The Conservatives, as of late, have been performing many actions in order to undermine the Canadian Wheat Board, such as firing the pro-monopoly president.
This has put the Liberals and the NDP on the defensive on this subject, with both parties calling for the preservation of the Canadian Wheat Board.
However, I think that there is a way to really use this issue to really attack the Tories on the issue.
Notice that one of the new rhetoric items coming from the Tories is the fact that they are introducing more democracy into institutions that have never had it before.
Well, let's use that idea: more democracy. The NDP should be calling for a referendum, consisting of all of the stakeholders in the Wheat Board, asking the question "Do you support the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly?"
This would be of advantage to us politically in many ways.
First of all, we would be sending a message to the farmers that says "we think that you know what is best for your farm." That would weight more positivity on farmer's minds than city-slicker Jack Layton (or Dion for that matter) just dictating what should happen to the Wheat Board. I notice that one of the more convincing arguments coming from the Tories is that Farmer's should have a choice, and a referendum would give them that choice.
If the Tories refuse to hold a referendum and continue to dismantle the Wheat Board, we can say, with the weight of the Tories' actions behind us, that the Tories don't care about democracy or the choice of farmers.
If the Tories do hold a referendum, then there is the risk that the Wheat Board's monopoly could fall. But considering recent Wheat Board elections, it looks like that Farmers want to preserve it. As well, imagine the media attention: which would be the prefect way to get attention for pro-monopoly, wheat board, NDP activists.
Think about it, a referendum would shift the NDP from the defensive to the offensive on this issue, and send the correct signals to farmers that the NDP thinks that they can make there own choices. Besides, it would be funny to see the Conservatives run away from democracy.