Conrad Black: Canada suffers from unimaginative government. Here are some radical ideas
Canada is suffering from a prolonged drought of imaginative government. Nothing important and novel has been done except the unfolding legalization of marijuana
Canada is suffering from a prolonged drought of imaginative government. Since Stephen Harper bucked an otherwise universal international trend and reduced HST, and durably shrunk, as he hoped, the public sector share of the Canadian economy, our federal legislators have under-achieved. Nothing important and novel has been done except the unfolding legalization of marijuana.
There is no serious discussion of health-care reform, though Canada is one of the few countries in the world that claims to ban private medicine. We are in fact rationing medical care for many victims of chronic health problems, and have failed to advance any policy option except throwing more tax-paid funds at the question.
There is no known discussion of a constitutional update, although Quebec has elected the most avowedly federalist government since Jean Lesage, if not Maurice Duplessis, and has said it is ready to negotiate its approval of the Constitution, which was left hanging after the failure to adopt Meech Lake.
There is no approach to taxing and spending except raising both, and no discussion of penal reform, though at least the Javert-like severity of the Harper-Toews tyranny has abated. There has been no attempt to make welfare and poverty-reduction more effective, and, as was recently mentioned here, all that has happened with the aboriginals is to dismantle the commendable Harper government requirement for accountability of the native governments and leaders — thereby providing some of their leaders with a blank cheque to go on squandering billions of dollars devoted to that population, which deserves better, but not necessarily more mis-invested money.