Proposing the Wrong Solution

Dave Killion — June 17, 2012

I have, once or twice, explained how those who promote various forms of amalgamation for the thirteen municipalities which govern Victoria both misdiagnose the illness AND prescribe the wrong cure. Judging by a recent post at Victoria Vision, they still haven’t see the light

“Our OCPs(Official Community Plans) in the region are not as good as they could be because they plan for the arbitrary borders that exist and not for the communities that really do exist.     We have neighbourhoods split up by the planning process and not being allowed to holistically work as a single community.

The OCP process is also very exclusionary.  Just because someone lives on one side of the street their opinion on the other side of the street does not get counted as an equal voice.   It is also  exclusionary  because there are so many planning processes.   There is no way anyone can keep on top of any of them.  It also means the media does not pay attention to them either.  We end up with much less input and from a narrow segment of the city’s population.

We need amalgamation simply so that we can plan properly for the whole city.”

But the problem isn’t that there are 13 OCPs when there should be just two or three, it’s that there are 13 OCPs when there should be none! Centralizing plans cannot work because central planners cannot acquire and evaluate all the knowledge they require in order to undertake such a task successfully. To think otherwise is to fall victim to what Friedrich Hayek called ‘The Fatal Conceit‘. The solution to what ails Greater Victoria (and most every other city) is to strip all coercive governance down to its core functions as quickly as possible, and privatize those core functions to the greatest degree possible. Any things else is just an exchange of one set of problems for another.

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