Tag Archives: Canadian Politics

A Story about a “real” Libertarian

Let me tell you about my first exposure to Libertarians and my bewildered response to the hate he received:

We had an all candidates debate at my school when I was 18, it was my first opportunity to vote and I was EAGER to get in on that. I loved politics and was an avowed liberal (not a hippy)

So each of the candidates came up and said their piece and debated some of the issues of the day; the Libertarian candidate was a nebbish, bookish fellow who extolled the value of simply being in charge of your own life and the role of the government as a means to enforce contracts and keep society safe and thats about it.

I was wowed; I think I identified with him (being bookish myself) but when it came time for questions people sort of forgot who else was there and took the opportunity to tear this man a new hole to crap from. He left bruised and I left confused. Why had so many people just attacked him?

This predates the Internet and it might shock some; but in some schools they didn’t push Ayn Rand on you. So my exposure to his ideas was well, non-existent up until that point. I was a devoted liberal and pretty much a hard core socialist; but the idea of “owning myself” was interesting.

So I had decided to vote Libertarian if only because I felt bad for that guy who I identified with more than anything else.

It wasn’t until later when I read more of his written stances that I came to understand him better. First and foremost he believed that Abortion should be illegal (which I suspect is why he got in the door of my school in the first place, but I digress) and that women were as much a part of a mans property as his farm equipment and so on.

Now. I understood why he was disliked; he was some kind of kook. Fair enough.

In the 21 years since I haven’t actually come across a Libertarian who wasn’t also the same kind of kook; mostly they were “rugged individuals” who had some sort of hobby horse grudge against society (be it taxes, drug laws, tort law, regulation, abortion, race, fees, the cost of tickets online, what have you) and so they decide that the best way to approach this complaint is to secede from society in some way. To realize their own vision of freedom, away from “the thing that makes society terrible”

It’s dressed up as “freedom from coercion” sure. In ways it is. There is a belief that the tyranny of the greater group will trample those of the individual or the minority; this of course excepts that in the Western world at least, minority protections exist. If someone is a genuine minority through no fault of their own, they are protected. What is misunderstood is that Minority Opinions are protected; but not necessarily supported or applied. And for some people. this is unacceptable. So they become a “Libertarian” but since (by definition) to be a Libertarian is to be a Dilettante and an “Individual” there is no one single definition of a Libertarian that fits.

There are Libertarian Hippies

Libertarian Gun Nut Survivalists

Libertarian Republicans

Libertarian Democrats

and it all boils down to one thing

“I can do it on my own, leave me alone”

OUR COUNTRY REEKS OF TREES

Obama and Friends
Credit to: OldMaison @ Flickr

The Olympics have come and gone and Canada has apparently won “The most medals Evar” by a host nation.  Which is nice I suppose.

With a price tag of 8 Billion and counting I hope that the balance sheet works out for Vancouver as the Recession continues unabated.  Right?  Around here I think people would be willing to literally shovel shit for work as the job market tightens into a tight ball like a potato bug and doesn’t show any signs of letting up; never mind the HUNDREDS of positions in the want ads.  If the news tells you that it’s poverty-aggeddon then you should behave like it is.

Good luck recouping those costs that have been laid out on your behalf;  by comparison the estimated cost (dollars) for each day in Afghanistan is approx. 3 Million (http://www.afghanistan.gc.ca/canada-afghanistan/news-nouvelles/2009/2009_02_25a.aspx?lang=eng)  with the expected total cost to be 11.3 billion.  Just think, for 3 Billion more Canada could have been saving Iraq too!  How exciting; huh?

All of that nonsense aside; the Winter Olympics have indeed brought out some nice nationalism in the Canadian people; allowing them to show again that even in the face of glorious victory they don’t destroy their own downtown in celebration.  I’m not naming names or anything; but at least one big fratboy neighbor on the Continent can’t really say the same.

Stephen Harper, not even original.

All Clubbed up, sure, but what is going on there?  Why is Stephen Harper saying the EXACT same thing as John Howard?  Liberals, NDP etc, hang this on him like the weight of infamy it is.

If Stephen Harper had been Prime minister; Canada would likely have been in Iraq, young men wasted in the pursuit of nothing but death.  Remember this… Remind Canadians of this.

Why the oddly specific number? Why?

Two Quotes about Chrysler and GM that stick out:

“I know this is difficult,” Mr. Clement said. “I know this affects real workers in real towns and cities across Ontario.

and

CAW president Ken Lewenza has called Fiat’s proposal to cut labour costs at Chrysler Canada by $19 an hour an “unreasonable” demand and has said it is “not going to happen,” arguing the CAW is competitive with unionized environments in the United States.

Why $19 and not a Percentage?  That’s a strange way of doing things.  It’s not like “cut them by 5%”; which would be the normal way to approach cuts.

Something stinks there.  Is there anyone inside of Fiat who can break their wall of silence and pass along the skinny on this?

Also; this again:

“I know this is difficult,” Mr. Clement said. “I know this affects real workers in real towns and cities across Ontario.

If there is something that can be said about Harper is that Canada lives between Alberta and Saskatchewan.  That’s it.  The rest of the landmass that we think of as Canada is “the Rest of it” and is dismissed very easily by the Snow-Texans of the West.

Some Interesting Reading on Tony Clement too (National Post)