The State is an entity expected to provide its citizens with protection, order, and stability.
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Does it provide protection? Does it maintain stability? Does it prevent chaos? Does the state honestly fulfill its role? The State is an entity expected to provide its citizens with protection, order, and stability. It is the backbone of society; a source of both stability and strength. Individuals agree, "we judge a society by how we treat our elderly, needy, and sick" (Doerksen, 1). Based on this statement, the Canadian State is not living up to society's expectations. In Canada "social policies are being redesigned to diminish their impact on provincial and federal budgets" (Harder, 176). Recent welfare cuts confirm the notion that the government can no longer satisfy the roles and responsibilities towards the state. These social program cuts have revealed the government's failure to suitably perform its duties of protection, stability and order. Protection is the primary function of the state. This remains ignored by the recent modifications to the welfare scheme. Lipson claims that state protection is a reflection of the citizens "desire for security of life and limb" (43); a force, which citizens can believe will safeguard and defend them. Presently, the state fails to protect the basic needs of its people. The new legislation will force over 29 000 welfare recipients off government funding in April 2004 (Jones, 1).
The decreasing income assistance also reveals the government's inability to maintain stability for its citizens. In a society ruled by the people, it is essential for the state to provide stability and predictability for its citizens. By eliminating aid to the unemployed, the government increases the stress on and promotes instability of other social programs. Programs such as Goodwill, the Red Cross and shelters will be under enormous pressure to accommodate the individuals, which the government has turned away. Presently, over 778,000 people are forced to line up in food banks each month (Lawton, 1). Over the past year the number of food bank dependents has increased by 5.5% and this number is expected to increase significantly with the government's refusal to aid the financially challenged (Lawton, 1). Food banks, shelter, clothing donation centers, and many other non-profit organizations have limited budgets, which cannot handle the increased strain that will result when the government implements this radical decrease in welfare support. Unfortunately, the new weight on social programs will result in many people being turned away empty-handed. Since the government is equipped with significantly larger resources, the state should ensure stability by continuing to assist the unemployed until they are self-sufficient. Canada is the forth-lowest country on the OECD for the portion of gross domestic products spent on social programs (Dyck 165). By this comparison the Canadian government is not doing enough for its people.
("Cutting Welfare Rolls Causes Problems," 2) As a force of order, the state should act to prevent poverty and homelessness, not promote it. The government should attempt to preserve order by strengthening the social safety net and promoting the stability of other social programs ("Cutting Welfare Rolls Causes Problems", 2). Another reason why the government must support welfare programs is the likelihood of increased crime rate caused by increased poverty and homelessness. Many who are refused income assistance will make very little money legally. The next step for many of these individuals is crime. It is not a surprise that the restrictions on welfare will increase petty crimes ("Cutting Welfare Rolls Causes Problems," 2). The fact that the state is allowing crime and other public costs to increase confirms that the government is not fulfilling its duty to provide order for society. The state is not fulfilling it roles of protection, stability and order. A state does not exist without citizens; people have created the states to protect their needs and interests. Recent welfare regulations have decreased the state's protection of the citizens' basic needs. The pressures, which the two-year welfare period has shifted on to other social programs, reveal the government's inability to maintain stability for its people. Finally, the state's role to promote order is also threatened by the government's new welfare legislation. The two-year assistance limit is expected to increase poverty, homelessness, crime, and stress on other government departments, which will ultimately decrease order within society.
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