Wednesday, August 29, 2007
First, I have a column in the Globe and Mail, wherein I suggest Prime Minister Stephen Harper would have been better off had he stayed at the National Citizens Coalition.
And I am in today's Toronto Star, talking about the feud between Harper and former Elections Canada boss, J P Kingsley.
Monday, August 27, 2007
The conference, which brings together students, lawyers and judges, will examine the state of freedom in Canada today.
Topics include: What is freedom?; The state of free expression; Freedom and security; Religious freedom; and the state of property rights.
One of the keynote speakers is Supreme Court Justice Marshall Rothstein.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I will appear on a panel to talk about election gag laws.
This should be an interesting event. Go here to learn more about it or here to register online.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation, by the way, is a wonderful group that is fighting for freedom through litigation.
Right now, for instance, the CCF is financially assisting two Canadians who are legally challenging the federal government's monopoly on health care.
That's a case to keep an eye on.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
It seems the Ontario Tories are complaining about some anti-Conservative TV spots that a group known as Working Families Coalition is airing.
The Tories say this group is a front for the Liberals. They further say the group's expenditures should be listed as Liberal campaign expenses.
Now while I worked for the National Citizens Coalition, we were always being accused of being a front for somebody --- the Reform Party, the Conservative Party, the Canadian Alliance, the Liberal Party, the CIA, the Masons, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
So maybe the Working Families Coalition isn't a front for anybody but is a bunch of Working Families -- who are pooling their resources to make a political statement.
OK that's rubbish. You and I both know this "Coalition" is run by big union bosses.
But even big union bosses have a right to express an opinion. The Tories should respect that.
Complaining about third party spending leads to only one thing: election gag laws. And they deny free speech.
What they should do, however, is point out that this "Coalition" is probably funded with forces union dues. And that's wrong!
No one should be forced to subsidize a political cause against his or her will.
So here's my advice to Tory leader John Tory -- promise to change Ontario's labour laws so that union bosses can't use forced dues to finace political causes.
Leave the free speech part alone.
Ken McDonald died on August 20, aged 93 years.
He led a remarkable life. A bomber pilot with the RAF during World War II, Ken travelled the world first in his capacity with the military than as an executive with a commerical airline.
But to me what made Ken so remarkable was his unshakeable committment to fighting for freedom -- whether that meant fighting the Nazis abroad, or Pierre Trudeau's socialism at home.
Not content to simply sit back and watch Trudeau ruin his country, Ken -- at an age when most men retire -- battled socialism with his pen.
He wrote several best-selling books exposing and opposing the Truduea agenda, including the Red Maple, Keeping Canada Together and The Monstrous Trick.
Ken was also one of the founders of the National Citizens Coalition, where he edited and wrote the group's newsletters from 1975 until 1989. That's how I knew him.
The last time I talked to Ken was just after the NCC fired me. He called to express his shock at what had happened and to offer me whatever help he could.
Ken McDonald was a true gentleman of the old school. They don't make them like that anymore.
I will miss him.
Tyler persuaded a Quebec court to strike down as unconstitutional Bill 104, a law which made it illegal for francophone children -- who previously attended private English-language schools -- to attend English public schools.
This now provides a "loophole" for francophone parents who wish to send their kids to English public schools.
Predictably, Quebec's political and intellectual elite are outraged.
"There is a consensus in Quebec as to the necessity to preserve the French language in Quebec," said Cultural Affairs Minister Christine St. Pierre, the minister responsible for the administration of the language law.
In other words, the preservation of French in Quebec is more important than the federal rights charter and more important than individual freedom.
But does St. Pierre really believe the French language is so fragile that permitting parents the choice of sending their kids to English schools will destroy it?
If French is truly that frail, no amount of dictatorial laws will save it.
Anyway, congrats to Brent Tyler -- though the fight is far from over, as this will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.
And by the way, somebody should ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper where he stands on this case.
While he was president of the National Citizens Coalition, he sent Tyler money to finances similar court challenges.
Wonder if he has changed his mind since then?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Have a look.
(Warning this video has conservative themes. Viewer discretion is advised.)
Oh and I am told the folks at the Institute for Liberal Studies will soon have an edited version of my talk on their website.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Got a chance to give a talk entitled: "Pigs, Power and Politics: Fighting for Freedom Che Guevara style". That went over well.
