Conservatives have always argued for a kind of “rugged individualism” for the people. They believe that in order to get anywhere in life, you must work hard, put in all the effort you can, be intelligent, and then if you do all this, there is no way you cannot succeed. That all it takes is a little elbow grease and determination and all your goals will line up before you. Who can really argue with this? This is why Conservatives don’t believe in free education or free healthcare. They believe that both these things are earned, not universal rights. I just simply do not understand their argument beyond what I think is their veiled platform: “I just don’t want to help anyone but myself.”
Eventually, we have to look at our world, our system, our country and realize that not everything is equal and not everything is fair. Not everyone has the same opportunities and success is not just about working hard, but rather has a great deal to do with luck and our present situation. That is why I believe in not only working hard, but working hard in an environment that promotes an equal opportunity to attain your goals. Not everyone’s situation is the same, but I think the entire purpose of government is to give everyone the opportunity to fix their situation and level the economic playing field.
When we compare an upper class family and a lower class family, no one in their right mind would agree that there is an equal opportunity for children of both economic backgrounds to go to a post secondary education. Not to mention that those in lower income families are generally in more stressful situations than upper class families. It is simply harder for lower class families to get into, go through, and graduate from post secondary institutions. There is a lack of equality and a widening gap of opportunity. With tuition on the rise and lower and middle class income falling, the situation gets worse and worse every day.
To my second point, and one that makes me wholeheartedly glad to call myself Canadian: free healthcare. The argument is even simpler here. How can anyone call anything equal opportunity when a simple sickness can terminate a career. When an unexpected illness can rob a family of their home, their job and if money should not cover their ailment, their life. No one can simply “work a little harder” when certain sicknesses can end in bankruptcy. People deserve free health care and arguments to the contrary should be met with ridicule and disdain. The fact is, we will all get sick at some point and it will be a problem at some point. A nation should not be teetering on the edge of maybes. Healthcare should be available and it should be free. I don’t expect free education to cross the Atlantic anytime soon (though I hope the Quebec protests have taught us something), but seeing our southern neighbours go bankrupt over a failing insurance system is saddening.
Let’s create a society where success is based on hard work and not our trifling luck or situation. Where things like the family you were born into isn’t an almost immediate disqualifier for a post secondary education. Where our random health cannot determine whether or not we have a roof over our head. A society where your future is truly in your own hands.
- amodernprogressive posted this