This note from Paul McKeever,
leader of the Freedom Party of Ontario is very perceptive:
You write “While it’s easy to wrangle over who’s to blame in this strike — teachers or government…”
I invite you to consider that that’s a distinction without a difference.
If Bell stops providing phone services, I don’t care whether a computer blew up, or a transformer melted, or their employees went on strike. Those things are not *my* problem as a Bell customer. My only problem is that Bell is not delivering the service I’ve paid for.
The same is true of government owned and operated schools. The teachers are government employees: they are part of the “government” in the broad sense of the word, just as are the school buildings, the desks, the blackboards etc…they’re all parts of a big machine that deliver a service called “education”. The provider of the education service is: the government. The government is to blame, but when we say that we understand that “the government” is not merely the employer, but also the employees. We blame Leviathan: we don’t ask whether Leviathan’s hand is more to blame than his foot.
This public show, in which the government and the unions try to make the public blame one or the other distracts from the real issue: we’ve paid X for a service, and X isn’t delivering. Exactly *why* it is not delivering is irrelevant: to a Durham parent (like myself) it is irrelevant whether the government school is failing to deliver because it is lacking electricity, or because its school buildings are condemned, or because it had a fire, or because it lacks water, or because it ran out of money, or because its teachers went on strike. Those things are reasons why the government is failing to deliver, but they are the *government’s* problems, not the problems of its customers. The only problem that we customers have is: we’ve paid for something, and it’s not getting delivered.
In the real world, we’d sue the service provider to get our money back, we’d never do business with them again, and we’d find another service provider.
If anything proves the need for a system in which parents pay tuition directly to the publicly-owned or privately-owned school that their child attends – rather than paying various education taxes – it’s this 5 week failure to provide education services.
— Paul McKeever
I couldn’t agree more.