Spectacularly wrong and unwittingly insulting
It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that while I appreciate his contributions to the political discussion in Canada through fine blogging, I disagree strongly on policy matters with Bart Ramson, aka Calgary Grit.
Unfortunately, with his latest post on childcare in Canada, Bart has simply reinforced my conviction that the core supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada pay only lip service to childcare choices that stray from the institutionalized daycare model they favour.
There's nothing about a National Child care plan that forces you to enroll kids in a daycare program. Parents still have a choice in how they want to raise their children. The idea of a child care program is simply to give parents the option of placing their kids in a child care program, by creating affordable spaces across the country.
It's the same principle as any government program. When the government spends money on post-secondary education, they're not forcing anyone to go to University. When the government spends money on job training, they're not forcing anyone to get job training. (Babbler's bold)
I give you the full quote only for context; the problem lies in the bolded text.
It is almost universally accepted that having a university education, having job training, is far better than not having it.
It is most emphatically NOT universally accepted that regulated institutional childcare is better for children than care from parents, grandparents, or even a kind and responsible neighbour.
To suggest that funding higher education is analogous to funding a national daycare program is to suggest that stay-at-home parenting is a less desirable option. And make no mistake, the Liberals as a party wouldn't be funding institutional daycare to the exclusion of all other forms of care if they didn't believe that.
I'm sure Bart isn't trying to be offensive here. I doubt Scott Reid and John Duffy were actively working to piss Canadian parents off with their 'beer and popcorn' comments. The problem isn't the gaffe, it's the underlying belief that bleeds through even the most conciliatory and accomodating spin.
Because the fact of the matter is this: if the Liberals thought stay-at-home parenting was the equal of institutionalized daycare, they wouldn't be funding the latter and not the former.
They just don't get it. And to make matters worse, they don't even get how they've made people like me so upset. My wife and I are not second class citizens, and we're damned tired of being treated that way.