Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

Blame – VIII. Governments

If you have nothing better to do, go to the library and grab
a copy of the Federal Government Estimates.  There are three
parts, go to part II and there you will find the activities and
budgets of all departments and the programs they deliver.  You’ll
be amazed as to what the Federal Government does.  It is involved
in Agriculture, Mine and Resources, Environment, Taxation, Indian
Affairs, Fisheries and Oceans, Human Resources, Justice, Foreign
Affairs, National Defense, and many, many other activities.  In
Part III, you will find a wealth of details on all government
programs.  Ditto for the provinces.  The municipalities have
their own budget document.  If you live in the U.S. (or any other
democratic country) you have equivalent documents.  Simply put,
the governments (there is more than one level) and what they do
is what makes democratic Western nations such great places to
live in.  I am not saying that we should pay our taxes with a
song in our hearts!  Nor am I suggesting that a government is a
perfect institution.  It is run by humans and, accordingly, it
has flaws.  The door is therefore open for blame.

I have a theory.  You’re free to accept it or reject it.
During our early years, our parents hold our hand and guide us
through life.  Once their task is finished, we still very much
need the handholding and the government replaces our parents.  If
you’re facing an intractable problem, you open your telephone
book, or go to the internet, to see what government department
can help you and how.

Simply put, the nation is run by our elected representatives
and by cabinet.  They carry out our wishes and fulfill the
promises made during the election.  (I know it sounds like a
bedtime story you would read to a 3-year-old!  But in a very
general way, and with many qualifications, it does work this
way).  The Civil Service administrate the country.  Put another
way, it carries out the wishes of its political masters and it
directly serves the public.

You’ve heard the expression, “You’re too good for your own
good.”  Being really good at what you’re doing means raises and
promotions if you’re employed.  If you’re self-employed, it means
more business.  One way or another, it means higher earnings, but
it comes at a price, people expect too much from you.  The same
applies to Western governments.  After centuries of trial and
error, we have good and responsive governments.  In order not to
be accused of living on another planet, I will quickly state that
it’s far from being perfect.  There is too much red-tape.  Simple
matters are presented are presented as complex, complex issues
are presented as insoluble.  On the one hand, we are nickel-and-
dimed to death, on the other hand our taxes can be spent
recklessly.  There is corruption, scandal, kickbacks, and
nepotism.  Above all the lust for power and the tactics used to
win elections can be depressing; who can forget the 2000
presidential elections?  To reinforce what I just said let me
provide two examples.

In the mid-’90s we had in Ontario a government that cut all
expenses to the bone.  This created many problems.  One of the
worse was the Walkerton tragedy.  Like many other places, the
monitoring and inspection to ensure the water was potable was cut
back.  In 2000, the residents of Walkerton got very sick.  Seven
people died.  It turned out that there was E-Coli bacteria in the
water.  The people responsible for supplying clean water
neglected their duties; and because of the cuts there was no
monitoring of their work.

There was a major inquiry, even the Premier of the province
was called to testify and to justify his actions.

Medical care is a major problem on both sides of the border.
Here in Canada we have Medicare.  It used to be the envy of the
world.  No more.  There is a shortage of doctors.  The waiting
time for surgeries is completely unacceptable.  You can wait
forever for a diagnostic test such as an MRI.  You can
facetiously say that the system treats the patient, or the
patient dies of his own volition, whichever comes first!

Today, in the 21st century, the U.S. does not yet have a
state-sponsored system of medical care.  The only Western country
to find itself in this predicament.  There is a patchwork of
HMO’s, Medicare, Medicaid, and a large part of the population (I
believe 40%) finds itself without any kind of medical insurance.

And yet, despite their shortcomings, when good actions are
weighted against their sins, our governments come out ahead.

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