Posted by: dave1949 | 2012/08/29

Common Wealth For an Uncommon country.

    Lately as I watched the opening of the Olympic games in London I was struck by the number of countries coming in that were or are part of the British CommonWealth. That got me thinking about the idea of common wealth and government.
    I suggest that it is time we stopped referring to government as something other than ourselves. Our government is not an alien force separate and foreign to us. Our government is the agent we select to manage the assets of our society we deem too important to be left to the machinations of the profit motive alone.
    We are blessed by a tradition developed over the past centuries of having a government that is responsible to we the people. We task that government with organizing and managing those things we value to the point of forcing the behavior of our citizens. It is right and proper to spend time and effort in deciding exactly what those things are. The call for more governing or less governing of our lives by the wishes of the majority is valid political discourse. Some of our functions are too large, complex or dangerous to be left to the whims of the market. Some of our functions are too important to be left to decisions based solely on whether or not they are profitable.
    We have the benefit in this nation of having vast public,common assets. Land held for parks, schools for all citizens, hospitals for anyone ill, police vastly unbiased, fire protection service for all who need it.  We have military power put to use to protect Canadians rather than controlling us and a judicial system both criminal and civil that is the envy of most of the world.
    How much of these functions should be controlled by government and how much we as citizens should be coerced to pay for these services is open to civilized debate. Wherever you like to see the line drawn on these things however it is plain that the government we have acts as our agent in managing them not as some foreign entity forcing us to do what we don’t want and taking from us freedoms we value.
    I personally am pretty far towards the left side of our political spectrum. I am happy that our medical, educational, and justice systems are so well controlled and built by our governments. I wish that business was more rather than less controlled and forced to operate for the benefit of society as well as for profit. I have relatives much farther to the right. They feel our government controls too much of our society and requires too much of our wealth in taxes to do so.
    Both sides however are aware that the government we have is one we put in place. The government is not different from us it is us. The government is put in place to organize and operate the areas of our society we wish.
    Living in any society requires that the individual must surrender some personal freedom and autonomy in order to gain the shared assets of the society. THe common wealth of our nation is great compared to most places on earth. The use of these common areas is one of the things that makes living in Canada such a benefit compared to most places in the world.
    No government is ever perfect. No one wants government waste or intrusion into our lives any more than is necessary to run our society but no one who is intellectually honest can complain about our government abusing our freedom. Let’s not get caught up in belittling the politicians and parties we disagree with but spend our energy trying to promote what we feel is best for Canada without dropping into hatred and anger towards those who feel differently about our society.


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