of a New Brunswick gas station says the province's new system of price regulation has forced him to shut off his pumps.
Of course, if the NDP were really interested in doing drivers a favour, they would recognize that the most direct and least costly method would be to reduce taxes on gasoline. But the state's bloodletting of wealth is certainly one perquisite of socialist ideology that they'll never give up.
So, naturally, we'll reduce the competition to none.
NDP MPP Gilles Bisson joined London-Fanshawe NDP MP Irene Mathyssen in yesterday's campaign pitch, speaking at the closed-down Saddy's gas bar on Wharncliffe Road. Its owner recently bowed out of the business because of wildly fluctuating gas prices.