Sunday, 24 April 2011

Courage in the face of Despair - I'm Voting for the Social Economy

While the Liberals and Conservatives spout on about how well each has handled Canada's financial economy they are both equally guilty of ignoring Canada's social economy.

What is the social economy?  Well it is wide range of community, voluntary and not-for-profit activities. The social economy has a distinct and valuable role to play in helping create a strong, sustainable, prosperous and inclusive society.
Successful social economy organisations can play an important role in helping deliver many key governmental policy objectives by:
  • helping to drive up productivity and competitiveness;
  • contributing to socially inclusive wealth creation;
  • enabling individuals and communities to work towards regenerating their local neighbourhoods;
  • showing new ways to deliver public services; and
  • helping to develop an inclusive society and active citizenship.

The governments of the last couple of decades have bee systematically choking this economy by cutting funding.  And the Conservative government under Stephen Harper has increased the rate and depth of these cuts at an alarming rate.

The Conservative party sees no value in the social economy as demonstrated by their actions.  The Liberal party talks about social programs while campaigning but treat them as luxuries rather then essential to maintaining the Canadian standard of living.  And then there are the NDP, they have often been described as the conscience of the House of Commons.  Fighting continually to preserve the and enhance the government services and programs that benefit the 98.5% of Canadian society that is not independently wealthy.  Unfortunately due to their lack of numbers the House of Commons' conscience is often ignored.

For too long the NDP have been treated like children by the Conservatives and Liberals.  The reds and the blues pat the NDP on the head and tell them and the Canadian people "That just the way things are."  "That's the way things have to be"  The people that believe this myth feel powerless and some of  them stop voting.  Result: More of the same.

Liberals and Conservatives say the NDP will never win an election.  Repeating that phrase over and over until even the people who vote NDP believe it to be true.  Some more progressive people either change their vote or stop voting.
Result: More of the same.

Let's hope that this time something different happens.  That people will have the courage to try for change even if they think it will never happen.  Apathy it the status quo's best friend.

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