Saturday, November 28, 2009

The day I warned the Liberals

A year ago today the federal Opposition parties unveiled their diabolical scheme to form a Coalition and wrest power away from the Conservatives.

It was also on this day one year ago that I posted a blog warning the Liberals to think through this dopey idea.

They heeded my advice .... eventually.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Want economic growth? Cut taxes and red tape

Recently the Toronto Dominion Bank came up with a grim report, predicting a decade of stagnant economic growth for Canada.

Fortunately, we can avoid this.


Well for answers check out this column I wrote which appears in today's Hamilton Spectator.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Media Alert

I am scheduled to appear on CTV's Power Play this afternoon at about 5:25 PM EST to talk torture.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Libertas Post stuff

Here are some interesting items you might want to check out at the Libertas Post:

* Take part in an online survey, which asks the burning question: "What can Michael Ignatieff do to turn things around?"

* Charles Adler slams the "venus flytrap" climate scam.

* Rondi Adamson asks "Why do you think they call it dope?"

* Walker Morrow laments what's happening to the Olympic debate in BC.

Libertarianism and Politics

The National Post today published an extract of a speech I recently gave to the Ontario Libertarian Party.

If interested, you can read the entire speech here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Michael Ignatieff's To Do List

Using the Access to Information Act, I managed to get a hold of this key political document:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s “To Do List”

* “De-friend” Janine Krieber

* Memorize names of my new staff members

* Renew VISA for working in the United States

* Take piano/singing lessons

* See doctor about mysterious knife-like wounds in my back

* Ask Warren Kinsella when “ass kicking” will begin.

* Tell aide to stop showing me those blasted poll results

* Hire a new pollster

* Find out why Bob Rae is measuring curtains in my office

* Remind myself why I wanted this job.
Crossposted at Libertas Post.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Liberty and Free Speech

I am looking forward to participating in the upcoming December 7th symposium on Liberty and Free Speech.

Organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, the symposium will feature a top-notch cast of speakers including John Robson, Brian Lee Crowley, Barbara Kay and many others.

And the symposium's agenda will cover an array of timely and interesting topics.

So if the issue of free speech concerns you, I would strongly urge you to register for this important event.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't get preachy on healthcare

I have just posted an excellent article by Rondi Adamson over at the Libertas Post.

Adamson argues Canadians should resist the urge to get preachy with Americans when it comes to healthcare.

Here's a sampling:

We would do well to not preach, in spite of Barack Obama ’s assertion -- during his appearance a few weeks ago on the Late Show with David Letterman -- that Canadians “are perfectly happy with their system.”

Are we? A one-time, extensive US-Canada sponsored study, done in 2004, showed that Canadians and uninsured Americans had similar levels of satisfaction when it came to healthcare. In fact, more Americans (53 percent) than Canadians (44 percent) were said to be "very satisfied" with the state of their healthcare.

Check out the rest.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Politics and freedom

Here's a letter I wrote which appears in the Ottawa Hill Times. It's my response to a column by Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch who supports using public money to subsidize political parties.

Dear Sir/Madam:

In his column (“Secret donations damage Canadian politics” Nov. 9) Duff Conacher reveals why his group, Democracy Watch, needs a new name.

From what he recommended regarding political donations, democracy doesn’t seem to be his main priority.

After all, Conacher supports the idea of forcing Canadians to subsidize political parties through their tax dollars.

That’s nothing but a “welfare for politicians” scheme, and it’s wrong.

Like every other private organization, political parties should rely on voluntary contributions. Compelling taxpayers to finance parties they don’t support is clearly undemocratic.

As Thomas Jefferson once put it, “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”

And Conacher’s other idea -- to severely limit what individuals can contribute to political parties -- is also undemocratic.

For one thing, government should not have the right to tell me what I can do with my own money?

For another thing, stopping me from contributing my own money to a political party of my own choice is an infringement on my right to free expression.

So forget the name “Democracy Watch”; a better name for Conacher’s group might be “Socialist Watch.”

Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to Canada: Here are the rules

The federal government has announced it will be handing out a newly revamped “citizenship guide” to immigrants entering this country.

Unlike previous such guides which basically offered a brief explanation as to why the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 42 years, this one will emphasize the responsibilities bestowed up “new” Canadians.

