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February 12, 2005

Another Liberal train wreck

I've been popping around the web looking for information on the great child care debacle that will soon crash down on our nation. Right now, an army of bureaucrats, consultants, lobbyists, and well-connected Liberal contractors are creating proposals on how they can use Canadian taxpayers' money to tell them how to raise their kids. The more I read, the more frightened I get. There's lots of scary stuff, but listening to the guy leading the charge, Ken Dryden ,is enough. Here's him talking about how the first massive disbursement is just an appetizer:

You start out with a commitment of $5 billion over five years for a national early learning and child care system based on quad principles: quality, universality, accessibility, developmental. Then you're faced with the challenge of how you can translate that into a system. Five billion dollars over five years—that's a lot of money, but it's a modest amount in terms of a system. A system costs a lot more than that.
There's a certain kind of organizational mind that loves 'systems'. Here's Ken again:
To me, our commitment on child care wasn't, in essence, to spend $5 billion over five years. It was to help build a system. And to use the $5 billion over five years to help do just that. This would be a special challenge. A system is big and important. It lasts for decades and decades and longer. And as you know better than anyone, we are, this moment, a long way from that system. And $5 billion over five years, a lot of money, is modest in the context of system-building.
I've written about this attitude before -- a 'system' or a 'process' allows control without confrontation. The rules get written down and approved, and by the time the people who must live and work by them become aware of them, it's too late to change anything. Ken Dryden isn't hiding this fact either:
We also need to make what we are doing as irreversible as possible. There will hard moments, moments when it will be much easier to go back than to go ahead. We need to make going back as painful as possible. With each step we all take in these next five years, it will be harder to go back. More spaces, higher quality, higher expectations and ambitions, a bigger and growing public appetite, building the pressure on each level of government, to reinforce the commitment implicit in building a system. We need to paint ourselves into a corner because it's a corner we want to be in and need to be in.
The small-government conservative in me is curled in a ball and shaking with fear.

Posted by Bruce Gottfred at February 12, 2005 09:28 PM | TrackBack

The israelis already tried this "system"; a large number of kibbutzes in the early years believed in the systematic provision of daycare (amongst other things). Children were raised in the kibbutz daycare, returning to their parents in the evenings. In these kibbutzes all the children went to the kibbutz daycare, no choices, and no choices about staying home with the children and perhaps one parent working more. Notice that this "system" has disappeared in Israel. To a certain degree the kibbutzes are democratic, and then there is always the option of leaving the kibbutz. Now, how much democracy do we have in Canada? Could we get rid of something that does not work, or would we, as seems the intention, be left with a bureaucratic albatross and all-powerful unions (a la Quebec). Or would those of us who choose to raise our own children be forced to leave the kibbutz. Okay, my children are demanding me...

Posted by: michelle at February 14, 2005 09:14 AM

I commented on this post here: .
I tried to send a trackback ping, but your trackback doesn't seem to be working at the moment.

Posted by: Trudeaupia at February 14, 2005 09:12 PM

Thanks for the link. The reason for the missed trackback is no doubt due to the miasma of technological failure that's been floating around me for the past few days. Everything's been breaking, crashing, or just plain not working. I'm glad I don't work at a nuclear power plant.

Posted by: Bruce Gottfred at February 15, 2005 08:20 AM

After reading what Dryden is doing The Communist Manifesto rises in all its perfidy in my imagination.

Then comes the Gulag, the extermination camps, the killing fields of Cambodia & etc.

But this is Canada. This cannot happen here.

This cannot happe...

This can ha....

Posted by: maz2 at February 15, 2005 05:22 PM
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