Also got a chance to meet old friends and to make news ones.
But the the highlight of the weekend had to be when Seminar organizer Peter Jaworski presented me with an award.
That's right, I was the proud recipient of the Peter M. Jaworksi Freedom Medal, which really, really looks like the cap off a beer botte.
Oh and I was also named an "Associate" of the Institute for Liberal Studies.
So all in all, it was a pretty good weekend.
Friday, August 17, 2007
They do this, I suppose, because both Bush and Harper are, at least nominally, conservatives.
So fair is fair. If it's OK to call Harper a Bush clone, it should also be alright to label NDP leader Jack Layton a "Hugo Chavez clone".
Chavez, the soon-to-be dictator of Venezuela, like Layton is a socialist.
So if Layton ever becomes Prime Minister here is what he will do if he follows the Chavez model:
* Change the constitution to allow himself to assume the role of "president for life".
* Shut down the country's private media.
* Expropriate private property on a massive scale.
* Nationalize oil companies.
* Set up alliances with terrorist-supporting regimes.
* Form deep friendship with Sean Penn.
All hail Chariman Jack!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Seems like National Post editor Marni Soupcoff also has a high opinion of this man.
In a Post editorial today, Marni writes of Bernier as: "Someone who had entered politics for the right reasons -- to defend his ideals and promote freedom ... This was someone who couldn't have known the prize (if a Cabinet position is to be considered a prize) that awaited him, but stuck his neck out just the same."
And she adds:
"Do I think that Maxime Bernier will ultimately have the ability to single-handedly overcome the Leviathan of our bloated government? Sadly, no. Stephen Harper has proven a good example of how the assumption of power inevitably bends and stretches once firmly held ideals. And physics seems to dictate that the greater the power, the bendier those ideals become.
But as a man who got into government because he wanted to promote liberty, rather than himself, Bernier should at least cause far less harm than most of his peers."
Actually it's kind of a sad commentary on today's political scene that the best we can hope for is that our leaders "cause far less harm" than their peers.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
AJF is a brilliant political strategist, a masterful pollster and more importantly he is my friend.
So that's why I was pleased to see he was officially proclaimed "An Evil Genius" and a "Dark Lord."
Perhaps one of these days I too will be considered an evil genius. But until then I will have to content myself with being "One of the top five political minds in the country."
If the shuffle indicated anything it's that the government plans to continue drifting aimlessly to the Left, at least on fiscal matters. Jim Flaherty is still at Finance, Jim Prentice is now Industry Minister, and the only true small "c" conservative in cabinet, Maxime Bernier, is out of the country on the Embassy circuit.
That's disappointing, but hardly surprising.
For other reactions to the shuffle, see here, here and here maybe here.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
* Gordon O'Connor gone as Defence Minister. No surprise. Once upon a time Defence was a minor post, usually given to some light weight. No more. With the war in Afghanistan, the government needs to communicate to Canadians as to why the effort is worth the high price we are paying. Will Peter MacKay be up to the job? Who knows? But he will be an improvement over O'Connor.
* Maxime Bernier to Foreign Affairs. Bernier is one of few stars in Harper's cabinet. And I think the man most likely to succeed the Prime Minister. Maybe that's why Harper wants him out of the country. I would rather have seen him as Finance Minister.
* Jim Prentice going to Industry. Not a good move. Prentice is a media darling, but a Red Tory and I fear he could do a lot of damage in that post.
* Diane Ablonczy in Cabinet. It's about time.
* Bev Oda out as Heritage Minister. Good news. Oda who is more liberal than the Liberals never met a government subsidy she didn't like. However, I doubt her replacement Josee Verner will be much of an improvement.
* Big disappointment. Jim Flaherty remains as Finance Minister. A sign the Tory drift to the left will continue.
Here's part of it:
As a former citizen of totalitarian state, I found your column in today's Toronto Sun rather refreshing, to say the least. I feel that it should be a compulsory reading for every Canadian of voting age, no exceptions . . . thank you for your realistic view of Canada, as it is right now and for your courage to say so.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Well after I posted about it on my Facebook page, somebody offered me what I think sounds like a credible explanation:
"I know what this is. Remember when kids used to launch potatoes out of a homemade launcher?Well, nowadays they're not satisfied with just vegetables. They'll use any projectile. Including old barbells from weight sets with nozzles welded on the end. They rig up a device and use an air compressor to launch it. That's exactly what this is. Idiots. That could've definitely killed someone."
