Founding Ideas: The “isms”
–Classical Socialism: welfare of society is maximized through social planning, high tolerance of
government intervention in the economy and other aspects of human life, destruction of class,
egalitarian, economic differences should not be a staple of the nation, associated with the working
class, collective bargaining, unions.
–Contemporary socialism: more of a mix of both left and right winged views, allow the market to
work (to a certain degree), places strong boundaries on that market, government intervention is
appropriate/required. Argues for fundamental redistribution of wealth. NDP, Tommy Douglas,
Canadian Autoworkers, Parti Quebecois.
We live with contradiction all the time
–we adopt some positions on one topic
–and disregard them on another
Government Intervention: is it good or bad?
–Intervening in the economy
–intervening in social issues
It is not necessary that each party in Canada represent the following definitions word for word
The Messy Middle
–Classical or Market Liberalism: all men are created equal and naturally free (Locke) because of
this, no one has a natural right to rule another. The powers of government are inherently limited,
forming a government was to protect property, protect liberty and should not be involved in
anyway in harming property or liberty. If the government does so, citizens can resist. Society is a
sum of its individual members.
–Contemporary Liberalism: minimal welfare state is appropriate for liberals, ecological protection,
industries can be regulated. Liberal social issues and more open to ecological issues. A
redistribution of wealth through government intervention is important to maintain a stability.
(provide minimal healthcare services) effective capitalism is good for getting us out of poverty. In
order for capitalism to be effective, it does require a property right. In order to enforce a law on
contract. In order to assure that one's property and liberty cannot be taken by another.
Government intervention is somewhat inappropriate
–Classical Conservatism: concern for natural social hierarchy, social order, society is an ordered
community, with privilege, comes responsibility. Peace, order and good government is a rallying
cry for conservative ideal. Role of the state is to preserve that order, both a social and economic
order. Do this in the most limited way possible.
–Contemporary Conservatism: continuation with order, calls for a traditional family, opposition to
gay marriage (because it is somehow against the foundation of our economy, society) Stephen