Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Regulated to Death

In my last missive, I dealt with the Liberals' Mike Harris obsession, one they appear to have no intention of letting go of. Today, we'll crack open another Liberal chestnut, specifically, Deregulation Kills.

It's an unfortunate reality that people die every day, but in the Liberal universe, people *only* die because of conservative ideology. Some conservative somewhere sometime did something or didn't do something and people are dying today (or will die in the future) because of it. If everyone was a Liberal, everyone would presumably live forever, as the Nickelback song clearly demonstrates.

Accidents of any sort are due to a lack of regulation in the Liberal universe.  That's why we have laws enforcing zero blood alcohol levels for teenagers and banning street racing. For the longest time, we were without a law banning cell phones in cars, for which many people chided McGuinty for being out of step with the rest of the civilized world. The idea is if we ban things RELATED to automobile accidents, people won't find other ways to kill each other and themselves with their cars. The ultimate solution is of course to declare war on the car itself.

Gun crime in Toronto is due to handguns coming from the United States, and, more importantly, the lack of regulation banning handguns. While the outgoing mayor is the biggest proponent of this particular idea, the Premier is a strong supporter of the ban. It couldn't be that criminals will find other ways to import handguns or just use other weapons to commit crimes. Pitbulls bite people, so the obvious solution is to ban them. In this case, even the Toronto Star conceded that the ban hasn't stopped dogs from biting people, which begs the question of why they thought a piece of paper written by the government would alter dog biology so that the dogs would stop doing what they've done since forever.

You can try this same fun thought experiment in any setting. Watch an episode of Mad Men with your friends. Why do they cover their eyes whenever a character casually lights up a cigarette or drinks heavily? Because they can't believe that at one point in time, it was OK to behave that way. The whole thing smacks of deregulation and conservative attitudes and simply WON'T DO and that's why we have eliminated smoking and binge drinking in our enlightened and much more regulated era. Well, no, we actually haven't done that, but that's because those deregulatory attitudes from back then are still with us. Fifty years after Don Draper, he and his Neanderthal ideas are the cause of all those deaths due to smoking and alcoholism today. See how convenient and easy it is to blame everything on deregulation?

The Ontario Liberals like to stop just short of saying that Mike Harris and his government murdered the people of Walkerton. And obviously, since the PC Party of Ontario and everyone else concerned wouldn't have LEARNED anything from Walkerton in the ensuing decade, the implication is that people will start dropping dead of tainted water the second we elect a Tim Hudak government, one decade later. Of course I could point out that there were a number of factors that contributed to the Walkerton tragedy- incompetence, local cover-ups, and an NDP government that split off responsibility for management of water treatment plants from the Ministry of Environment, but doing that would make Bob Rae look bad, and we can't have that.

Yet- somehow- people continue to die under the McGuinty government. When bad things happen to people under Dalton McGuinty's government, and it can't be linked to Mike Harris, the first thing Dalton usually does is blame Stephen Harper. Seniors end their days in poorly maintained retirement homes in Dalton's Ontario. Sick and dying patients can't access ERs. During an H1N1 outbreak last year, when people such as 13 year old Evan Frusataglio were dying, McGuinty said he wouldn't force people to get the vaccine. Should we therefore blame Dalton for Evan Frustaglio's death?

Uber-statist Michael Bryant, he of the "reverse Reaganism" theory, decided that the government must be given total authority to decide who shall live and who shall die. Soon afterwards, he put his theory into practice by killing Darcy Allan Sheppard. ("But Mr. J, he did 'what anyone else would have done!!!'"....Funny, I never hear about any attempted carjackings that end with the victim killing the carjacker. Must be those unreported crimes I've been hearing so much about.) Also, it's worth pointing out that Bryant did this with his car, despite the ban on street racing, talking on cell phones, blood alcohol levels, etc. etc.

Regulation doesn't prevent death. Deregulation doesn't cause it. Death (like taxes) will continue to be a fact of life under the McGuinty government, or any government.

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