Sunday, May 15, 2005

Subsidiarity - Some thoughts (okay, and a rant or two)

On several occasions recently, the concept of "subsidiarity" has come up. It's one of those things that I find extremely enlightening, in the sense that much of the political mess that I see in current (Canadian, especially) society can be attributed to politicians slapping this word in the face, then going back to what they were already doing - our slow 'enslavement' becomes understandable through understanding the term.

I could (and may later) find a good on-line definition for the term, but I'll do it from memory for now (Update: here's a definition from Wikipedia). Essentially, it means allowing/encouraging/strenghtening those levels of society closest to the needs/problems in society to actually deal with those needs and problems. For example, expecting the family to teach sex ed, simply because there is no other institution that can adequately respond to imparting knowledge/values/etc. organically as the child is ready to receive it.

Of course, that wasn't the topic that brought up the term. No, it came up as people have been wrestling/debating why the heck the federal Liberal Party is doing everything in its power to promise money to everybody else in Canada to solve every perceived need and problem. Why should one far-removed institution attempt to be this central to the daily lives of every bloody person in this country? Whatever happened to dealing with things locally (including the collecting of funds to do so locally, instead of asking for/expecting money from somebody in Ottawa)?

Canada has long neglected subsidiarity - witness federal campaigns waged on 'funding for health care', when health care is under provincial jurisdiction. Much of the squabbling in our country from region to region would disappear almost overnight if we didn't expect the federal government to collect taxes for everything and then return them to us to pay for everything. If, instead, provincial issues were taxed and completely dealt with provincially, provincial governments would be under the gun to become more efficient, instead of our premiers running off to Ottawa to beg for more alms from our federal benefactors. It seems like a certainty to me that Canadians would talk less harshly about each other if we weren't constantly given these reasons to resent each other.

I've been thinking of Canadians (in light of Paul Martin's "I'll spend as much of your money as it takes to buy your votes and stay in power tour") as pigs at a trough. If you've ever seen it (and many of you have more than I), you'll know that they fight each other to get their share. How would it be if they were allowed to find their own little area to wander in and feed, instead of being at the mercy of the slop-provider who put them in the pen in the first place. As far as I can tell, we are slowly being smothered of our freedom.


Blogger Linda said...

Prior to joining the blogosphere, I was islandermom on AC and commented on subsidiarity -- glad someone else gets the importance of this principle. Great stuff on it at -- love that site. (what is that HTML for links?!!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:28:00 p.m.  
Blogger Cyrano said...

I can't show the html for links exactly, because it'll just 'do it'. I'll type one in - replace the brackets with triangle brackets.

(a href="")The Great Pumpkin(/a)

There you go, Linda - thanks for stopping by ;)

I have the acton link in my favourites, but haven't properly explored it yet.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:59:00 p.m.  
Blogger Linda said...

Thanks, Cyrano - as a blogger, I'd better brush up on this stuff, nit-picky as it may be -- as Snoopy would say, "Bleeehhhh!"

Thursday, May 19, 2005 2:25:00 p.m.  

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