Friday, October 06, 2006

Government Turkeys

Now that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, it’s natural to start thinking about turkeys.

Well we at the National Citizens Coalition are thinking about turkeys too – but not the gobbling, feathered kind.

We are talking about what might be called “Government Turkeys” that is government policies or programs that just don’t make sense.

And, in fact, we have come up with the Top Ten Government Turkeys.

Here they are in no particular order:

* The unelected Senate is definitely a turkey. This is the 21st century. Democracy is no longer considered a radical experiment. It’s now considered a good thing. So why not democratize the Senate?

* Turkeys, of course, are found on the farm which is exactly where you will find the negative effects of the Wheat Board monopoly, which denies farmers an economic choice. Allow dual-choice when it comes to marketing. End this turkey of a monopoly.

* Turkeys are fowl, but the government’s monopoly on health care is just plain foul. Waiting lists are too long; costs are too high; equipment is too scarce. It’s time to reform our health care system so that Canadians have more choice.

* Turkeys can’t fly and neither can a broadcast regulation agency like the CRTC. In this day and age of the Internet, satellite TV and wireless communication, the CRTC is archaic. Let Canadians can watch what they want to watch.

* Turkeys can’t speak of course. But if they did speak they should have the right to speak English or French. Yet in Quebec, ridiculous and discriminatory language laws infringe on the rights of English-speakers.

* Any law that denies Canadians the right to election speech must be a turkey. And that’s the case with the “Election Gag Law” which makes it a crime for citizens to effectively express political opinions during elections. Axe this turkey.

* Turkeys like to gobble and politicians like to gobbledygook. They certainly use a lot of gobbledygook to justify the “Welfare for Politicians” plan. That’s the plan where taxpayers are forced to subsidize political parties to the tune of millions of dollars every year.

* You will also find turkeys in our labour laws. For instance, it’s legal in Canada for union bosses to force unionized employees to finance political causes against their will. That’s wrong.

* Of course, you can’t talk turkey without mentioning the CBC. Why is it we need a state-run network? Let’s privatize the CBC, a network fewer and fewer Canadians even watch.

* Finally it would be nice if the government cut our taxes cold turkey. Canadians are overtaxed and could use the extra money to buy a bigger turkey at Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Media Update:

I am scheduled to discuss my "Government Turkey" list on Adler Online at 4:15 PM this afternoon, on Nightline BC at 10:00 PM this evening, on London in the Morning CJBK at 7:47 AM Monday and on John Moore Show CFRB on Monday at 3:10 PM.

Note all times are Eastern because I can't figure out how to make the conversions.

3 comments:

Olaf said...

Turkeys are fowl, but the government’s monopoly on health care is just plain foul

Oh, Gerry, this is just too much...

Anonymous said...

The Li(e)beral party is yet another turkey!

Miles Lunn said...

The unelected Senate is definitely a turkey. This is the 21st century. Democracy is no longer considered a radical experiment. It’s now considered a good thing. So why not democratize the Senate?

How about abolish the whole thing. Provincial legislatures do fine without them, so I see it as redundant.

Turkeys, of course, are found on the farm which is exactly where you will find the negative effects of the Wheat Board monopoly, which denies farmers an economic choice. Allow dual-choice when it comes to marketing. End this turkey of a monopoly.

Agree here. I should note that farmers in Ontario already have a dual marketing system.

Turkeys are fowl, but the government’s monopoly on health care is just plain foul. Waiting lists are too long; costs are too high; equipment is too scarce. It’s time to reform our health care system so that Canadians have more choice.

Agree here as well. I should note that despite what some politicians say there are numerous private clinics in British Columbia and Quebec where individuals can pay for quicker service. The real problem here is in some of the more rural provinces I am not sure how profitable private clinics would be, but they should at least be legal if they wish to come.

Turkeys can’t fly and neither can a broadcast regulation agency like the CRTC. In this day and age of the Internet, satellite TV and wireless communication, the CRTC is archaic. Let Canadians can watch what they want to watch.

Partially agree. The CRTC's regulations are designed for a four channel universe in the 60s, not a multi-channel universe of the 21st century. Still I think you need a regulatory body to ensure that the right to use a certain frequency is restricted to only one station in a given area. This is simply to ensure someone doesn't cut in to someone else's frequency unfairly. But Canadian Content Quotas should be eliminated on the radio, while kept on Canadian television channels, but allow any channel to broadcast in Canada so people can watch what they want and those who don't want to watch Canadian shows aren't forced to.

Turkeys can’t speak of course. But if they did speak they should have the right to speak English or French. Yet in Quebec, ridiculous and discriminatory language laws infringe on the rights of English-speakers.

Agree here. But this is a provincial law and lets remember this required using the notwithstanding clause, so if the Charter was followed this wouldn't be an issue. In addition the Court Challenges Program I should note also provided funding to Anglophone minorities in Quebec to fight Bill 101.

Any law that denies Canadians the right to election speech must be a turkey. And that’s the case with the “Election Gag Law” which makes it a crime for citizens to effectively express political opinions during elections. Axe this turkey.

Partially agree here. I support some limits on third party advertising, but they should be raised. They should be high enough to broadcast on television during prime time. For example $5 million in an election period would be more reasonable and I would then support a gag law, but not at its current level. I also think the Court Challenges Program funding Democracy Watch and NAPO was innappropriate here since there already four governments with unlimited resources involved.

Turkeys like to gobble and politicians like to gobbledygook. They certainly use a lot of gobbledygook to justify the “Welfare for Politicians” plan. That’s the plan where taxpayers are forced to subsidize political parties to the tune of millions of dollars every year

Agree here. I hope that means you oppose Harper's Accountability Act.

You will also find turkeys in our labour laws. For instance, it’s legal in Canada for union bosses to force unionized employees to finance political causes against their will. That’s wrong.

Partially agree here. This falls under provincial jurisdiction so nothing the feds can do here. I think there should be an opt out as opposed to opt in for funding to political parties and political causes. Union dues for pensions and bargaining should be mandatory to prevent free-riding.

Of course, you can’t talk turkey without mentioning the CBC. Why is it we need a state-run network? Let’s privatize the CBC, a network fewer and fewer Canadians even watch.

Indifferent here. I wouldn't be sad if the CBC was privatized, but considering every single developed country including the United States (PBS and NPR) has a public broadcaster, beyond ideology, I think the argument is quite weak. At least make the CBC more attractive to more people like the BBC is in Britain.

Finally it would be nice if the government cut our taxes cold turkey. Canadians are overtaxed and could use the extra money to buy a bigger turkey at Thanksgiving!

I agree here. And I hope that means you prefer the Liberal Income tax cuts over the Tories GST Cut which involved raising income taxes. I support corporate and income tax cuts, but not a GST Cut.