The Carrot and the Stick of COVID Compliance
Efforts to motivate people can almost always be seen in terms of reward or punishment. People want to do something because they expect to receive a benefit or because—if they don’t do it—something bad will happen to them. This is commonly referred to as the carrot and the stick.
Most people obey traffic signs and posted speed limits most of the time because they know that failure to do so will sooner or later result in a fine or worse. Those fines would be a stick . . . a punishment that produces pain, at least in the pocketbook.
People may develop shopping loyalty to a particular brand because they hope to receive a reward: bonus points or reduced prices on future items. “Roll up the Rim” is an enticement to buy coffee at Tim’s with a chance to win something of material value.
Sometimes, the same item can be looked at as either a carrot or a stick. So it is with the vaccine passports and vaccine mandates being issued by the provinces with the approval of the federal government. Those who comply are told they will be able to travel, to dine out, to attend public events and to engage in activities at gyms, spas, etc. They can also keep their jobs and be able to feed their families. Those who refuse to take the jabs (at least two, with follow-up boosters likely on the agenda), are told they will NOT be able to cross the border, board a plane, go to a movie theatre, eat out, etc. If they work for the government, they will NOT be able to keep their jobs, even if they have invested decades in career development, even if they have been ideal employees, even if they have families to feed. The carrot is being able to resume activities suspended by restrictive COVID measures. The stick is being excluded from activities we all took for granted only two years ago.
In this crazy time of exclusion, punishment and the public shaming of the unvaccinated, we have seen both the federal and provincial governments brandishing the stick with little apparent concern for the freedoms we once considered sacrosanct and no concern at all for the dashed hopes and aspirations of the thousands of families affected by their callous demands. The feds have passed much responsibility for enforcement on to the provinces and both federal and provincial edicts have placed a significant amount of that burden on private companies: airlines, restaurants, movie theatres. Even there, the carrot and the stick apply.
We know, for instance, that government employees at all levels use air transportation a lot. After all, taxpayers—both vaccinated and unvaccinated—are paying the fares. If the airlines want to keep their clients, they must comply. Media outfits, like the CBC and other recent recipients of taxpayer aid, not only need to comply with the vaccine mandates; they also need to stick with the government narrative on the “safety and efficacy” of the experimental mRNA injections. And they have. It’s hard to find news or opinion in any mainstream media that contradicts the mantra being recited daily by public health officers and most provincial and federal politicians.
When it comes to politicians, recent actions of the federal government should alarm every Canadian. The government has now declared that no unvaccinated person may enter the House of Commons. That includes elected MPs, their staff or members of the public. Using COVID as an excuse, the ruling party has in effect banned real opposition voices from being on the scene to challenge or question their policies. The so-called Official Opposition has rolled over on this one and the smaller parties represented in the House are on the same page as the Liberals.
Why is this important? Because, with the stroke of a pen, it undermines the essential principles of our representative democracy. It means that any citizen, even one elected to represent his or her constituents, must bow to the wishes and edicts of the Prime Minister before entering the House where the laws of Canada are enacted and where the actions of the PM and his government have historically been subject to legitimate questions and scrutiny.
Whatever your personal feelings about the experimental mRNA injections, this casting aside of the very principles by which democracies are meant to be kept transparent should concern you. The forcing of Canadian citizens to participate in a worldwide medical experiment—even against their will—should concern you. The separation of the population into privileged (those who have accepted the carrot) and the outcasts (those who have rejected the carrot and felt the stick) is a frightening glimpse of things to come. Unless Canadians come together to demand that our governments—both federal and provincial—abandon the failed protocols and strategies of a developing police state, we can expect more restrictions, harsher enforcements and even less transparency.
It is time for all Canadians of good will and common sense to speak up. I’m sure that most Canadians—both vaxxed and unvaxxed—hope to retain the freedoms and citizen involvements that have made Canada one of the best countries in the world and one with some of the greatest opportunities for personal fulfilment. We must not let ourselves be deceived by COVID confusion. We have significant challenges with COVID; that’s true. If we lose our ability to participate in a meaningful way in the institutions of our parliamentary democracy, the troubles of today will seem like nothing. Read 1984 again. Read the Gulag Archipelago. Read about the millions that perished in the USSR and in the Peoples’ Republic of China. This is not alarmism. This is simply a recognition that sinful human nature has not changed and absolute power corrupts . . . absolutely. The evils that men have wrought in the past are still possible today, perhaps even more so, since so many have rejected God and His principles. Let us not be guilty of being asleep at the switch when it’s our time to shine!
If you’re not already a member of CHP Canada, join us today and help us remind our fellow Canadians of the Christian heritage that is the foundation of our civilization.
Other Commentary by Rod Taylor:
- Mort par mille coupures!
- Death by a Thousand Cuts!
- Variantes sur un thème
- Variants on a Theme
- Que faites-vous cette année?
- What Are You Doing This Year?