Don’t be fooled
When politicians assume that voters are stupid, it is upsetting to say the least. The Alberta NDP’s have made motions to cancel school fees for kids in our schools, and now we hear that Brian Jean, the leader of the Wild Rose Opposition, and hopeful candidate in the upcoming United Conservative leadership vote, has agreed to the concept as well.
Guess we have to make our own assumption that both are trying to curry favour from voters by, once again being rather generous with yours and our money. The best way to win elections anymore is to give away stuff that governments buy with money they don’t have. School fees are an “extra tax” on parents of school age children to pay for extras, or a shortfall in funding. When the province downloads the collection of school taxes onto local municipalities, it is a perfect taxation system. Your local municipality, or where ever you pay your property taxes, collects and sends a huge amount of money to Edmonton to pay for schooling for our children. You have no say in the amount of the assessment, and no say in how it is spent. The only thing in the power of property owners, is whether the money goes to the public or the separate school system.
When some track star bureaucrat figures out that there was a shortfall in school funding, school fees were introduced. Back in the day, it was to pay for extra-curricular activities, supervision, and the like. Not sure what school fee money goes for anymore, but it is collected by the local school board and spent in your child’s school.
Along comes the politician that wants to be elected again, and he/she says, “We love you so much Albertans, we are cancelling the collection of school fees, so you will marvel at how well we are spending your money, be amazed at what good money managers we are, you will hopefully and most certainly vote for us in the next election!” And here’s where the stupid part comes in. Lo and behold, the costs covered by the “school fees”, are still there. It’s just that now, those school assessments dollars, collected by the municipality, and paid for by ALL property owners, (you know, the taxes you have no say in how they are spent), contain school fee monies blended into the everwidening abyss of flawed thinking. So, everyone pay school fees now.
Next election, we will be marking our “X”, beside the party that promises not to think voters are stupid. Trouble is, there doesn’t seem to be any of those parties left.