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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The rise of the nanny state

It always amazes me that people seem so unwilling to respect the choices of others. Two examples appeared today in two separate newspapers of the total lack of regard for personal responsibility.

In the Chronicle Herald we have the classic example of experts lobbying the government to force adults to wear helmets when on bikes.

In the Ottawa Citizen we have Health Canada looking into more regulation for caffeine and alcohol mixed drinks.

Do we really need the government to tell us what we should drink and what we have to put on our head? Yes we will be safer with a helmet, and yes caffeine and alcohol together is a combination that a friend of mine once described (in the morning) as being ‘deadly.’ But still isn’t that our personal business?

I doubt that there is an adult out there who is unaware of the risks involved in biking without a helmet or consuming the ‘deadly brew.’ So if somebody makes the decision to accept the risk for whatever reward he/she perceives, isn’t that really his/her own choice? Wouldn’t it be his/her own fault if he/she gets his/her head smashed in?

By allowing the government to make this sort of decision for us, we are giving up our responsibility for own actions. We are sacrificing the very thing that makes us adults and full members of society. We are becoming nothing but a nation of wards of the state.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on August 11, 2010 | Permalink


We became a nanny state long ago. The concept of individual choice has been regulated like everything else. Every restriction and 'law' is spun with the 'it's for your own good' tagline, when in reality it equates to another form of revenue for government coffers.

Posted by: Leigh Patrick Sullivan | 2010-08-11 7:54:00 AM

I agree with the post and with Leigh, but perhaps we should be asking ourselves why we have allowed, and continue to allow, this to happen. It seems this is now what people, or at least a large portion, expect and demand of governments, and if politicians want to get elected and remain in office they must pander to this. Take any accident or unfortunate event and you never have to wait long before there are cries for the government to regulate, to ban or to impose more regulations.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-08-11 11:13:25 AM

"We are becoming nothing but a nation of wards of the state." True enough Hugh, but people like you have been saying that for the last fifty years or so and we continue to graduate more bleeding hearts with every successive generation. My hope is that, like Mr. Creosote (Monty Python's Meaning of Life), the next tidbit on top of buckets of Nanny Statism will cause an enormous explosion, killing the beast, resulting in having to start afresh. Mr. Creosote is actually a visually appropriate metaphor for leviathan.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-08-11 11:20:01 AM

I agree with you gents. The beast is fed and protected and nurished by the massive CUPE and the teachers unions. They have a vested interest in pumping out compliant little statist Canadians. Trusting the indoctrination of children to them is foolish.

Posted by: TM | 2010-08-11 12:57:05 PM

It would be nice in this country, if we had the debate(who owns our bodies ,whos ultimately responsible for our lives).

Some followers on this blog say" we own our bodies but the government decides whats ok to put in it , or what we wear". I find that kind of thinking utterly bizarre , but ultimately as a country we will end up broke , but dont worry supporters of the nanny state , leviathan always has money for the police state ,example billion dollars for g20 security another 9.5 billion to build prisons, to fill up with unreported criminals .

Posted by: don b | 2010-08-12 11:04:48 AM

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