The conservation conversation

Image via www.macleans.ca

Image via www.macleans.ca

Why Conservatives get a bad rap

By Adam Tatelman, Staff Writer

About a week before the Canadian federal election, I asked my nephew whom he would vote for if he were old enough: “I don’t know,” he said, “but I wouldn’t vote for the Conservatives, because they just want everything to stay the same.” I was rather surprised. My nephew, at the ripe age of 11, had already decided that the Conservative government is for shit. It’s a simplistic analysis of course, but one that sounds eerily familiar.

All political parties have a habit of strawmanning one another in the image of their most radical respective supporters; that’s just politics. However, a strong cultural bias against the right has evolved. Conservatives are routinely regarded as out-of-touch fossils who are too greedy to share their ill-gotten gains with those less fortunate. When your average person’s perception of a political party sounds like an attack ad, I start to think that the seeds of this popular opinion are planted early on.

The difference between Liberal and Conservative ideologies is essentially the dichotomy between social welfare and self-reliance and the financial practices resulting from it. This is not to say that Conservatives would like to abolish all social welfare; rather, they want minimal government involvement in such things. Where a Liberal government would universalize these welfare programs, Conservatives are biased towards “user-pay” models.

Consider the Canada Pension Plan. Like income tax, unemployment insurance and medical services pension premiums are a payroll deduction. At age 65, retirees are entitled to reclaim this money at a monthly rate. However, if your yearly income exceeds a certain limit, you will be prohibited from reclaiming the funds. As with all welfare plans, no Canadian citizen may opt out, meaning that the Canadians who pay the highest income tax also pay for a service they are not permitted to use.

The fundamental difficulty with social welfare plans is, once they are instated, they become immortal. The more numerous and readily available they become, the less incentive there is for people to save their own money since the safety nets are so wide and deep. Higher taxes also make for greater welfare reliance, further de-incentivizing personal financial responsibility. This setup both assumes and ensures that no one can save any meaningful amount of money without government assistance.

Furthermore, there is much to suggest that expanding welfare plans is a self-defeating measure. The more social welfare plans are institutionalized, the higher spending budgets climb. This means that income taxes must be hiked in order to maintain the welfare plans. So it’s not free money, and despite constant Liberal advocacy for the working class, their proposed minimum wage hikes would be unnecessary without the tax burden created by their own welfare policies.

A certain amount of social welfare is necessary for those who cannot help themselves: the physically or mentally disabled, for instance. This is where the more conservative idea of user pay comes into play. Since those who need welfare services will be taxed anyway, allow those who wish to save their own money to opt out of any and all welfare plans. Non-compulsory insurance would go a long way toward minimizing the pitfalls of excessive welfare institutionalization by reducing the number of people who rely on it.

When Conservative governments vote down expansions to social welfare plans, it is not done out of some Scrooge McDuck motive, but rather a desire to slow the downward spiral of national indebtedness. Nobody likes to pay income tax, and yet nobody seems to recognize that, in the end, they will always pay for someone’s insurance as long as social welfare continues to expand. The Conservative goal is not to take people’s welfare away, but rather to reduce the need for welfare in the first place.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

More Posts - Website

3,519 comments on “The conservation conversation
  1. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this postt reminds me of my olld
    room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this
    post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  2. So search engines make life exceptionally simple for them by permitting them to go into a couple of key phrases, and also
    return a host of options rated as well as filed based on a variety
    of aspects that make it easier for consumers to be and
    select satisfied at the end of the transactions.

  3. Great blog! Dߋ you havе anny helpful hintѕ
    for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Wouⅼd you propose starting with a free platform
    like WordPress or gߋ for a paid option? There are so many options out
    there thаt I’m totallү confusᥱd .. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!

  4. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly loved surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing in your feed and I
    hope you write again soon!

  5. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like
    you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit,
    but other than that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

  6. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing troubles witrh yoir RSS.I
    don’t know the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anyone else getting
    identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answerr will you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  7. I’m excited to discover this site. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this
    fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you book-marked to look at
    new stuff on your blog.

  8. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of
    plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the
    web without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being stolen? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  9. It’s actually a great and useful piece of information. I
    am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us.

    Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. obviously like your web site however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of
    your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it
    very bothersome to tell the reality however I’ll definitely come again again.

  11. Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your
    content. Please let me know. Thank you

  12. whoah this weblog is fantastic i really like studying your posts.
    Stay up the good work! You understand, a lot of persons are searching round for this info,
    you can aid them greatly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*