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The essence of liberty is choice
Posted by: McQ on Monday, November 10, 2008

Think about it - the more choices you can freely make [key point] the more liberty you enjoy. Liberty enhancing legislation then, will usually maintain existing choices or perhaps expand them.

One of the things all liberty loving people should do is examine proposed policies with that as one of their tests as to its potential to enhance their liberty (you can imagine where tax laws fall).

An example of legislation which shouldn't be mistaken for the liberty enhancing type can be found in that which was recently proposed in Ontario, Canada and has, at least for now, failed:
A suggested ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in Ontario was struck down in the legislature Thursday amid mixed messages from the Liberal government that left the door open to a possible ban in the future.
On the surface it seems a good thing. You might assume that the legislature felt it had no business dictating what form its citizens chose to enjoy their water. You might hope that the choice was left for the citizenry to make and not government. But you'd be wrong. It has nothing to do with enhancing freedom, or liberty or choice.

It just isn't convenient yet for the government to ban bottled water:
Education Minister Kathleen Wynne was among the Liberals who voted against the private member's bill, saying the plan wouldn't allow enough time to ensure clean water is available to everyone who needs it.

"It's not that I think bottled water is a terrific thing, it's that right now we're working with schools and school boards to change the nutritional guidelines .... and bottled water is part of what they use," she said.

"The other reality is that right now there are school boards where there's lead in the water and we're actually supplying bottled water to those schools."
You see all the environmental and energy concerns aren't that important if it inconveniences a government plan. Then cranking out those bottles of water is, in relative terms, a good thing. But when they decide that they're ready to boot the bottle, the good people of Ontario will be weaned as well. Choice for the government is fine, but not, apparently, the citizenry.
Had it passed, people breaking the law would have faced a fine between $500 and $1,500, while corporations would have had to pay $10,000 for a first-time offence and up to $25,000 for each subsequent offence.
The good folks of Ontario should understand that this is all being done for their good. Lack of choice and government coercion are positives:
Supporters of the ban argue a lot of carbon-emitting fossil fuel is used to produce and transport the plastic bottles, which then end up in landfills. Environmentalists also say tap water is just as good as bottled water in most Canadian municipalities - and much cheaper.
It may seem like a small thing. But then whole piles of problems are collections of small things. This is just another seemingly insignificant example of the incremental authoritarianism that is inherent in any government. It will be creeping into a government near you soon.

[HT: Blair]
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Previous Comments to this Post 

With lefties in charge I see more choice for sexual issues, and more lip service for choice on drug issues. And a whole hell of a lot less choice on every other issue there is. Self defence, economics, and the blandishments of the nanny state. Less Choice.
Written By: kyleN
More important is the inherent conflict:
"Environmentalists also say tap water is just as good as bottled water in most Canadian municipalities - and much cheaper."

"...there are school boards where there’s lead in the water..."

I believe lead is an "unsafe at any speed" pollutant in water based on current environmentalist concerns, so apparently the environmentalists claims are wrong... I’m shocked.

(yes there is the potential for ambiguity in my comment...)

"unsafe at any speed" - more realistic it’s measured in the 10-20 parts/billion range, but most solutions refer to running water down the drain if it’s leaching from old pipes, and even that doesn’t guarantee a clear sample, you can’t boil it out... point being all lead is bad.
Written By: BIllS
And the parents to Canada (The UK) is now proposing this sort of law
Britain’s environment secretary has sparked controversy with a list of proposed new rules that could mean jail time for pet owners who walk dogs on hot days.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn’s proposed new codes of conduct for dog, cat and horse owners include rules that would allow for prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, of pet owners whose animals become too thin, become too fat, are fed from the table or are walked on hot days, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

"This means no one will be able to claim ignorance as an excuse," Benn said.
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Also the product of unanimous and usually uncontested control of the winning part in a Parliamentary system with a passive media.

Something we’re about to get treated to.
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