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, July 20, 2012

An energy policy "no-brainer"—Why?

The single—albeit arguable—reason for un-elected legislative bodies is to make sure that the pressures of faddish and shallow opinions don’t drown out complex, difficult ideas. The quarter of a billion dollar Canadian Senate supposedly exists as a refuge for sober second-thought, by sober if not necessarily popular men and women.

That’s the theory.

Then what’s the point of an un-elected Senate that produces a 68-page “Now or Never” energy report that advertises its most significant recommendation—enhanced east-west energy infrastructure—as a “no-brainer"?

The report also acknowledges that it’s important that Canada do a much better job of containing C02 emissions. On this important concern, the committee is unanimous. Neither a majority nor a minority of Senate committee members, however, offers a straightforward position on any effective means to meet that goal—a carbon tax or pricing mechanism, for instance.

The one legislative body that is supposed to tell us about hard things, in fact, tells us that complex issues are simple and doesn’t explain that changes in energy transportation and consumption could cost us dearly.

Intelligent energy policy, in fact, isn’t a “no-brainer.” The last thing Canada needs at the peak of a commodity boom is an enthused committee of Senators offering patriotic bromides.

Canadian Senate reform, on the other hand, is a “no-brainer.” Let’s do it.

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