Sharing and caring

The timing could not have been better for the inaugural report Towards a more equal Canada by the Broadbent Institute – a newly formed group with Ed Broadbent as its namesake.

Thanksgiving usually has people feeling a little more receptive to the concept of bounty and giving.

Broadbent was the leader of the NDP for many years and dedicated much of his career to politics, particularly pushing an agenda of sharing and caring for others. His current pitch isn’t much different, as it includes a rough sketch of what ails Canada today – the need for good jobs, income supports for seniors and low-income families, expanded public services like health care, education and a more fair tax system. More details on the project findings can be found at

Most Canadians would find it difficult to argue with any of these general concepts.

Then we look south.

As the presidential race heads into its final weeks, each party, Republican and Democrat, push to define themselves – pro-business job creators vs. tax and spend liberals. Democrats might suggest the Republicans are about greed and corporate pay-offs while their own party offers a gentler, more thoughtful type of leadership.

What seems to befuddle each party is the notion of redistribution. In the right-wing American theme, redistribution is taking from the rich and handing it to the poor through various agencies and programs. Some of the more blustery commentators find it un-American to have their hard earned money squandered through excessive taxation, making it sound like taxes are penalties imposed on the well-to-do rather than a civic duty to support the well-being of all Americans.

The Democrats conversely, offer up the notion that people with money can afford and should be good with helping others out of their desperate state. Voters are caught in the cross-fire of two very different viewpoints. It is a curious time state-side.

With crushing debt facing various levels of government around the globe it seems to us that politicians need to hit the reset button on their finances. Grants, for big companies and non-profits alike, need to be scaled back. Spending needs to wane, putting less pressure on taxpayers.

Everyone will need to share in the pain of this turmoil, but it is striking that people who can least afford more pain, will bear the burden of political mismanagement that has benefited so few.