To me this sounds like a fantastic idea, so to help spread the word I managed to got a hold of one these guides and have reproduced it here:


In Canada, rights come with responsibilities. These include the following:

There is no compulsory military service in Canada. However, serving in the regular Canadian Forces (navy, army and air force) is a noble way to contribute to Canada and an excellent career choice. It’s also a great way to learn about your new nation’s history first-hand, as Canadian troops are basically armed with military equipment dating from roughly the War of 1812.

Getting a job, taking care of one's family and working hard in keeping with one's abilities, are important Canadian values. Work contributes to personal dignity and self-respect, and to Canada's prosperity. But the harder you work, the more money governments will deduct from your income in taxes. So let’s face it, it doesn’t really make sense to work too hard.

One of Canada's founding principles is the rule of law, which is why we have laws and regulations coming out of our national whazoo. Once in Canada, you can expect politicians and bureaucrats to regulate virtually every aspect of your life from where you can smoke cigarettes, to what kind of dog you can own, to what language you can post on business signs. Resistance is futile.

When called to do so, you are legally required to serve. Indeed, serving on a jury is a privilege. (Don’t worry; it’s usually pretty easy to get out of it. Try telling the judge something like, “Hey you know what? The accused reminds me of the guy who ran over my kitten!”)

The right to vote comes with a responsibility to vote in federal, provincial or territorial, and local elections. And remember a Conservative government let you in the country, which might help you decide which party to vote for, if you get our drift.

Every citizen has a role to play in avoiding waste and pollution while protecting Canada's natural, cultural and architectural heritage for future generations. And if you don’t know what that role is, don’t worry. David Suzuki will nag you to death until you turn off your bloody porch light.

Millions of volunteers freely donate their time to help others without pay -- helping people in need, assisting at your child's school, volunteering at a food bank or other charity, or encouraging newcomers to integrate.

Revenue Canada is still trying to figure out if it can somehow tax them for this.

So as you can see, this guide will help explain to newly arrived Canadians that citizenship is truly a two-way street.

It’s a two-way street, by the way, which as the guide helpfully points out, was recently re- paved thanks to a Conservative government stimulus grant.

Libertarianism and me

Here's the text of a speech I recently gave to the Ontario Libertarian Party.

It'll make you laugh; It'll make you cry; It'll make you wish it was shorter!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Politics and the NFL

This designer offers his views on the graphics which adorn NFL helmets.

Interestingly, he doesn't like the New England Patriot graphic because he says it "comes dangerously close to looking like a wind-swept John Kerry dressed up like a Minute Man."

He's right!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Conservatives send a mixed message on communism

A couple of days ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke at a ceremony to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall, that symbol of communist tyranny.

And that makes me wonder why tomorrow, Conservative MPs will be at another ceremony commemorating a man who fought for communist tyranny? --- Norman Bethune.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be a guest this afternoon on CTV's Power Play

Topic: Last night's federal by-elections.

Update: The crack news team at CTV was supposed to send me a car to pick up for Powerplay, but they "forgot" meaning I will not be on the show after all.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ontario's bad turn

Here's a letter to the editor I sent to the Toronto Star in response to this editorial which appeared on Saturday.

Dear Sir/Madam:

The Star says it should concern Ontarians that Albertans seemingly want a provincial government which taxes and spends less. (“Alberta's right turns”, November 7)

Well, I am one Ontarian who isn’t concerned one bit.

However, what does scare me is what’s going on here in Ontario under the Liberal government.

Indeed, whenever I think about how the Liberals have sunk this province into a sea of rink ink; about how they have made government bigger and more intrusive; about how they have wasted and mismanaged my tax dollars, it fills me with despair.

So maybe the Star should worry more about Ontario and less about Alberta.

Depressing the NDP

According to this article Peter Donolo, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s new Chief of Staff, will work hard to depress the NDP vote.

I would wholeheartedly support such an action, because for years the NDP vote has depressed me.

But seriously, while working as a pollster Donolo repeatedly declared that for the Liberals to win a majority, they must steal voters away from the NDP.

As he once told the media, the Liberals have to "polarize the electorate" and make the Liberal leader the default for voters who dislike Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

For this to happen Donolo says support for the NDP needs to be pushed down to the 10 percent range.

