By Craig Funston
Joke: What’s the difference between a Third World dictatorship and the current Alberta government? Don’t know? Well, that’s not surprising.
I don’t know how many columns that I have pointed out the struggles of any socialist (read: NDP) government. They have proven to be great leaders of the opposition, but completely inept when they actually form the government.
Present Canadian history (the last twenty years or so) would show a trail of NDP-led governments of BC, SK, MB, and ON. But if one hadn’t studied present Canadian history, that could explain why so many voted for the NDP last May.
Do I hate the NDP? Of course not; I’m sure many of the politicians are fine people. I simply hate their policies, and the way they are destroying our finances, families, and future. I can discuss them at length; so long as I don’t diss or cuss them.
That notwithstanding, I am alarmed beyond words at the direction this province is going. Remember the days when Alberta was leading the way for all of Canada? Well, they still are, but in a much different direction.
One reason that I am alarmed is that there is a desperate loss of freedom of choice. Education, as an example, used to be marked by choice—public, alternative, charter, parochial, even home education. Choice is another word for options, but we seem to be running out of options under this current government’s mandate. (Hello: Bill 10)
The other loss is that of freedom of speech, so, openly questioning government policies is not only not encouraged, it is discouraged (a much stronger word). I even have second thoughts about opining in this column sometimes. Words are only words, as long as there are no threats or hate-mongering. There is no place for that at all. Freedom to express oneself publicly, even to disagree with the government, was one pillar of a free democracy.
How much input did we have on Bill 10? Or did anyone have any sense of being heard on Bill 6? For that matter, did anyone see Bill 6 coming? Whatever happened to legitimate townhall meetings? Can you spell R-E-F-E-R-E-N-D-U-M?
Maybe the biggest scare of all is, What mad bill is next?
Back to Bill 10: I know it was introduced by the not-so-conservative Conservatives last year. In the minds of true conservatives, that was one reason they were finished off in May. The NDP could have helped their own cause (and that of all Albertans) by modifying or even killing Bill 10.
Reaction to this lastest nonsense—aka “guidelines and practices” (Bill 10)– is now cutting across every form of education, every church and denomination, and every social class. I wonder if the Hutterites will go for it. Hardly. The Muslim schools? Not a chance. The congragated Mennonite sites. Are you kidding me? No, they will probably get an exemption.
However, certain schools systems of faith—eg., Roman Catholic and Protestant– are seemingly not exempt at this stage, and there’s the rub. One standard for some, a different one for others smacks of a double standard. If this had been done by the Tories in recent years, there would be no end of the howling from the left.
I believe we need to show the respect due to fellow human beings, but not at the expense of historical social order. (Maurice, that would be family). I think, in addition, that all humans must be treated this way, not just a very select and loud few.
Strange, but some of the motivation for this new policy is to prevent bullying. So how is it that in order to prevent bullying of the few the many get bullied? There is no place for bullying either way.
In other words, are the anti-bullies now the new bullies?