Well, Redford has only been in power for a scant few months but it is very clear that she intends to continue and even increase the intrusive nature of our provincial government. Not satisfied with Stelmach’s intrusions on private business through minimum product pricing and strict regulation of sales, Redford went further through utilizing loopholes in our laws so that legal drivers may be punished for having a drink or two despite being well under the legal limit. That pesky legal process and defense thing was neatly sidestepped as Alison’s temperance bill was rammed through the legislature.
Next Allison began the process of increasing taxation on products that she considers to be sinful. It is of course for our own good. We cannot be trusted to make decisions for ourselves so Alison has kindly taken it upon herself to guide our actions and punish us should we stray from the moral course that she has determined for us.
Now Redford has moved into considering intrusive legislation telling us how we may behave around our children while on what we consider to be our own property. I say consider as we really don’t have legislated property rights and the Progressive Conservatives have never failed to take advantage of that Charter shortcoming. Mom Redford want’s to ban smoking in vehicles with children. Once that law is in place it only makes sense to ban smoking in households with children in them. Perhaps monitors will be placed in our homes or a special force will perform snap inspections upon us. As long as that rallying cry of it being for our own good and it being “for the children!!!” is used it is beyond question no?
Now it is indeed beyond question that smoking in enclosed spaces with kids can’t be good for them. The question though is how far should government go in directing our actions? How intrusive will government get? How many more decisions will be taken from parents as Redford determines that it may be bad for kids?
Second hand smoke is far from the leading cause of health issues for children. If government is really serious about coming into our households and raising our kids, they had better look at some of the real issues.
Overweight children leading sedentary lives have a great assortment of health challenges. Type II diabetes is getting diagnosed at earlier and earlier ages due to childhood obesity. Further issues of heart problems and injuries often come with very overweight kids.
Now having proven that obesity causes harm to children, Alison may feel fully justified in interfering with our lives and decisions for the sake of the children. Where shall she begin? The Progressive Conservatives love finding new ways to tax people and business. A “fat tax” has been proposed many times before by nanny statists. I am sure Redford would love to tax us all for daring to eat what she considers to be unhealthy foods.
Perhaps a minimum age can be applied for fast food establishments. Maybe we can ban pizza delivery from households with children in them. Perhaps Alison’s personal cigarette inspection force can check refrigerators while they storm our houses in case we have fattening food hidden within them. We can fine people who dare keep a wayward chocolate bar or can of ravioli instead of broccoli and carrots.
Of course, healthy eating is only half of the equation. Kids need excersise as well. Now here we hit a conundrum. You see, play and sports are leading causes of injury among kids. Redford can’t simply allow kids to run amok skinning knees and breaking bones. While helmet wearing is enforced, bikes still cause thousands of injuries to children every year. Bike riding must simply be banned until adulthood when Nenshi can take over and force these healthy new adults to bike to work in winter in his new green utopia.
Baseball, football, hockey, skiing, horseback riding, tennis, track and field, basketball, soccer, ringette, lacrosse, roller blading, tobogganing, tag, duck duck duck goose and countless other childhood activities cause inevitable injury. These activities must be halted.
Nerf balls will be issued to all households as the sole sporting good.
Physical education in schools will consist of closely monitored yoga. Schools will provide great opportunity for further monitoring of children though lunchbag inspections and weight monitoring. Alison’s recent purchase of the Alberta Teachers union will greatly facilitate these changes.
Household accidents are a leading cause of childhood death/injuries. Houses with children will need to be inspected to ensure all electrical outlets are blocked. All cars will be equipped with backup alarms and cameras (at owner expense of course). Dangerous cleaning items can’t simply be regulated, they must be banned!! People can clean with water and sand. We can’t risk bleach! Remember, it’s for the children!!!
Safety tips will be mandated and worn on shirts by parents (at owner expense of course). Those darned kids won’t be running with scissors again any time soon if Mom Redford has her way!
Why stop at childhood though? Injuries among adults are costing health dollars too. Mandated padded safety suits shall be worn at all times!
While all of the above sounds unrealistic, it is a reflection of the trend that the Redford government is following. Personal rights are being violated in the name of the patronizing attitude of government regulating our behavior “for our own good”. These trends do not stop nor do they become more rational as time passes. Regulations continue to grow (as well as punishments) as nanny statists find more and more ways to try and control all of our actions. Anybody who has worked on an oil project where the safety guys have run amok can understand this. The controllers can cripple all activity with no regard for outcomes.
I am not saying that it is good to smoke around kids nor is it good to let them lay around eating cheeseburgers until they bloat. What I am saying though is that it is not the governments job to determine these things for us nor is it government’s role to regulate and guide of our personal choices through means of punishment and force. It is clear that Redford does not trust us to make our own choices in life and she is more than willing to take on the role of nanny for us all.
If we allow the simplistic justification of child protection with every new intrusion in our lives and choices by government, then all of the above examples I set are not beyond reality whatsoever. Government control is an incremental thing and the frog in water analogy works very well when it comes to the controlling actions of nanny statists.
Alberta has long been a province known for compassionate individualism and laissez faire practices. We have allowed government to erode those principles and Redford is proving herself to be the greatest threat to our personal freedoms of them all.
Soon (we don’t know for sure when due to Redford lying about electoral reform) we will have a provincial election. This will be an important one as if we give Redford a strong mandate we will be assuring ourselves of rampant and intrusive government growth for at least four years. We need to work hard to ensure she does not get that chance.