Monday, February 01, 2010

The Problem of Context

The biggest stumbling block for the political right in Canada is that we have a ready example right next door of the consequences of all their policy prescriptions.

So: Literally endless efforts to degrade and diminish universal public health care in Canada run aground on what we can all plainly see in the utterly dysfunctional and predatory private sector medical experience in the USA. We can see where any such moves lead and even in the most right wing parts of Canada the public remains firmly supportive of our public universal system and firmly and overwhelmingly opposed to dismantling it.

So: Demands that our competitiveness requires relaxing government regulation, in banking for example, are revealed as the demented folly they are by the sight of the American banking sector almost sinking under the weight of their own size and debt ratios as a direct result of the gutting of bank regulation under Republicans and so called 'pro-business' Democrats. Now we have the nauseating sight of the Harper-cons smugly taking credit for a regulatory regime they thundered against only a few years ago.

So: A pandering and disturbingly successful 'law and order' campaign from the Conservatives has managed to whip up enough fear and loathing to make the public, temporarily at least, more receptive to a more punitive and unsympathetic approach to law and order issues. Meanwhile our crime rates are at record lows both in Canadian history and very definitely in comparison to the US. The war on drugs in the US has led to militarized inner cities, falsely convicted death row inmates and one of the biggest and most expensive prison populations on the planet. And crime rates much higher than ours. But its always a good source of easily manipulated fear voters.

The political Right's policy prescriptions suffer from familiarity, and familiarity breeds contempt.

1 comment:

thwap said...

If anyone is "soft on crime" it's the right-wing. They like to create it so much.

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