Saturday, May 12, 2012

Canada's #1 Social Problem: There Aren't Any More Social Problems

What's worse than being a fat, polluting, racist, ignorant jerk? That's easy, not knowing you are one.

And what's worse than even that? Being in a society full of people just like you, where no one is aware of immoral conduct, of greed, of sexism, and of the ignorance that protects it all.

Though great things and great people reside in Canada, in our northern nation a similar situation exists; there are no more social problems. Of course the absence of social inequalities is nothing to mourn, but the perception that there are none while many still exist certainly is.

This perception that Canada is a social utopia, where no great problems are left to confront us is perpetuated by those political parties that for all intents and purposes are the canaries in the coal mine, the warnings of social danger.

We have looked to the NDP and Liberals to see if there are problems like massive economic disparities that need fixing or other injustices that pervade our society. For some time we have looked to see these canaries doing nothing, offering no solutions other than a pittance of policies on childcare and the like. Canadians have interpreted such appearances as there are no great dangers, no social hazards to avoid. Little did we know these social canaries were the first to go.

New Democrats and Liberals may yet still stand up and claim they are alive and well, and surely they are, but their social awareness is not, their platforms and policies attest to that.

In 2011 both parties' platforms had perhaps the weakest social policies in memory, more bureaucratic than progressive by any measure. Where once these parties stood for policies that changed society for the better they offered nothing more than slight alterations to post-secondary funding and affordable housing.

If these parties are the only supposed supporters of social change in Canada, and these are the only policies that they can come up, either Canada is a social utopia that only requires a slight rearrangement of the lawn furniture or we just falsely believe Canada to be so.

In the latter case, undoubtedly the most pressing social problem would then be the ignorance of all the others. But of course if progressive parties don't realize this, Canadians will continue to believe all is well in our society, and that is the real social problem.

1 comment:

John Prince said...

Excellent critique of our social reality.