Saturday, August 15, 2015

Ignorance and Belly Badges: Learning to Deal With the Doltish

Recently the media and political opponents made merry with a comment that Justin Trudeau made on the economy.
"We’re proposing a strong and real plan one that invests in the middle class so that we can grow the economy, not from the top down the way Mr. Harper wants to, but from the heart outwards, that is what Canada has always done well with.”
For anyone who got past grade two, they know that the "heart" is also used to reference the core, or centre. So what Justin Trudeau was saying is that rather than give money to the wealthiest, and wait for it to trickle down, let's give it to the centre and grow the economy outward.  

For this he is now seen as a fluffy Care Bear.  How ridiculous.

Of course the orange Grumpy Bear weighed in with a snide "unique perspective".  If ignorance were truly bliss this man would be a much happier person.

However, Blue Hide Me bear was still on the run ducking questions about Mike Duffy, so had no comment, and Green Aware Bear just rolled her eyes and refused to engage in such silliness.

Can you imagine if Martin Luther King was Canadian and around today?

"There goes Marty, dreaming again.  Another tax grab no doubt.  He's sounding just like Chatty Cathy".  Twitter would be abuzz with everyone trying to out stupid each other.

Columnist Stephen Marche recently wrote a scathing piece on the Canadian political climate, for the New York Times:  The Closing of the Canadian Mind.
Americans have traditionally looked to Canada as a liberal haven, with gun control, universal health care and good public education.
But the nine and half years of Mr. Harper’s tenure have seen the slow-motion erosion of that reputation for open, responsible government. His stance has been a know-nothing conservatism, applied broadly and effectively. He has consistently limited the capacity of the public to understand what its government is doing, cloaking himself and his Conservative Party in an entitled secrecy, and the country in ignorance.
This could not have been accomplished without a media and a politico determined to take everything down to it's lowest common denominator.  As a result, we are now seen as a country of uninformed bumpkins, quite happy to wander about aimlessly, waiting for the next sound bite and resulting media spin.

Let's hope Marche doesn't read about this.  I'm so embarrassed.

Learning to Speak Dummy for Dummies

Since we can no longer engage in intelligent discourse, when discussing political topics, maybe we need to re-frame our goals, or at least what they should be.

You don't have to live in the Kingdom of Caring to know that Canada has lost its way.

In the CTV Care Bear story, Richard Madan attempts to throw in a bit of balanced reporting.
Neither the Conservatives, Liberals, or NDP have released a fully costed platform or have explained how they would pay for big ticket spending promises should government revenues decline.
Have the Conservatives told us how they would pay for their "big ticket" spending, like bombs for Iraq, a continuation of the corporate welfare system and over the top partisan advertising?

In Michael Moore's documentary Sicko, he asks a British politician about the affordability of their public healthcare.  He suggested that if a government can find money for war, they can find money for that.

In 1982, Ontario premier Bill Davis created the Assisted Devices Program, which initially covered 75% of the cost of equipment needed by children with disabilities.  This was later expanded to include adults.

For low income families, other programs pick up the additional 25%.

This not only made an enormous difference in the lives of those struggling for inclusion in society, and the families of children with special needs; but also created an industry.

There were always manufacturers and distributors of wheelchairs, etc., but most equipment was out of reach for many, and they had to depend on charity.

Since the implementation of the ADP, and other programs like it across the country, we now have mobility stores, that employ thousands of people.  We have occupational therapists, in good paying jobs, who make sure that the right equipment is provided to the right clients.

More disabled adults can engage in meaningful employment and special needs children can attend school and enjoy the privileges of their peers.

This is not "big spending", but smart spending.

Canada needs a national housing  strategy,  but in today's dummied down political climate, how do we get this on the agenda?

There is a lot of talk about infrastructure spending as a way to create jobs.  This is true, but a national housing strategy would not only create jobs, but would create permanent, good paying jobs; not only in the building trades, but in administration and social services.

Many of Canada's homeless, also struggle for inclusion in society.  People like Katrina Blanchford-Gervais, who never dreamed that she would ever be the poster child for homelessness.  No one aspires to that.

She was given a hand up by a local Hamilton group, Housing First.  These organizations are excellent, but without adequate funding they cannot possibly do everything that is needed to be done.

With a housing strategy, we can help to grow the economy from the heart outwards.

Sorry dummies.  CORE! CORE!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you referenced "Sicko", which I think is Moore's best film. It's funny to think that Davis, who was considered to the right of his party at the time, now seems central-left in his thinking. Canada, and indeed much of the western world, has slid rightward in the last 15-20 years, so that even "common sense" programs like those Davis implemented are stigmatized as some form of socialism. Love your posts, always.