Canadians pay a lot of money every year. They pay a GST and PST or HST, they pay income taxes, they pay payroll taxes, they pay municipal property taxes and there is a tax for almost everything in Canada. These taxes overlap and soon we all find ourselves struggling to balance our budgets and wondering why money disappears so fast. Meanwhile, government officials tell us that they are doing their best to manage budgets which in most cases are in deep deficits and are leading up to huge debts and budget run offs. The money that we pay is supposed to go toward infrastructure and the services we count on and every time our taxes are raised, there is a promise for better service. Ironically, as taxes increase throughout the country, the quality of our roads and infrastructure, our education and healthcare, and the safety net that we are obliged to fund are all deteriorating. As we speak, public servants with inflated salaries and perks are going on spending sprees and having their unions try to hold taxpayers as hostages. As we speak, government officials are wasting our money and in some cases, even allegedly funding organized crime. Government and bureaucracy in Canada: hand in hand, putting their hands in the public piggy bank, it is time for change.
In the next election, the Conservatives will try to defend an economic record that they don’t have and the NDP will be trying to win over former occupiers with an elaborate tax the rich scheme, followed by huge spending sprees. While these political parties work toward their future gimmicks, people, like you and like me are being left on the sidelines to watch as they take our wallets for a ride. Oil prices are climbing making travelling and food more expensive, businesses in small towns take their clients for a ride because there is no competition, internet service is slow, expensive and unreliable because a selected few own the top. Meanwhile, when it does come to our public services, the bulk of our money goes to administrative fees and management that we simply don’t need. The Harper Conservatives are boosting an already inflated government with new seats, add-ons to the senate and possibly a plan to try to make the senate into a second House of Commons all the while gerrymandering to ensure the next election yields a net profit for them to either secure or strengthen their stranglehold majority.
The abuses to our democracy are disturbing and the luxury spending made by our managers is inflating – on our tab. The Conservatives campaigned on accountability and they are safely the most corrupt government Canada has ever had. The NDP are campaigning on the sides of people and families but all the while their only focuses are political games and hypocrisy – and if we were to give them a mandate, our economy will spiral into the ground as their high expenditures and high taxes drive companies away, push families over the edge, and create a huge and unsustainable debt to GDP ratio. As for the Liberals, they’ve been beaten so hard after the past few elections for their actions and lack of vision that they are possibly the only ones who have a chance of doing things right – provided they listen and genuinely care and come up with a pragmatic plan that takes no pages from either the NDP or Conservative playbook.
When you think about the money we Canadians spend into our government and the dismal quality of services we get in return, and hear about their misspending, mismanagement and entitlements, you can’t help but wonder whether our system actually works. In short, it does not. While politicians across the country will say that everything is alright, they are digging us a hole that will take generations to fix. As they claim to fight for integrity, they are taking your money and getting the fanciest hotel rooms as if money was an indispensible resource. As we speak, your healthcare service is the result of a tiny fraction of spending, the rest was either placed into another ministry that desperately needs to catch up or into the hierarchy of bureaucracy that has the stranglehold of controlling everything. Meanwhile, these bureaucrats sit on their big public salaries and get nothing accomplished because accomplishing something would essentially make them redundant and make them lose their jobs. Meanwhile, when governments do hand down cuts and ask ministries to look in the mirror and look for savings, they always look to the bottom and most important ends rather than the upper core that is the most expensive and most wasteful and this is why our services suffer every time a government brainlessly and carelessly cuts. Kid me not, these cuts are needed, but no one in the political spectrum as we speak has the brains or courage to make them. There are serious reforms and cuts that must be made that frankly will forever change the face of government and bureaucracy.
Scrap the senate, reform the electoral system and you will shrink a huge government load. When you use a voting system that makes every vote count, you can have 100 seats, 300 seats, 50 seats and still have the exact same representation. Getting rid of bulky admin means there are less layers of bosses, let’s face it, the bottom end of bureaucracy isn’t the problem but they are always targeted first because their bosses don’t want to lose those nice pay checks and bonuses. Cut out the bulk and keep the necessary and you won’t lose too many jobs, but you will save a lot of money. Many of these departments are also underfunded and outdated making a simple task take forever. If governments would have gotten over their power-trip agendas and benefits, and did the right thing, our infrastructure would be updated and this in itself would create savings as tasks become more efficient and less time-consuming. If you ensure that the workers are specialized and don’t overlap, you can have 2 people looking at a claim rather than an office which too will save time and money.
