Monday, October 11, 2010

Fiscal Debate

Now there's something we don't practice much in Canada anymore - debate. However, I think it is critical that we have these discussions, as it tells us the direction and policy of each party.

Here's something that I'll throw on the table - why do we subsidize everything? From big business to gay parades, it seems that one of the roles of our finance department is to accept applications for funding from every group in Canada and try to figure out a way to pay for it.

Now, this is something that speaks not just to Canada's financial policy but also to the social policy. In the last couple of years, we have started to see the divide between the two major parties on how they approach social policy through the budget. Granted that the Conservative government has been reluctant to open debate in the House on many issues, they have been able to define their position through regulation and Cabinet decisions.

There is a widening divergence of policy between the Liberals and the Conservatives and I think it is important that they define their positions with respect to how they intend to spend our tax dollars in support of their social positions. I also believe that we need to have a debate on everything within the budget, including social funding. Check the link in today's Globe and Mail that shows how David Cameron is opening debate in Great Britain.

Should we be supporting the arts? The Oil Sands? Gay Parades? Hockey arenas? Big prisons? F-35 Fighter jets? I'm not advocating either way at this point, just wanting to open debate. These things need to be discussed in public and within the House of Commons, and nothing should be sacrosanct. We have a big country with a big heart but our pockets are only so deep.

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