Monday, November 08, 2004

Babble On

One thing that's not lacking in the slightest on TEH INTARWEB is self-described libertarians (or 'classical liberals', which I believe is their way of saying, "I believe in small government, but I file a tax return every year, and don't expect me to incinerate my plates and driver's license").

As such, I shy away a bit from ranting about big government too much, because it's being covered, and in many cases, really well. That said, objections accumulate, and once in a while I wake up and say, WHAT the HELL is GOING ON - and why don't more people complain about it? To wit:

1) Occasional PolSpy contributor Nancy Fielding quickly runs down the, ahem, "impressive" list of legislation for Ontario that Dalton McGuinty's government has tabled in their mere 13 months of office:
After just a year in office, the McGuinty Liberals have come up with bills that, if passed, will tell you when and where you can smoke (answer: never and nowhere), what kind of dog you can have, and what food your kids can eat at school. Now, in another move to take parenting out of the hands of, well, parents, the government also wants to make damn sure that the wee buggers stay in school until at least the age of 18.

Not bad Nancy! Although she's forgotten at least one big one: who you can't pay for certain health-related services (answer: anyone). I've been thinking about this one for a while - my initial reaction was that it was both financially and politically unwise for The Amazing Smither-Man to come down so hard. The only explanation that makes sense to me, 5 weeks later, is fear. The Ontario government (and it's not fair to single them out here) is terrified that if they allow parallel, private health care in any form, the shortcomings of the public system will be underscored, and there will be a revolt.
"Sure, we know that if we allow private, say, labour & delivery care, it'll take some pressure off the public system and save us some money in the short term, but then what happens? Once the lefties decide they can't deny expectant mothers choice in where to have their babies, they're going to start pressuring us to make the public system as good as the cash option! Then what the hell are we going to do? Better we just stick with the status quo, and keep pretending that health care is the only commodity that is so important and complicated that only the government is equipped to provide it." Or something.

2) Jay Jardine points us to this arbitrary, pointless, and shameful application of the law in Nova Scotia (with convenient names for easy analogizing!). This actually makes me mad, and I don't get mad about anything.
  • The case of beer and the bottles of wine were unopened
  • They were as inconveniently located as possible in the truck cab
  • The government owns the drive-through liquor store where he purchased them
  • The cop not only cited him for the violation, but made him dump out the booze into the gutter. Demeaning, indeed. How about, um, illegal?
The judge said, in effect, that laws applied unevenly must still be obeyed. OK, in general, but surely there is a limit to this principle, when the defendant can reasonably conclude he is being harassed. Again, the frickin' government owns the drive-through liquor store, and the cop's actions certainly indicate harassment, as opposed to by-the-book anal retentiveness

3) Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada still seem intent on portraying themselves as basically the same as the Liberals, just more honest. Is it really too much of me to ask that he at least give occasional lip service to the notion that the federal government is not the solution to every problem in Canada? More on this another day, perhaps in Billy.

4) Ralph. All my hopes when Sheriff Steve West returned to be the premier's chief of staff have been dashed. The present election campaign is a non-event. The Liberals and NDP can't hardly dream of outspending him. The Alberta Alliance is still new, and well, crappy. Remarkably, they have shown very little inclination to seriously challenge the PCs from the right - all I've seen are merely different and ostensibly better proposals for spending my money. Consequence - they're going nowhere.

Good day to you all! Babble off. (Þ)


At 10:42 a.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

I'm flattered by the stylistic reference.

I'd be more flattered if you'd chosen to refer to my brilliant commentary, but I guess that would mean I'd have to start writing brilliant commentary. I'll work on that.

BTW, I thought the same thing: you might be able to ticket a guy, but you can't force him to pour perfectly good booze into the dirt, can you? The horror!


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