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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Subsidiarity, Conservatives, Katrina, and Albertans

Via Burkean Canuck, Joe Carter posts on how Conservatives failure to abide by their own principles bore the fruit of ineptness in the Katrina response. Carter notes that smaller, simpler government is more effective at addressing real problems. This small and simple idea is called subsidiarity. Carter writes:

A primary example is the principle of subsidiarity, an idea found in Catholic
social thought which is often embraced by conservatives. As David A.
Bosnich
explains,


This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a
larger and more
complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and
simpler
organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a
more
decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited
government and personal freedom.


While limited government, personal freedom,
and other such
goods are worthy reasons to support such an ideal, there is an
even more
primary justification: it saves lives. The evacuation of New Orleans
provides a useful example of how this works out in a real-world context.

Carter challenges American conservatives to reflect on why all their best and brightest end up on Capitol Hill in Washington, when conservative principle should encourage them to concentrate on the State and Municipal levels.

For Albertans, the principle of subsidiarity is one that has been held for a long time if not named as such. With the emergence of the Alberta independence movement, we may soon see the best and brightest of home-grown leaders remaining in Alberta to work at the provincial and municipal levels.

It makes sense to expend our leadership wealth on government that is simple and efficient rather than a bloated bureaucracy.

Currently some of Alberta's best are on Parliament Hill. Soon they may be thinking more about subsidiarity as they rumble along the Trans-Canada heading West.

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