What does this mean for Ignatieff?

Well I guess it means we can soon expect him to go around telling people that his favourite book is Das Kapital, that his favourite song is Solidarity Forever and that his favourite colour is orange.

Who knows, this could work? Recall how former NDP supporter and union boss, Buzz Hargrove embraced the Liberals in 2006. Or was it the Bloc Quebecois, he supported?

Anyway, the point is the Tories will have to counteract this Liberal plan.


Simple. They just have to make left winger voters angry. It’s a well known fact that when socialists get angry they instinctively stick to their usual political collectives.

And luckily for the Conservatives making socialists angry is easy.

Here, for instance, are five sure-fire measures the Tories could do right now to rile up the left and keep them voting NDP:

* Have Prime Minister Stephen Harper say something controversially pro-American, such as “the United States is not the centre of all evil in the universe.”

* Whenever an NDPer exalts the name of Tommy Douglas, any nearby Tory MP should automatically respond by asking: “Tommy who?”

* The Conservative government should say it’s considering handing over the operations of our health care system to Walmart.

* Declare the Alberta tar sands a national treasure.

* Threaten to invade Venezuela.

Trust me, anyone of these ideas is guaranteed to have enraged left-wingers marching on Parliament Hill in no time.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The real struggle

What do the results of the recent elections in America really mean?

Here's what Professor Don Boudreaux of George Mason says in a letter to the Washington Post.

Dear Editor:

Michael Gerson, Charles Krauthammer, and Eugene Robinson speculate today about Tuesday's election results.

What do these results signal about the Republican and Democratic parties? About Pres. Obama? About Michael Steele? Sarah Palin? Glenn Beck?

Speculations centered on party struggles are tiresome.The real struggle is between persons who love liberty and persons enthralled with power.

A liberty lover refuses to exercise power over others and, therefore, has solid principles upon which he can stand when defending himself against those who would exercise power over him.

In contrast,someone enthralled with power - by endorsing its exercise over others -kicks out from beneath his own feet the principles he will need to stand on when the time comes for him to defend himself against the power of those who would force him to submit to their will.


Donald J. Boudreaux
Department of Economics
George Mason University

H/T Cafe Hayek

Friday, November 06, 2009

Compassion in politics

Here's a letter I sent to the Brantford Expositor in response to this puff piece on Justin Trudeau:

Dear Sir/Madam:

Liberal MP Justin Trudeau talks about the need for “compassion” in politics “Trudeau brings message of 'respect, compassion” November 6.

Sounds good, but your readers should beware.

When left-leaning politicians like Trudeau talk about “compassion” it’s usually code for “we need bigger government and higher taxes.”

Trudeau, like his late father, believes the way to solve our country’s ills is to throw endless amounts of tax dollars at them.

It’s a policy approach, unfortunately, which ends up making us all poorer.

That’s not to say compassion has no place in politics.

I just wish politicians displayed some for over-burdened taxpayers.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Harper called it in 1999

I came across this ancient (more than 10 years old) web site featuring essays by various conservative/libertarian writers.

Found this dusty op ed I wrote a long, long time ago when I still had some hair, called "Romancing the left."

More interestingly, here's an essay on the site written by Prime Minister Harper back in 1999 when he was still president of the National Citizens Coalition.

It's called "Conservative divisions are here to stay" and in the concluding paragraph he makes this startling prediction:

"Within the next decade we will have a situation where no one party can credibly hope to form a national majority government. And it is this, not the United Alternative, which will make things really interesting."

Guess he was right.

Free speech and liberty

I will be participating in a symposium on Free Speech and Liberty in Ottawa on December 7.

The event, which is being organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel 101 Lyon Street from 9 am to 4 pm.

For more information visit where you can also register.

Deadline for registration is December 2.

Other speakers include John Robson, Brian Lee Crowley, Peter Stockland, Barbara Kay, Bjorn Larsen, Karen Selick and many more…

Prices include full lunch and complimentary ticket to a private Christmas dinner/debate on the future of conservatism in Canada at the Parliament Restaurant later that evening which will feature myself, John Robson, Joseph Ben-Ami and Don Lenihan.

Space is limited so please don’t delay.

