Economic regulation has consistently failed over the long
term, even causing the opposite of what policy makers had
originally intended. Contemporary economic regulation allows
senior bureaucrats to formulate regulations that may be
signed into law by an Order-in-Council. That autonomy is
backed by authoritarian governmental power, and may be a
factor that sustains a pro-sovereignty sentiment in Quebec.
Instead, the federal government should recognize the merit
in curtailing federal economic regulations and repealing
Economic regulation of telecommunications serves the dual purpose of
fulfilling a political agenda in such areas as culture while shielding the
commercial interests of some companies from legitimate competition. Advancing
technology offers a wide range of possibilities as to how to transmit
information. The combination of metallic water pipes and a metallic fence that
separates multiple properties could be used to transit entertainment broadcasts
within a neighbourhood.
The copper water pipes, electric power lines, aluminum ducts and
steel frames of high-rise buildings can be used to transmit telecommunications
signals within one or more nearby apartment buildings. Respecting property
rights would require federal telecommunications officials to observe a policy of
laissez faire. Private, local broadcasters could then negotiate with
appropriate local property owners to access the various conductors that exist
within a neighbourhood and/or large buildings.
Telecommunications is one of several federally regulated areas of
the economy. Intercity transportation is another, with some economic regulatory
powers being delegated to the provinces. Health Canada officials have proposed
regulating vitamins, nutrients, herbs and supplements.
Members of Quebec's pro-sovereignty movement make a valid point when
they state that the federal government has imposed too many restrictions on the
lives of citizens. A policy that gives unelected bureaucrats the autonomy to
produce a proliferation of new regulations literally has the potential to turn
an entire population of peaceful people into criminals. Some members of the
sovereignty movement believe that they may have a solution to remedy such a
situation. The federal government, on the other hand, could expand on the
initiative that began with the proposed abolition of the Wheat Board.
Prevailing economic forces are leading governments to curtail
spending, as is the case in Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece and the UK.
Governments are under pressure to restrict social assistance programs. The same
economic forces would also restrict social assistance programs in an independent,
sovereign Quebec where citizens might need to live very frugal and self-sufficient
lives. However, the political ideologues may still be formulating strategies to
address that situation.