The best government

There is a political class in Canada known as the Laurentians. 

Centred in the Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto triangle, they believe that we should defer to our betters.  And our betters are the politicians and civil servants who spend our hard-earned tax dollars.

A Laurentian can be identified by his attitudes towards government:

“He conceives that the business of the magistrate is not merely to see that the persons and property of the people are secure from attack, but that he ought to be a jack-of-all-trades, architect, engineer, schoolmaster, merchant, theologian, a Lady Bountiful in every parish, a Paul Pry in every house, spying, eavesdropping, relieving, admonishing, spending our money for us.  His principle is, if we understand it rightly, that no man can do anything so well for himself as his rulers, be they who they may, can do it for him, and that a government approaches nearer and nearer to perfection in proportion as it interferes more and more with the habits and notions of individuals.”

This quote from McCauley is a description of Robert Southey, an author, poet, politician and biographer.  He was born in 1785 and died in 1843.  A very bright guy.  Well-regarded in many circles.  Though he lived long ago, he would be greeted with approbation by the Canadian Laurentian Crowd.

But he would hear no applause or agreement from me.  The poverty of his soul is shown in his attitudes towards government and its magistrates, which are premised on his views of man and the judgements that men make.  He believes that men, when left alone, make bad judgements and decisions.  And that men can and should be saved from these bad judgements and decisions by governments and their magistrates.  And he believes that a consequence-free environment is good for mankind.

Though he lived long ago, he could easily be a member of that precious class known as Canadian Laurentians today.  And they, like him, are misguided.

The better view, commonly found in western Canada, is men, left to their own devices, generally make sound and good judgements and decisions.  Men cannot be saved from their judgements and decisions.  And men should be keenly aware of the consequences of their judgements and decisions.

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