An interesting discussion with a committed liberal the other day was the question of the purpose of our politicians. He insisted that the answer was as simple as: To spend money. I kept trying to add adjectives to that such as ‘judiciously,’ ‘wisely’ or ‘carefully.’ He wanted to keep it simple, he rejected the suggested adjectives.
I think he had a point. He was not presupposing how they would do the job nor was he holding them to be conservative, liberal or socially conscious of how they did the job. His answer was unswerving in that he considered it important that they spend the money we provide.
What he had not realized in the past was that conservatives hate to spend money and should not be hiding what they do not spend. Liberals have always been described as those ‘Tax and Spend liberals’ and are supposedly prepared to do just that. Socialists have a problem in that they differentiate between the types of spending and they tend to lavish funds on social matters, while tightening spending on matters such as policing, business or higher education.
I do not want to be accused of over-simplification, but if we keep lowering the voting age, we might have to eventually make it that simple.
But I found out that my friend had only recently read the auditor general of Ontario’s report that the Ford government has been socking away public funds that should have been used to improve social services and hospitals and in helping our municipalities build the housing that is so desperately needed.
And this was the conservative administration that ran on a slogan of “A Buck A Beer,” in 2018. They easily defeated a tight-assed liberal government that did not seem to know why it was in power.
You had to be paying close attention in the last years of the Stephen Harper regime in Ottawa to realize that those conservatives, with their majority were salting away money that they told us was for spent on the needs of Canadians. Justin Trudeau and the liberals came to power in 2015, as a breath of fresh air. Yet, even liberals sometimes forget why they are there.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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