Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Platform: Intro

As I said the other day I'm going to make a few suggestions for, what I believe, would make good government policy going forward. A few of these will be recaps of things I've already suggested but most of them will be new. Since I'll no doubt be covering other things on the blog over this time, I'll be putting these under the broad heading of 'My Platform' and once it's all done I'll send it on to the members of Un-Party to get some input there.

Broadly I'll be covering arts and culture, poverty, industry and government subsidies, crime, labour/workplace reform, electoral/political reform, education, Canadian sovereignty, and aboriginal/first nations affairs and digital technology/internet.

Before I get into this though I want to lay out a bit of where I'm coming from.

I think that the general mistrust of any and all government is left over from feudal Europe. The government is us now and our taxes, rather than go to pay the expenses of feudal lords, go to pay for these that we collectively have decided need to be done - kind of like everyone chipping in to buy a gift for someone. To the extent that this isn't true it is mostly our fault for not being active enough in our politics. I will though address government corruption and expanding democracy in the electoral/political reform part of all of this.

I think that religion plays too large a role in our politics and society. I do not care about your religion or its teachings. I'm very happy for you if it means something to you but it doesn't mean anything to me. Don't get me wrong, I do believe in a higher power but I believe that virtually all organized religion and virtually all of it's leaders are interested in earthly wealth and earthly power and not in anything spiritual. The deceptions and atrocities committed by religious organizations and in their name disqualify them in my mind from having any say in anything that we choose to do or not do. I believe that faith is a personal matter and should stay that way other than as a point of friendly philosophical discussion.

I believe that Carl Marx and Adam Smith were both had their points but that both socialism and capitalism, in pure forms, are fatally flawed. 'Give according to your ability, take according to your need' is, of course, ideal. The problem is, and everyone who's ever had a job knows this, there are too many people who will do the opposite - take according to their ability and give according to their need. In other words they will take all they can while doing the minimum necessary in order for them to keep taking. On the other hand Smith's idea, that everyone acting in their own best interest all the time is ultimately best for everyone is also wrong. There are too many people who are completely selfish to the extent that they don't pay any attention to consequences for themselves or anyone else. It is this kind of thinking that has let to the current state of global poverty, the environmental crisis, the great depression and the current 'economic crisis'. The best we can do is try to find a balance between the two, one that recognizes the strengths of both systems while minimizing the flaws of each.

One final note: Many will notice that the environment isn't directly listed in the above list of topics I plan on covering. That is because the environment is such a large, pervasive and vital issue that it's impossible to talk about it without talking about nearly everything else. So I will discuss it along side many of the issues listed above, it's there, just not as a heading.

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