Thursday, January 05, 2006

Liberals announce post-secondary education plan - pure titillation

"Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it."

As Paul Martin's campaign is in the process of being derailed, the Liberals have announced a $8 billion dollar aid package to students. Unfortunately, this is the equivelent of a trainer dangling a piece of meat near a lion's mouth one too many times. Instead of taking the meat, students are likely to bite the hand that feeds it. Why, you may ask?

Like the immigration tax elimination, the Liberals are simply promising to undo their bad ideas. There is nothing wrong with that, in principle. In practice, however, these promises serve to reinforce people's negative perceptions of promise-breaking politicians. For instance, that national day care idea? 12 years old.

NOW THE LIBERALS HAVE ANNOUNCED $8 billion dollars in new post-secondary funding. That was so last election.

Maybe Paul Martin was distracted by all his different 'top priorities', but Martin has been not exactly been education's saviour. You might recall that Martin cut over $5 billion dollars in education transfer payments to the promises since 1993.

In 2004,
"Martin said that he will divide the Canada Social Transfer again to create a separate transfer for post-secondary education. He also said that the value of the transfer should “eventually” reach “seven to eight billion dollars.”

Ian Boyko, National Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students, was skeptical about this promise. “Students need this promise in writing."

He was rightly skeptical. The last time Martin mentioned post-secondary education was during the last election campaign. Will students see this latest effort as any more than shameless pandering? History, memory of human agency, might not be so kind to Martin this time. Perhaps Martin is banking on people forgetting. When you promise so much and deliver so little, it gets a little tiring. Sure, the education proposal deserves a fair debate.

As one professor put things generally, it titillates but fails to satisfy.

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