Friday, January 6, 2012

Free market tested and works?

The Canadian Conservative government under Harper and now with a majority government with less than 25 percent overall Canadian voter support, is on a campaign of changing Canada's ideology of reliance on public service to a reliance on the private sector. Evidences of this shift are the Conservative government's weakening of the Canadian Wheat Board by making participation in it voluntary, significant behind the scenes slashing of public service sectors such as Environment Canada in which many of the staff have been dismissed, increased government consultation contracts for Canadian right-wing think tanks, and remarks from the Conservatives like Harper that the market is tested.

The issue I have with the Conservative approach is that this organization fails to see the limitations and failures of the marketplace. For examples, the US recent economic recession was linked directly to the lack of regulation of the US marketplace, marketplace corruption such as Enron, market unfairness through favoritism, inequities, and illegal deals, and most important, a subjective valuation of things, objects, and life-forms.

The marketplace which the Conservative's put so much faith in is far, far from perfect.

In relation to democracy, the Conservative market approach does not apply. Based on the FDA electoral findings, there is a severely unfair free market democracy in Canada, in which established and large political parties through their own rules which must apply to all, have an enormous electoral advantage over smaller and new political parties. (See the FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Canada.) So much for an equal playing field and fair market democracy. To put this in context, the Conservatives offer nothing to deal with this electoral shortcoming, and instead focus of electoral reforms which benefit them such as cutting party subsidies (which would do more harm to the NDP and Liberals than the Conservatives).

My advice to Canadians over the next few years when you are being bombarded directly and indirectly with the free market ideology of the Conservative government and its right-wing think tanks, to think about how free and fair the Canadian marketplace is, how things are valued monetarily in it like water and air, and consider the idea that there is a failed disconnect in the ideology of the Conservatives and the free market when it comes to Canadian democracy.

I am not proposing to do away with the marketplace; however, checks and regulations are necessary, as an unrestrained marketplace leads to social inequities, increased environmental harm and corruption etc., and most important the marketplace due to biases, inequities riddled through it falls well short of an accurate valuation of things and people. We see this in the case of the polar bear which the Conservative government has so failed to provide any protection despite the bear's threatened existence or the government's failure to deal with mounting national and global environmental issues like global warming, and the lack of plurality in Canadian mass media. (Countries like France and Bolivia have media ownership concentration laws; Canada has none.)

FDA Electoral Fairness Report on Canada

No comments:

Leave a Comment

Thank you for sharing your perspective.