This, however, isn’t all. We are entering the 21st century and many political parties are looking to the 1900s for inspiration. The NDP would repatriate everything, a move that would take us back to the protectionist days of the Great Depression. Supporters always favor the move and argue that it keeps money in a given country but they fail to realize that their standard of living can only be as high as the cheapness of the ability to create it. By having countries specialize in different domains and actively share, we all save money and the cost of living stays low. Impose the old protectionist ways that make an inter-country economy and the cost of food and essentials will be based upon the cost of production and transportation and the cost of salaries. Does anyone here want to pull off a China to keep prices low for selected people to be able to afford the products and life in general? If you impose a minimum wage in this kind of society, everyone with that minimum wage will be in poverty and the country in itself will stagnate. Nationalizing the banks will not only send this country into hyperinflation, it will drive our debts and size through the ceiling and the reality is, Canada's economy will implode – do the math. Even more reason why Canada cannot afford an NDP government that would impose unrealistic and purely philosophical economics on us and hurt the people it claims to protect.
Canada needs a pragmatic and forward-thinking plan for the 21st century. Canada has the technological capabilities to make industry and governance more cost effective and overall efficient which in the long term is an economic move that would lead to environmental sustainability. All of those who are in the past, like the Conservatives, and think that it is a choice between one and the other are wrong, the reality is, that our wasteful and stagnant economy and government is squarely to blame for every problem we have in Canada, especially the environmental crisis.
The Conservatives will continue imposing their multi-billion dollar crime agenda, multi-billon dollar plane agenda, and their huge increases in government size and bureaucracy based on the handbook that was written by the Reform Party over a decade ago – nothing pragmatic, all ideological. The NDP will continue to preach in 1900’s economic policy that is grossly outdated and won’t work along with using hypocritical and hyper partisan ways to gain their only mission: power.
This article may come across as squarely opinionated but I am just calling it as I see it and that is the great thing about freedom of speech, something the Conservatives are actively trying to take away. It feels like the feudal days: we have a big government that controls every aspect of life and as the peasants get poorer, the kings use their money to go on luxury spending sprees and the pennies that they devote to the people get shared amongst a crowd of sharks that share the bulk as they carelessly service the worst quality imaginable. Some believe the solution is tax and spending regimes but these have brought much of Europe to the brink of peril. Others say we should sacrifice our services because they are the most costly. Both extremes are wrong and are both cover-ups for the real problem: government management.
As we enter the 21st century, Canada should become more democratic, not less; Canadians should have more control over their services, not less; and the endless trail of bureaucracy that has been regulating and imposing upon our economy have got to go. Opening the market would allow innovation and if Canadian companies falter, it is their fault for doing nothing to move themselves or Canada forward and it is because they chose to operate on greed rather than good service. Canada’s economy needs to be whipped into shape and as long as you can have a selected few companies hold a monopoly over markets and for as long as government can dictate on people and companies alike, we will never see progress. We are entering the 21st century, now is not the time to repeat the 1900s or try to revert back to it. Now is the time to move forward and that means that for many government officials and bureaucrats: your free ride on the backs of hard working taxpayers is over.
To put things into context, look at Tony Clement’s Gazebos and G20 fiasco (over $2 million), Harper’s plane ride to a hockey game, the military chief’s ride plane ride to the Bahamas (cumulative expenses of over $1 million since 2008) and look at Peter Mackay whom chose to put the most luxurious hotels on the tax payer’s tabs as he made his staff get the cheapest ($1,452 per day for MacKay and $239 per day for his staff). Look at the bureaucrat in charge of Aboriginal financing who charged close to $40,000 dollars to government credit cards for a Vegas vacation, pricey pizza dinners and an online game where users can spend real money in a virtual world. These are just some highlights and I am sure that in time their individual costs and the costs of other government and bureaucracy members will come to light, the waste is incredible, we haven’t seen anything yet. Look at the huge salaries of many high-ranking public servants. Look at the hospital in London Ontario that built a new wing exclusively for admin offices with tax payer money. Look at the allegations that the Quebec construction agency, along with Charest’s government are deeply tied to the mafia. Kings and peasants is the name of the game and as the Conservatives and NDP look backward, it is time for Canadians to come together, override them, and move forward. We don’t need tax hikes, we don’t need to sacrifice our services, a cleanup, reallocation of money and resources and a re-innovation project is necessary and not one of the present political parties as it stands today has the guts or brains to do the right thing. It is time as Canadians that we demand better and that we work towards building the Canada of the 21st century, which has the potential of leading the world.