Cannot be fiscally conservative and socially progressive

“You cannot separate fiscal issues from social issues.”

Cannot be fiscally conservative and socially progressive

There is little point in continuing to correct Ms. Gibson’s inaccuracies and revisionist history regarding what past governments did and did not do and honestly it is becoming exhausting. Her statement that you can be both fiscally conservative and socially progressive, however, demands addressing.

No, you cannot.

“You cannot separate fiscal issues from social issues. They are deeply intertwined. They affect each other. Economic issues often are social issues. And conservative fiscal policies do enormous social harm. That is true even for the mildest, most generous version of ‘fiscal conservatism’ — low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, a free market. These policies perpetuate human rights abuses. They make life harder for people who already have hard lives. Even if the people supporting these policies do not intend this, the policies are racist, sexist, classist (obviously), ableist, homophobic, transphobic, and otherwise socially retrograde. In many ways, they do more harm than so-called “social policies” that are supposedly separate from economic ones.” — Greta Christina January 2019

I am more than happy to provide irrefutable, current day examples of every statement made above if Ms. Gibson needs. I will, however, not bother to waste the time of the Cowichan Valley Citizen’s enlightened readership who are already fully aware that you can’t be socially progressive and economically conservative.

The most obvious of this is Ms. Gibson’s repeated allegations that the NDP left a budgetary mess that needed cleaning up. That is plain cow manure. The BC Liberal’s just did not like what was being budgeted for. First, I believe that the NDP left a surplus for the BC Liberals to abuse. Second, people in glass ICBC houses should not be tossing rocks of fiscal mismanagement around. Third, no accusations of overspending on social programs, education, or healthcare has ever been leveled at the BC Liberals. The exact opposite has taken place. Just ask a teacher, a parent, a healthcare worker, a patient, or anyone unfortunate enough to need the assistance of our social net.

Ms. Gibson still does not understand that we have acute care psychiatric beds available for those who need them. What we do not have, and still desperately need, is adequate funding and community support for out-patient care. The challenge is for that funding to exist, taxes might go up and then you will hear the crying start. This is not just a homeless issue or a mental health issue. This is also a healthcare issue, a seniors issue, an education issue, and an environment issue, to mention a few. It is a predictable and proven outcome, supported by Ms. Gibson’s own words.

So, I ask again, who does Ms. Gibson want to leave behind? Who will not receive support or funding in Ms. Gibson’s utopia of a happy medium? The UBCM Medical Journal clearly and succinctly told us, in 2009, exactly what to expect if adequate funding was not put in place to support the closure of Riverview. That funding never materialized, and we are now seeing the predicted outcomes.

This is not about a conservative boogey man as Ms. Gibson so glibly suggested. It is about cause and effect, common sense, and human decency. You want to do what is right by your fellow man or you do not. A third option is you do not care and that is your choice and that is fine, but own it, admit it, state it clearly, and understand that not caring does not make you socially progressive.

If Ms. Gibson had a firmer grasp on the reality of our social issues or chose not to write is such a biased and predictable manner, she might not find the need to cast aspersions on my reading comprehension. I understand why she insists on lashing out like that and take no offence.

Dara Quast

Cobble Hill


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