So there you have it.
It wasn't a piece of an airplane or space ship; it was just some stupid punks.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Hey, here's a real mystery.
This morning I heard a loud clang outside, but didn't think anything of it. We have a lot of house construction going on around here. Something is always crashing.
Friday, August 10, 2007
On a couple of occasions we clashed on the show, and a couple of times we agreed.
And I knew he was going to blog about the show, but I didn't know he was going to blog about me!
Check it out.
One of the other guests was Thomas King, noted author and a federal NDP star candidate in Guelph.
Anyway, at one point during the show the topic of Afghanistan came up and King, who opposes our mission there, referred to Canadian soldiers as "mercenaries".
I took exception to that and a bit of a debate erupted.
After the show aired, I received this email:
"Just a quick thank you for letting loose on Tom King. As a Canadian soldier I resent pretty well everything he said about me and my brethren and the mission. I was actually surprised you maintained composure, I wouldn't of. "
I suspect that's one guy who will never vote NDP.
And that's the problem with the Left, it's not that they are anti-war, it's that they are anti-military.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Rebecca is a sharp and true blue conservative.
And I bring all this up only because she has an excellent column today in the Calgary Herald, on the folly of Canada's socialist health care system.
Check it out.
And I have never really seen him angry.
But right now, he is pretty angry at Stephen Taylor. In fact, Paul gives a flogging to the Blogging Tories on the question of free speech.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
The LSS, which takes place on the August 18-19 weekend on a stunningly beautiful wooded estate near Orono, Ontario, offers libertarians and conservatives a chance to meet liked-minded people, to exchange ideas and to hear fascinating speakers.
Oh yeah, it also give you a chance to have a great time. There's live music, plus recreational activities, plus a gorgeous swimming pond, plus (my favourite part) barbecues.
And if that doesn't tempt you, consider this: I will be speaking at this year's event. My topic: "Pigs, Power and Politics -- Fighting for freedom Che Guevara-style".
That's right, I will be sharing some of the insights, that make me "One of the Top Five Political Minds in the Country."
Believe me, the Liberty Summer Seminar is a unique event you don't want to miss. Heck, it even has its own theme song!
So register today. Hope to see you there.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Maybe he truly believes that. Or maybe he just figures he needs to say that to have any chance of ever becoming leader of the Liberal Party.
I strongly suspect the latter is the case, meaning Ignatieff is simply putting politics ahead of principle.
And that puts him in stark contrast to U.S. Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman, who has stuck to his guns consistently and courageously.
In a recent speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition (That must be the world's smallest group) Lieberman, declared:
The fact is, a loss to Al Qaeda and Iran in Iraq would be devastating to our security. These are fateful days and critical decisions we are making about Iraq. We must make them with our eye on the safety of Americas next generation, not the outcome of Americas next election.
It is to the everlasting credit of President Bush that in the war against Islamist extremism he has shown the courage and \steadfastness to stand against the political passions of the moment. I have never hesitated to express disagreement with the President on any issue when I felt he was wrong - and I have criticized his administration many times for the serious mistakes I believe it made in prosecuting the war in Iraq.
But let me tell you this: I believe that each of us should be grateful that we have a commander-in-chief who does not believe that decisions about war should be driven by poll numbers. And each of us should be grateful that we have a commander-in-chief who does not confuse what is popular with what is right for our security as a nation. The public opinion polls may not reflect this today, but I believe history will tomorrow.
You may not agree with Lieberman on this issue, but you have to give him credit: he doesn't dilute his beliefs to curry favour.
Politicians like that are as rare as goals in a soccer game.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
One notable exception, however, has been its efforts to undermine the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly.
Simply put, this monopoly is an archaic, Soviet-style regulation that denies economic freedom to Western grain farmers.
It should have been abolished long ago.
And the Harper government was definitely moving in that direction, through referendums and orders in council --- but now a Judge in Alberta has slammed the breaks on the whole process.
Yesterday, Justice Dolores Hansen ruled that only Parliament could dismantle the Wheat Board monopoly.
And so Canada's "Little Kremlin on the Prairie" will continue to lumber on, like some sort of dinosaur.
Of course, one day the power of the markets will wear away this abomination, but until then Western grain farmers will be unfree.
Thanks Justice Hansen.