That @cityslikr fella is onto something, as usual.
We’ve gone over this before, and we’ll no doubt go over it again (can’t you just get to the point? Jeez … — ed.), but in light of the themes that seem to be dominating the conversation, it bears repeating: to what extent does “conservatism,” as currently defined, bear on sane and sound fiscal policy?
Recall our recent wankery on The Public Good. One of the consistent messages, I hope, was that government is not a business, and should not be run like one. Several goals, some more achievable than others, I admit, but here’s one: let’s banish market fetishism and the language of the business school from any and all discussions of public policy. Government is here to serve the public good and advance the well-being of the community and its citizens. It’s not here to make a profit or enhance the brand or increase shareholder value. Any talk of deficit reduction or debt reduction needs to be evaluated in that light.
That’s lecture 1. Lecture 2 is, once again, about the meanings of words, and reclaiming the conservative tradition. I can’t stress this enough: reduced to its essence, what is conservatism other than Respect For That Which Has Gone Before? If you’re a true conservative, doesn’t that mean you work to identify and preserve what your predecessors have built?
And in the context of Toronto / Ontario / Canadian politics, doesn’t that include a generous social infrastructure? A series of programs, policies, and commitments that underpin the entire fabric of community? A wholesome ethic of mutual support, common provision, and a sense that we’re all in this together, greater than the sum of our parts? A narrative that ties it all together?
That’s essential to the Canadian character. That’s what makes us who we are. It’s one of those things that you have to respect and preserve if you want to call yourself “conservative.” You don’t get to attack it with chain saws and flaming arrows while screaming about Teh Deficit and still be in the club.
- Why conservatism needs to be rescued | #cdnpoli
- Reviving #ThePublicGood, part 6: Government is not a business | #TOpoli #onpoli #cdnpoli
- Reviving the Public Good, part 2: Winning back the words | #TOpoli #onpoli
- Don Drummond’s austerity medicine: suck it, Ontario | #onpoli
- Let’s stop fetishizing “The Market” | #cdnpoli #TOpoli #classwarfare #austerity
- The Trouble With Austerity: Economics as Ideology | via @alexhimelfarb
- @Cityslikr, Riverdale Farm, and getting business out of government | #TOpoli #publicgood