Covid 19 Causing an Ideological Shift

Covid 19 Causing an Ideological Shift

As published in the Hill Times: April 15, 2020

The Covid 19 crisis is a massive challenge to those who have dedicated four decades to discrediting the positive role of government in the affairs of a nation and its citizens. Fortunately, Canada’s has only partially-embraced the odd notion of economic freedom whereby everything and everyone is assigned a market value.

Therefore, Canadian think tanks like the Fraser Institute and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute must be scrambling to explain why government and not the private sector is providing leadership and practical measures to protect citizens, the environment and the economy.

Of particular relevance to the current health crisis are past demands by economic freedom advocates for public service staff cuts, privatized health care, expanded foreign manufacturing of vital goods and ever-lower tax rates that inhibit government’s ability to respond to emergencies.

Beyond the practical dangers of this approach are the psychological and intellectual paralysis induced by decades of anti-government messaging in a time when only government can accomplish the task at hand.

When the current crisis finally passes, free-market advocates may grudgingly acknowledge government’s response to the pandemic before renewing their efforts to undermine public confidence in the same administration that protected them. Nevertheless, the leftward ideological shift induced by Covid 19 will resonate quietly across Canada.