Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Review of Conservative Policy

I'll give the Conservative Party a little bit of credit this time around - they are actually attempting to put some kind of policy platform forward this time around.

It's rather sad how utterly unimaginitive it really is. What got me going on this was a comment by a CPC candidate on CBC's "Cross Country Checkup" program this afternoon. According to this candidate, the party website had clear statements about giving "tax incentives to developers to build affordable housing".

I have yet to find this mystical declaration - in fact, I can't find anything on "affordable housing" on the CPC's website.

So far, the entire platform seems to consist of tax cuts and tax "incentives" (what I can only assume are another vague synonym for tax cuts).

The problem with this - in my view - is that it relies on the "goodwill" of the free market. The free market is not about goodwill - it's about making money. Period, end of statement. Look around Calgary these days, and try to find reasonable rental accomodations (e.g. something you might actually want to raise your children in) for less than $700-$750/mo. It's not out there. If you are on a limited income in this city, you face a serious problem finding a place to live, let alone worry about food.

Where the CPC is not talking about tax cuts, they are talking about giving money away. (Give them credit for one thing - they've seen how successfully King Ralph has bribed his electorate with their own money) Whether that is a $1200/yr cash handout for 'childcare', or "incentives" to developers it doesn't much matter.

It seems to me that the CPC (supposedly the "business party") doesn't understand the concept of the public's money as something to be invested with an eye to the future. Instead, their short sighted view of public money will see those dollars being frittered away on handouts which may or may not be used appropriately by their recipients, with absolutely no accountability to the public for those dollars, and no means whatsoever to measure the effectiveness of those programs.

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