Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quebec’s left wing and the survival of hyperbole in Canada

Last month, the geeks of Quebec’s conservative remnant met in public in a suburban hotel—and talked about changing Quebec.
 The next week, Quebec’s left mobilized: a new Social Alliance was formed to stop the neo-cons from spreading crazy ideas about lower taxes and privatization.
At stake, allegedly, are the principles of solidarity and sharing. The Alliance spokesman, Michel Arsenault, president of the Quebec Federation of Labour, found words to dramatize the situation:
The issue: “It’s the difference between being human beings and animals….With animals, when one of them gets old, they let it die, they eat it. We want to take care of our people, our youths, our students our elderly.”
The alternative: “We are the most egalitarian society in North America and we want to keep it that way. Our social services cost $7-billion a year. When you compare with Ontario, it is costing Ontarians, through the private sector, $17.5-billion for the same services. We are getting more for our money with the public sector than Ontarians are getting with the private sector.
You start to worry that Canada’s political discourse is killing our sense of humour, and Quebec comes to the rescue.
Imagine Ontario as a case study of right-wing, heartless incompetence.
Even assuming that Ontario’s larger population (13 million Ontarians compared nearly 8 million Quebecers) has the same percentage of families and individuals that need social services to avoid living like animals, is it possible that the Ontario government has to spend approximately fifty percent more per capita on social services than the Government of Quebec?
Is Quebec egalitarian? Spectacularly efficient or outrageously cheap?

No comments:

Post a Comment