Monday, November 12, 2007

Do your jobs, II

So, while we're talking ad nauseam about the various fiscal responsibilities of the levels of Canadian government, let's talk about National Defense, shall we?
OTTAWA - The Conservative government's long-standing promise to dramatically increase the size of the Canadian military is being pared back, a federal report shows.

The Defence Department's latest performance report says the 2006 pledge to increase the number of regular reserve soldiers, sailors and aircrew has been revised because of costs and the high attrition rate of serving members.

The initial plan was to boost the size of the Canadian Forces to 75,000 regular members and 35,000 reservists. The increase was to happen in two stages, with the first target of 70,000 active and 30,000 part-time members over five years, and the remainder to follow at some undetermined point.

But the report says the government has not allotted enough money to meet even the short-term target and will have to extend its self-imposed deadline by a year.
National defense, it seems, is the "municipalities" of the federal government: something that's clearly and solely the purview of the federal level of government, and something that governments even occasionally claim to care about. But it's always, always, always a second-level priority: not something you put off tax cuts for, not something you risk an election over putting front and center, and despite having serious and pressing needs, not something you ever allocate the necessary resources for.

But unlike the provinces, Canada's national government never goes around whining to super-national fora demanding that other militaries do a job we aren't willing to pay for...

Oh, wait.

God, we're a nation of children. Obnoxious children.

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