Monday, February 11, 2008

the full Wildrose Alliance platform part II

I'll concede right now that if the secret of government is to protect it from the daily mob, someone hasn't told the Wildrose Alliance.

But I hope voters ask a few criticial questions when the attack dogs from the other parties, whose platforms were written in smoky backrooms and run through the spin-cycle of consultants and focus groups, shine their spotlights on a few choice planks. For one, is the Wildrose Alliance headlining that plank as well? Has the leader spoken on it? Is it a point in the party's 5 point plan? If not, do these shots raise the level of public discourse?

Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty has been demanding that the federal government subsidize Ontario's auto industry. This is an issue that affects Alberta since the money for this is obviously not coming from Ontario. Anyone waiting for Alberta's P"C" government to speak out for our province's interests, however, had better stopping holding their breath. But I digress. At issue here is whether the fundamental question of whether government should redistribute capital in the economy like this instead of the private sector was the headline ballot question of the last Ontario election or not.

If the people of Ontario had said, yes, we want the government to step in and take money from one part of the economy that is growing in order to prop up another part that is in decline, then fine, that's democracy. But the fact is that the Liberal party's corporate welfare policies were hardly on the radar screen last election. Rather, it was religious schools. John Tory wrong-footed himself on the issue of public funding for sectarian schools and so the Liberal party "changed the channel" to that narrow point and at the end of the day Ontarians got a government whose agenda features soliciting handouts for big business, and not just big business, but big failing business. Ever heard of the phrase "throwing good money after bad?" I guess if its Alberta's money, Ontarians weren't quite so ill served. But I wonder if the citizens of that province got the public policy debate that they really wanted.

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