Stop the spin

Quotation of the day:

THERE are times when it’s bad policy to turn good policy into law.

Yes, yes.

We can’t count how many times, and in how many ways, we have been saying this over the years.  All things that we would wish for in life,  and envision for our society,  need not, and in most cases should NOT be legislated.

Without enforcement — which is typically sporadic — such initiatives usually make little difference, except allow a jurisdiction to stake its claim as a legislative pioneer. Two years ago, Kentville made headlines when it passed an anti-idling bylaw, which was broader-based in that it also targeted private passenger vehicles and threatened violators with fines ranging from $150 to $10,000. Not a peep since.

We agree that these bylaws or laws are mostly for show but the editorial implies that they  make little difference because they are toothless. They would be worse if they had teeth! Even with minor penalties they are not at all benign.  One might think they cost nothing but they take time from problems which government can and should be dealing with realistically. When legislated they take up at least some valuable policing time which might be better spent elsewhere. And when they aren’t enforced (and they can’t be thoroughly enforced) they encourage a disrespect for the force of law. And if they were fully enforced they would infringe severely on people’s liberty. But these soft laws are slowly and inexorably getting people conditioned to such controls on their personal choices. This is beyond useless. This is dangerous.

These issues (like smoking and idling and what we eat)   are best left to education and societal pressure  (if people feel strongly enough). Government should stay out of it.


2 responses to “Stop the spin

  1. For a law to be enforceable there has to be an injured party, whether by assault, theft, or damage to property. Any other so-called laws only become enforceable when you agree to them being law. Take for example motor vehicle registration. No state can force you to register your vehicle. You assume they can but you have to comply in order for it to be enforceable. There is nothing stopping you from hand-drawing a license plate and sticking it on your vehicle. Police, for the most part, know no better…it is up to you to know how law really works. .. [SNIP – Freeman on the land -We have substituted a more general link for the one the commenter provided …but if you wish to follow this commenter’s blog you may do so by clicking on his name/pseudonym]

  2. It is built into the genes of career politicians to be controlling and manipulative. These laws suit their purpose, perfectly… total control of an unthinking, compliant, and needy population.

    In his recent report, Dr John Ross writes:
    “The public is left to believe that those of us who practice the magic art of medicine can diagnose and undo all the stresses and strains of today’s society. A test, pill, or operation absolves us of responsibility for managing our own affairs.”

    Frankly, I think Dr Ross is wrong. Our political masters, and their control-freakish self-serving bureaucrats, have bombarded us with so much nanny-legislation that “the thinking public” has become a Canadian oxymoron.

    No thinking society would accept the petty limitations imposed by these monsters. Thought control legislation is not only alive and well in Canada, it’s been all but deified.