I'm as right-wing a Canadian as you'll find (well, maybe not crazy right like Kevin O'Leary), but this doesn't mean I hate left-wing goals. Now, listen carefully...you can be right-wing and have the same goals as left-wing people. I despise poverty. I despise racism. I think everyone should have the opportunity to get an education. These are all supposedly "left-wing" goals. They are good goals. But, the way in which we achieve these goals differs from right to left. I don't think it is our governments responsibility to tackle all of the social issues. Being conservative means believing that governments role should be limited and non-intrusive.
And this is why I'm against
See, in the US, financial institutions took advantage of deregulation and loaned out money to folks that never should have qualified for loans. The government, instead of backing the individuals who'd essentially been swindled, then bailed out the
And this is where Canada is completely different than the US. Not only were our financial institutions not complicit in the market crash, but our government's approach to guiding us out of the recession has been completely different. In the US the #OccupyWallStreet folks are equally upset at corporations as they are with Washington; in fact, they have a lot in common with the TeaParty folks. No one is happy with the economic situation. It's not about changing governments there--the Republicans and Democrats are both equally owned by Wall Street.
But in Canada it is a different matter entirely. You may disagree with the current government, but they are not owned by our corporations. Or maybe you think they are...in which case you work to get another party elected. Unless you think that the NDP, Greens, Liberals and Bloq are also Bay Street puppets. If you believe that--then protest away; I think you're completely wrong--and would be interested to see where you think the NDP et al are controlled by corporations...but, protest away.
#OccupySaskatoon is just lazy thinking. As Canadians, we typically pride ourselves on "not being American." We're kinder, gentler, more socially conscious...and yet, here is a movement that is basically saying we are the same as the US. What?
Oh, that's right. We elected a Conservative government and now they're destroying Canada. And of course, we can't vote them out because now we're a dictatorship so we must join with the legitimate beef of #OccupyWallStreet because we are now the same as the US.
#OccupyWallStreet is about justice and that's neither a left-wing or right-wing issue it's a human issue. #OccupyEverywhereElse is about forced redistribution of wealth (higher taxation) and that's a left-wing issue and I am against it. I am not against it because it is a left-wing issue. I am against it because I don't believe the government is the best institution to deal with complex social issues
I am in favour of smaller government (government should enact laws, maintain infrastructure, defense and health-care...it's a small list in my books) and incentives that encourage people (whether corporations or public individuals) to apply the Golden Rule in their daily lives thus working towards the jointly shared goal of justice (human value). And, I guess, this is why I hate elections. We tend to focus on the "what"--$10.50 minimum wage--and if you're against it you end up sounding like a heartless slumlord. $10.50/hr is a pittance.
The larger question isn't what should the minimum wage be, the larger question is what's the best way to ensure people aren't living in poverty? More government means more taxes. Is that the best bang for our buck? Maybe lower our taxes and incentivize us to give to non-profits who would get more mileage from our donations and then the government could match those dollars.
There's positive change that could happen in Saskatoon. I don't see any of it coming from #OccupySaskatoon. I do hope that this larger discussion gets some traction in this coming election...but, if history is any guide, all we'll see is bashing of platforms where real ideas get denigrated to the best sounding soundbite. And that's really too bad, because the issues that really matter--in this case justice--aren't right or left and their solutions will require the best minds from both sides of the spectrum.
This post is now up for discussion.