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Child care in Michael Ignatieff's rights revolution

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Ignatieff, Michael
Publication Date: 
1 Nov 2000

Excerpts from Sheila Rogers' interview of The Rights Revolution author Michael Ignatieff.

SR - You say that the test of serious moral commitment to the family is a willingness to spend public money - and in the current climate of this election you also add that that "those that won't stump up ...are just engaging in cheap talk". How should these rights actually be enshrined in some kind of guarantee? Law?

MI - In order to be equal - in order to be free - you have to have a kind of public arch over the heads of families - that protects them in the courts, in the police cells but also provides common services.

Canadians are very concerned about equality of access to health care across the country - that's just basic in keeping families healthy.


There are all sorts of ways in which we can spend public money that actually strengthens families. And I don't want to have rights talk made into a kind of apology for extreme conservative market capitalism.

I think there's a way of talking about rights that says we need some social investment and if we want to have strong families - want to have equality - if we want to have rights - then we have to stump up the public goods that make it possible for us to be equal and free at the same time.