Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What does "Progressive" mean?

Years before the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada merged back into the Conservative Party, many folks on some old online discussion groups, including myself, predicted that if the PCs and Reform Alliance were to merge, the name of the party must simply be Conservative.  This upset the red-tory camp, citing tradition, John A., blah blah, when they failed to realize John A.'s party was actually called the Liberal-Conservatives.  Anyway, the name has changed many times, and so have many principles from over 100 years ago (free trade, etc.).  (And some senators really need to get over this.)

Now, the original Progressive Party was a left-leaning populist party from the West, and when it folded, its leader became leader of the Conservatives and in 1942, merged the two names together to form the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

In some provinces, the PC Party of [province name] is barely found, if not at all--nothing in Quebec, Saskatchewan, or British Columbia.  All of these have been disbanded or rebuilt and rebranded (ADQ, Saskatchewn Party, or BC Conservatives).  Will it happen in Alberta?

So back to this word "progressive" that was lost for so many years and has seemed to be the calling of centre to left leaning liberals, socialists, and what have you. 

What does "progressive" really mean?

Simply put, it's liberals and socialists trying to rebrand themselves to make themselves sound hip and relevant.  The liberal brand is damaged.

They cite human rights, gay rights, and other social freedoms as progressive, but you know what?  Those views are already under the libertarian ideology.  

In Alberta, we really have four parties vying to be the real "progressive" choice to attract those on the left and centre-left into the fold.

But in looking at what progressives often tout as policies, it's more laws ontop of non-enforced laws, regulation, more government, more rules to make things "fair", which usually mean higher taxes, fees, less freedom, centralized decision making, bureaucracy, less democracy, and more socialism.

These folks believe they know better than you.

Any society that needs the government to create more laws, rules and regulations to manage itself is not progressive, it's regressive.  And it ain't libertarian.

And what we have here in Alberta is a very regressive Progressive government.  Their progress toward higher spending, less savings, tinkering with the idea of reintroducing health care taxes, sales taxes, and lying about not raising taxes in the last budget when they in fact did just that, might be "progressive" for a government bureaucracy to grow, but it sure as hell not progress for folks these taxes and regulations hurt.

This government spends more per capita than any other province, save Newfoundland and Labrador.  Much more than Quebec.  Think about that.  I mean, what do you expect would happen when you have the same party in power for over 40 years--that changes rules to fit their needs.

The lowest common denominator approach to implementing laws so something doesn't happen that one time ever again doesn't work, as there are already many existing laws in place that simply need to be enforced.

Take the .05 thing.  There's already a law.  Actually it's in the Canadian criminal code.  Why not enforce the existing .08 and judges not allow repeat convicted drunk drivers from driving?  Why punish those who don't break the existing criminal code?  You see, that's regressive.

Now we hear of Liquor and Gaming looking at limiting the number of drinks a patron can have by keeping track.  This was in reaction to a single incident where a man died in Ft. Mac from being served too much.  But really?  Are these bureaucrats mad?  There are already laws in place that allow and encourage bar staff to cut off obvious intoxicated patrons, even kicking them out of the establishment.  I see police walk through busy bars all the time.  Was the bar staff negligent?  Maybe, but how are they to know what preexisting conditions he has or how many drinks he had beforehand?

Take the new distracted driving law... bad drivers are bad drivers in my opinion, and studies show in many U.S. states that these laws, which are really laws upon existing unenforced laws, do nothing because the original law wasn't being enforced in the first place?

These ideas are pure nanny state governance and don't allow people to take more responsibility or use common sense.

Now, while I believe there needs to be a certain amount of planning and coordination that goes on with infrastructure--in developing land use for example, on the other hand, the other social areas, red tape and regulation goes to far and can impede the free market and responsible businesses and communities to simply do it themselves.


The government bureaucracy has gotten so big, obviously thanks to the public union influence, that it doesn't even know what's it's really doing anymore.  I know of very qualified and educated people in the Alberta public sector who have nothing to do for weeks.  Nothing.  They just go to the office, grab a coffee, and just sit at their computer and do no productive work.  While I'm not saying this doesn't happen in the private sector, there's a market cost to that and eventual correction, where in the public sector, there's nothing.  The union's there to protect your job.   Now that is only two close people in the government that I know about.  How many more are there?  How many?

And let's not forget about the "Money For Nothing" committee with MLAs.

You know I could go on and on.


So yep, all of these things sound real "progressive" regressive to me.


Is that the type of government you want?


Or how about one that progresses toward more liberty, freedom, personal, family, and community responsibility?


Because that's what "progressive" should really mean.


1 comment:

Alex said...

Exactly. May I also add 'progressive' usually carries weasel worded politically correct subterfuge with it. They can't say yes or no in less than 500 words unless you force them and even then they rationalize lying 'yes' or 'no' by changing the meaning of the question they are answering yes or no to. Irritating.

This is how these liberal progressives get away with calling themselves conservative in first place. They will rationalize a black mass on the Leg floor with human sacrifice if you let them. Just talk it all away.

The only people still hanging on to PC are the ones not paying attention. It fits the PC model of citizen as idiot.