Monday, December 05, 2005
So Harper is trying yet another American Republican policy baby on for size. This time it's the public money for private schools ploy, with plenty of derision of inefficient government-run programs thrown in for good measure. His alternative to the Liberals' childcare plan is to open the public treasury and empty it into the pockets of whoever gets the bright idea to open up a string of barebones daycare centres that charge exactly the amount the government promises to give and cuts costs anywhere they can.
Hooray for the virtues of the 'free' market. Except, of course, that such a market wouldn't be 'free' at all, and the lack of qualified childcare providers should a great number of new parents jump on such a program would drive up the price of spots in the existing daycares, adjusting for the fact that the market suddenly has more demand and a higher ability to pay.
The most fervent supporters of school vouchers (and the code words 'school choice') in the United States are the leftovers who are still sore about de-segragation in schools, and the religious fanatics who object to the idea of biology class.
While in Canada these dark or stupid motivations aren't quite as strong, much of it is still based on the desire to build up a parallel educaton system, now supported by the government, that doesn't have to abide by publicly set standards and curricula.
Now, my Liberal self has little objection to private and religious schools, but there's no way I'm paying for some Alberta family to send their little angel to a daycare where they teach how homosexuality is evil and the earth is 6000 years old.