Thursday, June 15, 2006

Progressive Advice

About 150 people are gathering at a Mont Tremblant resort this week to figure out how to revive Canada’s “progressive” movement.

Progressive being the word, of course, that left-wingers like to use when describing themselves as if high taxes, bigger government and less freedom is somehow progress.

Anyway, one of the organizers of this conference had an op-ed in the Globe and Mail yesterday explaining what progressives need to do to win back power.

I replied with a letter to the editor which was published today.

Here it is:

Dear Sir/Madam:

If Matt Browne and Eugene Lang really want to see a “progressive” comeback in Canada, they will have to rethink the role of government.

Maybe self-styled “progressives” still see government as a “force for good in society” but an increasing number of Canadians see government as a force for something else, namely inefficiency, waste and corruption.

You won’t make inroads among these Canadians by continuing to trumpet the glories of big government.

Instead the Liberals should embrace the idea of giving Canadians the option of relying on the private sector when government isn’t working.

Why not, for instance, permit Canadians a private sector alternative to the failing government heath care monopoly?

Now that would truly be progressive.

1 comment:

Miles Lunn said...

Although a card carrying Liberal member, I don't believe bigger government is the solution to today's problems. I generally believe the free market works with off course some government intervention under certain circumstances. I also think Canadians are less concerned about the size of the government than they are about the results being delivered. In Alberta, smaller government has worked quite well, while back in the 30s, laissez faire economics didn't work well.

On the health care issue, although in theory we have a government monopoly, there are several private clinics mainly in diagnostic services, but also for orthopedics and cataract surgery where individuals can pay for faster service. I know in Ontario they are banned due to provincial law, but in Quebec there is no shortage of private clinics. Even here in British Columbia we have several and ironically over half of them opened when the NDP was in power.