Let’s nationalize more companies, starting with Bell and Rogers

Gerard Kaplan sez:


I am all for this. They’re such an obvious duopoly. And City-TV’s change in editorial stance since the buyout is obvious.


Aw man, the weak-ass defense of privatized telecos by Andrew Seipp makes me laugh.

“But look at Canada Post! A government entity that has had its funding cut. One that provides a public good. Just lookit it! Isn’t it terrible?” is essentially what Andrew’s really weak-ass defense boils down to.

The status quo sucks because cartels are setting prices and profiting handsomely. Then these companies have the gall to bug for more government handouts, more copyright monopoly, and the power to censor the internet.

No, fuck you. Fuck you, Mr Seipp. Fuck you and your cartel.

The solution is nationalizing the damn telecoms, so that we can cheaply, efficiently, and equitably provide communications for all Canadians.


“Gummint don’t work!”
Cut budget of government service.
Government service deteriorates further.
“See? Gummint don’t work!”
Rinse, then repeat.


Everyone I know who works for Canada Post hates their management, who are all more interested in proving the service doesn’t work than in making sure it works.

And the truth is, it does work pretty well, given the constraints it’s under.


Do we need to nationise them, or create nationalised competitors?

I hold up Saskatchewan as an example. The big guys have one set of deals in most of the country except Saskatchewan. Why? Because SaskTel will undercut them if they do. Cell phone plans in Saskatchewan are made with SaskTel in mind. Oh, they’ll tell you some nonsense about geography and signals, but it’s no easier than in most of Alberta or Manitoba.

Oh, the big guys will whine and cry and throw a hissy fit, but that’s their problem. It’ll be their job to prove that they can do better, like they claim.


That’s a very important question that has a different answer depending on the individual circumstances of each sector that you’re talking about.

  • it can be a lot better to start up a competitor rather than buy out the privateers’ shareholders.
  • some services exist where competition is simply not feasible, due to huge fixed costs of entry and/ or network effects. Take water supply for example- multiple systems of competing water pipes supplying each home or business make no sense, so a public monopoly is sensible. Your other example, of cell phone networks is one where a “public option” can work, so long as all the networks can inter-operate.

We love competition until it shows we suck as a company. then we need protection from the government!

-every company


That says it all right there… it will ruin my business model.


I don’t care if the remainder of their policy statements are “We will murder puppies and kittens,” if a candidate runs on nationalizing Bell and Rogers, I will almost feel morally obligated to vote for then.


Bell and Rogers are the two big media companies – telephone, cable, cell, internet, even TV networks. Saskatchewan is proof of concept that they are vulnerable on a couple of those flanks. They are the only province that didn’t privatise their telephone corporation, and customers of all the companies get better deals there than in the rest of the country, and it’s not due to having a large, densely packed, easy to service customer base.

Hence, I would settle for government taking a good, hard look at whether said companies are living up to their CRTC obligations, see that they are not, and create a crown corp to “take up the slack”. In other words, provide decent, affordable service to all Canadians. Like municipal fibre in the US, the idea would cause panic. The difference being that there would be no higher level of government to create laws banning it.

Nah. I still wouldn’t vote Conservative.


[Chef’s kiss]


Come on. When have the Tories nationalized anything?