http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/312462

Former Canadian Libertarian candidate talks education in Ontario Special

Posted Oct 11, 2011 by Andrew Moran
The Ontario election has come and gone and voters have selected the next government to lead the province for the next four years. But one St. Paul's candidate wants constituents to understand the Libertarian view on education in Ontario.
Canadian Libertarian federal candidate John Kettridge
Canadian Libertarian federal candidate John Kettridge
Courtesy of John Kettridge
The topic of education was an important one in the recent provincial election. There were even several debates across Ontario focused specifically on education, such as what can be improved upon, what have been the major setbacks and parties’ education platforms.
Former St. Paul’s federal and provincial Libertarian candidate, John Kittredge, spoke with DigitalJournal.com to provide the Libertarian viewpoint on provincial education, its history and its failings.
Kittredge explained that government interference in another service, such as education, makes it difficult for the general population to imagine a society with government in every sector of our lives.
More than 130 years ago, governments across the province introduced public education – a model taken from the German state of Prussia in the 19th century that was originally installed as a method to institute obedience, conformity and reverence to the state.
“Public education in Ontario continues to be dominated by that regimented learning model,” said Kittredge, a former gold medalist in the World Masters Athletics Championship. “Socializing the student remains of paramount importance. New ideas, creativity, originality and dissent from conventional thinking are discouraged.”
Although Kittredge noted that there are numerous educators in the current system that are excellent at what they do, he urged caution that direction from government bureaucrats can actually provide educational achievements to the students.
“The mind is the human means of survival which nature has provided,” added the McGill University and University of Western Ontario graduate. “The acquisition and implementation of knowledge in the pursuit of happiness and prosperity are both natural and necessary. Training the mind should be an exciting, empowering prospect, not an ordeal to be endured. Private education will succeed in this where public education has failed.”
“Excellence will be acknowledged and rewarded. There will be an end to political arguments about academic goals and standards, teacher credentialing, school accreditation, curriculum, financing, or whatever else happens to be in dispute at any particular time. Exciting innovation and advances will become the norm instead of the exception.”
At the present time, only a small amount of parents have put their children through the private school system. But for the majority of families, they have had to “hope for the best from the public system.”
Under a Libertarian government, they would transfer the power back to the parents in terms of educating their children, which will then lead to the responsibility of the adult student to learn and be educated.
Once government is out of the field of education, taxes would be lowered substantially. However, according to Kittredge, much more will transpire as a result.
“Once libertarian ideas are generally accepted, growth of productivity and higher incomes will make it easier to afford a good education,” said the follower of Ayn Rand’s Objectivist principles. “Everyone, no matter what their circumstances, will have more opportunities than what is now available. Undoubtedly there are some who will have financial difficulty in caring for their children. That number will be small. Over time it will become even smaller.”
Kittredge noted that respect for liberty has led to munificence and prosperity, which is why kids who are truly needed will be assisted by charity.
In the end, Kittredge believes there has been tremendous progress made by the human mind in all facets of life that have not been touched by a governmental body in some way. A lot of the improvements that have occurred would not have happened if there was government interference.
“We continue to be held back by present day thinking bestowing legitimacy upon government interference in far too many areas of human activity,” concluded Kittredge. “A total change in that thinking is the only way to end stagnation in education.”
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For more on John Kittredge and Libertarianism in Canada, please read DigitalJournal.com’s in-depth interview with the former candidate.