Hope to see you there!

Libertas Post update

I have posted some interesting items over at the Libertas Post:

* Blogging Tory Raphael Alexander worries about our eroding liberties.

* Joseph Quensel says it's time for conservatives to cut Quebec some slack.

* Former soldier, John Thompson (currently of the Mackenzie Institute) reminds us of what Remembrance Day is all about.

* Wendy Stewart explains the "Blame Game".

* There's the regular Freedom Update.

And of course, you can also vote on our online survey. This week's topic: The H1N1 controversy.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

McQuaig and extremism

Yesterday Linda McQuaig had a column in the Toronto Star suggesting Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a reputation for "extremism."

In response I sent the following letter to the Star:

Dear Sir/Madam:

Linda McQuaig declares in a recent column (“Harper's extremism is showing” November 3) that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a “past reputation for extremism.”

That’s quite a serious charge, if not an outright smear.

Yet McQuaig doesn’t even bother to explain the nature of Harper’s so-called “extremism”.

Maybe that’s because she can’t actually back up her outrageous claim.

In fact, as someone who worked with Stephen Harper quite closely in the days he headed the National Citizens Coalition, I can tell you he believed in and promoted mainstream Canadian values.

As NCC president, Harper pushed for smaller government, lower taxes and individual freedom.

Is that what McQuaig considers extreme?

Obama or no Obama,anti-Americanism lives

Writer and columnist Rondi Adamson is now writing for the Examiner, an American online news site.

Here's her first column which examines that age-old Canadian tendency: anti-Americanism.

Check it out.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Rating the government's flu response.

Have an opinion on the federal government's handling of the H1N1 pandemic?

Well here's a chance to have your say.

Vote on the Libertas Post's online survey

Monday, November 02, 2009

Democracy is about ideas, not just tactics

Hey, here’s a great way to improve our democratic system!

Let's give voters less choice!!

That's the brilliant idea Michael Byers, a political science teacher at UBC, spelled out in this Toronto Star column.

The way Byers, who once ran as a NDP candidate, sees it, there's only one way to prevent the Nasty Harper Tories from winning a majority government and that's for the New Democrats and Liberals to form a pact.

He is not suggesting a Liberal-NDP "coalition" or anything sordid like that, but merely a political arrangement of convenience.

"The Liberals and NDP," Byers writes, "should agree to not run candidates against each other in the next campaign. In each riding, the party whose candidate fared worst in the last election would pull its current candidate out, or refrain from nominating one. Both parties would win more seats, with the Liberals potentially forming a majority government."

Interesting idea.

Yet let’s face it, this will never happen. There’s no way in Narnia the Liberals and NDP would ever agree to pull candidates out of the race just to help each other out.

That would be like the Toronto Maple Leafs throwing games to help the Montreal Canadiens make the playoffs. (This assumes the Maple Leafs were actually good enough to actually throw games.)

But even if Byers' plan was realistic and even it were put into practice would it work?

The short answer is: nope.

The problem with Byers' idea is that he assumes there is a mass and widespread hatred among Canadians directed against Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative government. He likely assumes this because he has a mass and widespread hatred of the Harper government as do all his academic friends.

So a victim of his own groupthink, he believes if you deny a Liberal voter the chance to vote for a Liberal or a NDP supporter the chance vote for a New Democrat, these orphaned voters will automatically vote for whichever candidate is left opposing the Tories.

NDPers would embrace Michael Ignatieff and Liberals would warm up to Jack Layton.

But there are also other equally plausible scenarios. It’s possible there are many Liberals who don’t like and would never support the NDP and vice versa.

As a result, if their favourite party is not running in the race they might just stay home and not vote.

Or they might just vote Conservative. Certainly many Liberals would find more in common with the Conservative Party than they would with the socialist, big-union-dominated NDP.

And let’s not forget, there’s a populist element in the NDP (especially in Western Canada) that would rather cast its support with the Tories than with the adscam-stained, urban-oriented Liberals.

In other words, Byers’ scheme might actually help the Conservatives win a majority government.

Ironic isn’t it?

That’s why instead of playing these silly tactical games, political parties should simply provide voters with a vision of where they want to take the country and leave it at that.

Democracy usually works better that way.

Crossposted at Libertas Post.