This post is by guest blogger Paul Buller. Though FBB doesn't take any partisan stands, what Paul writes is an important part of understanding what we should think about as Christian voters.
As anybody in Faith Beyond Belief can tell you, Christianity is far more than just an internal set of beliefs about the hereafter. It is an all-encompassing worldview that informs and clarifies every aspect of life. One area of life about which Christianity has much to say is the area of government, but even with respect to this domain of human activity, Christians can vary widely in their perspectives. What exactly is the "Christian" view on various political issues? Self-proclaimed Christians spread themselves right across the political spectrum.
Politics has been on the radar for many Canadians lately, with the upset victory of the NDP in Alberta as well as the impending federal election looking to be a game-changer. As competing political philosophies spar for our vote, wouldn't it be nice to cut through all the rhetoric, philosophizing and divergent theological interpretations of "How would Jesus vote?" and just consider a more basic question: which political philosophies actually work and which don't? Which political policies actually have a track record of making life better for people, and which have a track record of making life worse?
To this end, I have penned a short book titled For the Love of Alberta. In this book I present a very brief and introductory case to the effect that left-leaning political philosophy makes promises that are both grander and more compassionate than right-leaning policies, but, when implemented, these policies not only fail to deliver their promises, but actually end up making life worse for people. Although policies from the right end of the political spectrum don't sound nearly as compassionate or concerned for the "little guy" as policies from the left end of the political spectrum, they end up having a significantly more positive effect when implemented than do policies originating from the left. Right-leaning policies are actually much better for the little guy, contra the caricatures that often come from the political left.
To make my case I document the following:
- Canadians are more likely to move out of a "progressive" province than move into one. This is especially clear when we consider the history of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
- Provinces with progressive tax policies (higher taxes on the wealthy, lower on the poor) have more people in, or near, poverty and they also have a lower median income for all citizens.
- Higher taxes on corporations produce much the same results as described above.
- Increasing the minimum wage also has much the same impact; people tend to leave the province, earn less if they stay, and are flirting with poverty.
- The "gold standard" family structure is (and always has been) children being raised by their biological parents, who are in a life-long, stable, married relationship. Deviate from this standard and not only do children suffer, but so do the adults who experiment with alternative family structures.
- As evidence of the previous point, communities in Calgary with a higher proportion of so-called "traditional" families have lower crime, higher education, and less unemployment.
If you are looking for a quick read to wrap your mind around why right-leaning policy has a better track record (despite sounding less compassionate than the alternative), or if you would like some kind of resource you can share with your left-leaning friends, perhaps For the Love of Alberta could be such a resource. I have made the book available for free as a PDF at my website, www.ForTheLoveOfAlberta.ca, or you can buy a hard copy if (like me) you prefer something tangible in your hands.