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A Comparative Study on Canadas Conservatives and Liberals Politics, Power, and the Common GoodLiberalism-Emphasizes the desirability of a high level of individual freedom -Individuals are assumed to be capable of using reason and taking rational actions in pursuit of interests -Individuals should take responsibility for their own lives with little government interference-Historically; it developed out of the struggles against arbitrary power of monarchs, restrictions on free business activity, the imposition of one set of religious values, and granting special permission to specific groups such as (churches, aristocrats etc.)-See a need in government but believe that those in governing positions may abuse their power for personal interests -Liberalists advocate the rule of law; that is the government should only act in accordance with established laws and not randomly -Believe that government interference should be limited -“the state has no place in the nations bedrooms” – Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau oWhat goes on between consenting adults should be left to their own moraljudgement -Believe that the government should not promote to any particular religion; laws should not be based upon any particular religious perspective-Government; is a human creation therefore it should be used for more limited purposes specifically to provide rules and procedures under which individuals can enjoy freedom -Liberal democracy combines the ideas of the limited government, individuals rights and freedoms, and the rule of law based on the election of representativesClassic Liberalism-Emphasizes the importance of a limited government and a free market-John Locke argued “individuals have become free and equal in the state of nature -Through a social contract, people agreed to establish government for limited purposes (the protection of life & property)-The government acts as a trustee to protect the rights of the people-Favour a lassiez-faire economic systemin which workers and consumers interact freely in the marketplace without government interference (ex. Property rights which disperses power and resources among the population)-The economic role of the government is to “protect property, prevent frauds, and settle disputes”Reform Liberalism
-Combines the idea of individual freedom with the idea that government action may be needed to help remove obstacles for individual development -Developed in the later 19thcentury after some liberalists decided that the lassiez faire system established in countries (Britain) offered no development in the capabilities of workers and disadvantages sectors of society. -Argue that the government should play a role in assisting the disadvantaged (employment insurance, old age, pensions, healthcare, subsidised education)-Believe that a basic standard of living should be available to all -Believe that government interference should not be limited-John Rawls(1999) states that “each person is to have the right to the most