We are all to one degree or another socialists

Dear editor,

Re: "Socialism isn't just a word" (Record, Aug. 15).

I beg to differ. "Socialism" is indeed just a word.

Dear editor,

Re: “Socialism isn’t just a word” (Record, Aug. 15).

I beg to differ. “Socialism” is indeed just a word.

Stripped of its emotional baggage it simply refers to a belief in the idea of public as opposed to private ownership.

We are all to one degree or another socialists. We are social creatures, we live in a society and we have chosen to communally fund governments that own public property and offer public services.

There are virtually no proponents of free enterprise who would argue in favour of a private fire department, police or army. A few might support the idea of privatizing our water systems, medical services and education.

But what about automobile insurance, ferries, highway maintenance, parks and natural resources? These are things that I personally believe should be publicly owned and managed, but many would disagree with me.

I would welcome a political forum where these issues were intelligently debated. Presented with convincing arguments, many of us might be stimulated to change our minds on controversial issues.

For me a political leader is one who promotes ideas based not on public opinion polls but on a core set of values. When is the last time you heard a politician try to win over public opinion with intelligent arguments?

The NDP lost the last  provincial election because they surrendered control of their party to strategists who convinced them that one meaningless slogan and saying nothing would win votes by offending the fewest people.

The Liberals won because they were better funded and had better strategists. Their campaign was based on one meaningless slogan and encouraging an emotional response to the word “socialism.”

Where was the debate? Could this have something to do with low voter turnout?

Erik Taynen,

Courtenay