Canadian Law & Order: One Bill to Rule Them All

Skyrocketing federal expenditures on violent and authoritarian forms of social control make the government’s current appeal to fiscal austerity laughable. In fact, the government’s own irresponsible spending decisions will contribute to a looming budget disaster that it may then claim to fix through siphoning more funds away from “inefficient” community and social services, while reducing state intervention to a mainly securitizing function. The role of government will then focus on finding ways to reward and secure the elite, while everyone else will come under tightening forms of punitive control—the underlying idea being that in a “free market” society where allegedly equal opportunities are guaranteed for all, those people who don’t succeed should naturally be blamed for their own suffering. The pattern of fear, securitization, social cutbacks, and privatization leading to victimization becomes a self-reinforcing cycle, as public faith in government-run programs wanes because the resource-starved programs have little option but to fail. Indeed, the economic collapse of 2008 would seem to suggest that it is not the proverbial “nanny state” that poses a great risk, but a government that would abandon the populace to the vagaries of market forces and deregulated financial systems prone to corruption.
By Grace Pollock
Image by Simon Orpana

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