We focus on the wrong things, real problems are unaddressed, and spending more money is always seen as the answer. The longer this goes on, the more our problems will accumulate.
On a technical level, it has never been easier or more feasible for Canadians to be almost completely free of government control.
The amount of information available to us in an instant makes centralized control almost pointless, as individuals have access to more information at a lower cost than any previous generation could have dreamed of.
The idea that we need government to ‘coordinate’ things should be steadily eroding, since government coordination is far slower than the self-organizing networks generated by individuals.
Unfortunately, the more technology makes decentralization possible, the more those in power (and much of the public) are doubling and tripling-down on expanding the power and role of the state.
Alongside that expanded government role, our political parties themselves are becoming more and more centralized.
Consider for instance how Justin Trudeau is able to push out anyone in the Liberal Party who sees through his manipulative façade.
Consider how Erin O’Toole was able to betray promises and shift the CPC to the left without seeking the input of party members or MPs.
In an era in which finding out what people think and want is easier than ever before, our governments and political parties have become more and more closed-in and centralized in the hands of one person and their small coterie of sycophants.
The answer is always ‘more money’
This centralization of our government and political parties results in the same problems we saw in centralized authoritarian states:
A complete lack of creativity.
Consider how the answer to every problem in our society is always to spend ‘more money’ on it.
In the 2021 campaign, the Liberals, CPC, and NDP all competed to promise the most money, without even acknowledging that the government doesn’t actually generate any money at all, but instead takes it from all of us through forcible taxation.
It’s the ultimate in laziness to think that the only way to fix a problem is to spend more money on it, without thinking of how things could be done better, more efficiently, or in the case of many government programs, not done at all.
None of that even enters the conversation anymore.
Instead, it’s just about how much money someone can promise to throw at an issue in the hope it will be fixed.
A discredited approach
Another deep flaw in centralized systems is their inability to adapt or respond to clear ongoing errors.
Consider our healthcare system.
It is by far the largest portion of government spending, with a huge percentage of our tax dollars going towards it.
It is also objectively bad.
During the past year and a half, any claim that Canada has a strong healthcare system has been demolished.
Even in comparison to the US system that many Canadians love to disparage, our healthcare system is brutally underperforming.
For example, Alberta has a population of about 4.4 million people. The state of Alabama has a population of about 4.9 million.
Alberta’s healthcare system is ‘about to collapse’ with roughly 300 people in the ICU, with the government claiming they are out of ICU beds.
By contrast, Alabama has over 1,500 ICU beds.
Alabama is also one of the poorer states in the USA, yet even so they absolutely demolish Alberta in terms of ICU capacity.
And Alberta is no outlier in Canada. ICU capacity is shockingly low across our nation.
In Manitoba, the government said they were running out of ICU beds with fewer than 100 people in intensive care.
In short, the system that we spend a gargantuan amount of money on has shown itself to be weak, dysfunctional, and unable to handle a crisis.
Ignoring root causes
Let’s do a little thought experiment:
What if Canada was a very healthy nation, with a miniscule obesity rate, high levels of physical activity, a focus on physical fitness from a very young age in our school system, and big time tax incentives to make healthy food and fitness equipment more affordable?
What if we had spent the past 10 years seeking to make Canada the healthiest nation on Earth, emphasizing it as a key value and a key goal for Canadians?
What would the past two years have looked like?
We can be sure it would have looked quite different.
The link between covid-19 outcomes and obesity is now undeniable, yet this massively widespread ‘underlying condition’ (which was already deeply straining our healthcare system), has gone unaddressed.
A recent comment in response to Ontario’s latest covid update summed things up perfectly:
“It would of made a world of difference if 18 months ago, our public health officials would of emphasized the importance of a healthy lifestyle along with all the measures and vaccines, as tools to fight this pandemic. But of course they didn’t because that would of been “insulting” to a lot of people. So here we are, a society sicker then ever, gaslight the healthy and still no road map to normal life even with 80% fully vaccinated.”
Indeed, obesity, including childhood obesity is surging in many parts of the world including Canada. About 40% of Canadians say they have put on weight during the pandemic.
Let’s really think about this for a moment:
Rather than people taking ownership of their own fitness level, rather than the government admitting that obesity is a huge problem, and rather than incentivizing losing weight and becoming healthier, we have instead decided to throw many of our freedoms in the garbage and further incentivize actions that lead to weight gain.
And then, our leaders (and much of the compliant public) have the gall to say they are ‘following the science.’
Rather than address the root problems, Canada instead decided to ignore those problems, give centralized government more power, restrict freedom, and spend an immense amount of money.
That, at its core, is why Canadian politics is broken.
We’ve lost our reverence for individual freedom, we put all power in the hands of a few people and parties, and we throw more tax dollars at every problem instead seeking to address the real issues.