The ten tenants of Alex Sangha’s Canadian utopia which explains the ideal type of society he is for and against

After witnessing the disaster that is unfolding in the USA in every which way, I felt it was important to state what I believe might help to maintain a good quality of life for Canadians. 

After witnessing the disaster that is unfolding in the USA in every which way, I felt it was important to state what I believe might help to maintain a good quality of life for Canadians.  Here are the ten tenants of my Canadian utopia which explains the ideal type of society I am for and the type of society I am against.

  1. Type of Economy 

For

A mixed economy with private and public ownership.  Still, maintain the capitalist mode of production with government interventions to regulate the market.

Against

Largely private ownership.  This is essentially a war of wealth accumulation where the individual with the most money controls more and more of the country and its assets.

  1. Social Justice

For

Promotes human rights and ethical and moral decision making.

Against

Decisions are made to generate the most profit regardless of their impact on labour, social, environmental, cultural, or even the economic well being of the country as a whole. An example is corporations that pollute the environment to generate maximum returns and profits for themselves.  What’s worse is they leave the government to clean up the mess they have created.

  1. Welfare State

For

Supports national government backed social programs such as universal health care, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, and Employment Insurance.

Against

A free market and private sector that runs social programs largely through charities, non-profits, and individual philanthropy to provide for the deserving poor most likely on a limited and piecemeal basis.

  1. Workers Rights

For

Support unions, minimum wage policies, a basic income, and protections for workers who play a large role in creating the ongoing wealth for the owners of the corporations.  It is no surprise that the countries with the highest quality of life indicators in the world also have the highest levels of unionization such as in Scandinavia.

Against

Promotes limited rights and freedoms for unions and collective bargaining where gains for workers are seen as cutting into corporate profits for the shareholders and owners of the company.  The CEO and senior management which are not unionized usually take home huge salaries with lucrative bonuses sometimes regardless of their productivity or performance.  Many corporations also shift their operations overseas to avoid paying tax and may ask the various governments for corporate handouts.  Child labour and worker exploitation is a serious problem all over the world especially with the onset of big box corporate stores outsourcing cheap goods from all over the globe.

  1. Equality

For

Supports greater income equality.

Against

Supports inequality with huge extremes in wealth between the rich and the poor.  The middle class is essentially shrinking in North America.

  1. Government

For

Supports a secular democracy with appropriate regulations on various sectors of the economy to protect the people and the planet.

Against

The government and political system are essentially in place to protect the disproportionate interests of the rich and corporations.

  1. Trade

For

Supports fair trade.

Against

Free trade agreements that do not factor in all the social, labour, economic, and environmental consequences for the people and the planet.  The goal is to generate the most profit possible.

  1. Markets

For

Help to moderate the booms and busts of the free market with government interventions.

Against

Markets are unstable with booms and busts not to mention risks of inflationary pressure and price gauging at times by business owners.

  1. State Assets

For

Promotes the creation of crown corporations such as BC Hydro and WorkSafeBC which are owned collectively by all the people of British Columbia and provide good paying government jobs supporting the overall health and welfare of families and communities.

Against

Promote the privatization of state assets and crown corporations which limit the influence, finances, and control the government has over the economy and in effect their ability to directly help citizens.

  1. The incentive to Work and Innovation

For

Scandinavia is an example of a few classic social democratic countries where the incentive to work and innovation has not been largely affected by state intervention in the economy.  In fact, huge corporations such as Volvo and IKEA are from this part of the world.

Against

The USA is an example of a very free market obsessed country where there is endemic poverty and many people do not even have sufficient health care.  If it was not for the low paid immigrants who some Americans call illegal aliens huge sectors of the economy would be shut down.  Scandinavia has the social programs and social infrastructure to ensure most of its citizens have the basic resources to be thinkers, innovators, and creators.  This is a higher level function after basic necessities are met as per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  In the USA, you have the right to carry a gun which promotes death but you don’t have the right to basic necessities which promotes life such as universal health care.

There you go!  These are the ten tenants of my Canadian utopia.  Many of these ideas are already in practice in different forms in some parts of the world.  Maybe we can take the best of the world’s political, social, and economic ideas and bring them to Canada.

 Alex Sangha is an award-winning author and social worker based in Surrey, B.C.  He recently was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) from the Governor General of Canada.  Alex completed a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy from the Department of Government at the London School of Economics.  For more information check out  https://alexsangha.com/