Whether it comes in the form of ‘tax credits’ or the expansion of the technocratic state to offer the ‘free’ services it manages covering every possible consumerist whim, the urban, socially-liberal middle class is the huge beneficiary of government policies.
This is an inconvenient truth that holds irrespective of which party gains power.
Elections are won and lost on which party will best cater to the lifestyle of the urban elite.
While true in the United States, it is even more the case in Canada where the welfare state is a national institution and the vast majority of the population reside in a few major urban centres.
Worse still, majority governments can be built on a little less than 40% of all voters. While many Canadians are willing to switch their political allegiance in urban centres, it is only because the differences between the parties can be measured on the index of which party advances the bureaucratic state more or less quickly.
The tide goes in and out on that front, but the cumulative effect is a huge expansion of government intervention, the cost of which all pay, but from which the swing voters in vote-rich urban centres disproportionately benefit.
They will vote to cut or increase services when it suits them.
The Conservatives doesn’t want to disturb the fiction that it’s all the fault of the undeserving poor (or immigrants); the NDP doesn’t want to disturb the fiction that it’s all for the sake of helping the deserving poor (or immigrants). The Liberals happily speak from both sides of their mouths.
The inconvenient truth for every political party is that there is an unhealthy status quo that has developed regarding social welfare for those who do not need it. None of them will touch it.
The expansion of the social welfare state is destroying the mediating institutions of the church and the family, and is devastating small towns and the countryside. No wonder no party cares about the significant numbers of social conservative voters or entrepeneurs. They don’t reside in sufficient numbers in the urban centres where elections are won and lost over handouts.
This article is about the United States, where the urban elites have less influence, much to their dismay. It applies doubly in Canada.
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