January 14, 2012 | 9 Comments
Many of the Canadians I’ve talked to who define themselves as conservatives and classical liberals have, at one time or another, have made clear to me that while they’re not fans of big government spending programs, they do support at least some government support for disadvantaged groups of citizens. This is also one of the Conservative Party of Canada’s founding principles:
A belief that it is the responsibility of individuals to provide for themselves, their families and their dependents, while recognizing that government must respond to those who require assistance and compassion;
My question to the people who hold such a belief is as follows: Exactly how and when can and should the government get involved to help these people in need? Are there specific policies that you would favour over the solutions that someone on the left would prefer? How would you limit them to the people in genuine need, rather than allowing people to simply leech off the system, which is a common conservative critique of programs favoured by the left?
I ask this out of curosity as much as anything. From what I’ve seen, the left has frequently justified government social programs for the same reasons as cited in the Conservative Party’s principle above-namely, to respond to those who require assistance and compassion-but these same programs have been criticized by conservatives and classical liberals. Hence I’d like to know what kind of policies conservatives and classical liberals would implement in their place, and how they’d provide necessary support and compassion while avoiding the pitfalls of the programs favoured by the left.