Monday, January 9, 2012

Government Insanity

Both the municipal and provincial government seem to be suffering some kind of political insanity. Both levels of government feel they can think for the entire population whether they've been voted in or not. Not only that, they are making self serving decisions and then saying they are in the best interest of the people.

Let's start with Calgary Council. The airport tunnel is approved, fluoride is taken out of the water (even though it was put in through plebiscite), Calgary Transit is included on property taxes, illegal squatters couldn't be removed using legal methods, cycling is becoming a priority over snow removal, and this is for starters. The newest mayor makes popular decisions that suit him, forces through others as he sees fit, and bullies until he gets his way for the rest. All this is done in the best interest of Calgarians without actually consulting us.

Now, let's not forget about provincial insanity. Laws are forced through AFTER the very same laws are deemed unconstitutional in another province, a “sin tax” is being considered to increase money for the government (let’s just play with the idea of religion and politics as bedfellows), they want to force anti-smoking laws through AFTER taxing the cigarettes and it looks like the unelected premier isn't done yet. How this insanity even started in a country that calls itself a democracy is beyond me. The first set of self-important laws were put through using “power of closure”. Why? Because our new mother - I mean unelected Premier - knows what's best for Albertans and is obviously clairvoyant; she doesn't even need to ask first.

Is this how we want to run?

I believe one or two of these projects should have gone to plebiscite as they affect all of us but because the affected politicians didn't think we'd vote in their favour, plebiscite didn't happen. Instead, they said a plebiscite was too expensive and forced their pet projects through themselves. As for the other projects, they needed more analysis but again, the affected politicians felt this wouldn't be in their personal best interest so again, the pet project was forced through, avoiding the due process around which our democracy is designed. Why is this happening more often? How do we stop it?

I can think of one reason this has started. The politicians seem to think that our bank accounts are an infinite resource. If they start to run out of money, just raise taxes and begin the next multi-billion dollar project, no problem. Not only that, they increase vehicle registration, business registration, animal licensing, and so on.  That's more money for them that we have no choice but to pay. The problem is, even for those of us that can afford it, it's becoming cumbersome.

Premier Redford and Mayor Nenshi are both falling for it. They both want to increase taxes for their pet projects that are in our best interests AND they want to keep the economy moving forward. I'm not quite sure how that works though. How do we pay for all the tax and licensing increases and still get all the little extras we all enjoy... like booze for example, and then pay for a cab home? I ask again, how do we stop them from increasing all these taxes, make the insane government more accountable, and force the government out of this insanity and into efficiency?

It's obvious that the various levels of governments are on a spending spree. They need to change their methods and ideas and they need to realize that there is only one taxpayer in the end and we're getting tired. At this point, I'm asking for, begging for efficiency in government. Put a halt to new projects, fix the old ones that are falling down, maintain what's there. Stop the insanity!

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