Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Whose Sacred Cow?

Lawrence Martin writes this morning that Canada is about to take a sharp right turn. In the process, several of the country's sacred cows will be sent to the abattoir:

If there’s a theme, it’s market efficiency. If there’s a target, it’s some of the country’s long-standing sacred cows. The transformation, some of which will be outlined in Thursday’s budget, will incense social democrats but find big favour on the right.

From healthcare to immigration, the Harperites intend to send the entire herd to the slaughterhouse:

Start with the health-care system. Mr. Harper and company have outlined plans for funding changes that will allow provinces to spend federal cash as they like, no strings attached. If provinces wish to go the privatization route, they’ll be free to do so.

Consistency of care has gone out the window. Now every province -- like every man and woman -- is on its own.

And the country which used to open its arms to the poor and the needy is going upmarket:

Regarding immigration, on the table is what Jason Kenney calls “transformational change”: a streamlining of the system that’s meant to blast away the backlog and allow provinces to cherry-pick newcomers, with the intent of bringing skilled professionals to the country instead of freeloaders.

The  Conservatives only have one sacred cow. The common thread that ties all of these changes together is that they are all  "market driven."  What's strange is that 2008 provided the world with cascading evidence of what happens when countries worship at that altar. But, like the residents of Jamestown, the prime minister and his party have drunk the Kool-Aide.

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