Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Liberty Seminar Update


I hear from my secret sources that this year’s Liberty Summer Seminar was a big success.

As readers of this blog may remember, the LSS is a great little country outing where conservatives and libertarians get together in bucolic splendor to exchange ideas, engage in debate and just have a good time.

Unfortunately, I could not attend this year’s seminar which prompted LSS organizer Peter Jaworksi to send me an email.

Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m sorry you couldn’t make it this year Gerry. I would have liked to have seen you . . . and I’m absolutely certain that you would have stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning with Mike Walker drinking Liberty Ale to ballads by Lindy. I’m just certain of it.”

Of course, Peter could not know this, but I am not much of a drinker, and I usually nod off by about 10:30 PM, but it still sounds like a lot of fun and I am sorry I missed it.

Next year I will have to make it.

4 comments:

Flavrflav said...

They should turn the event into a "libertarian Woodstock". Just think, they could have the "Right Brothers" jamming on the stage.

Miles Lunn said...

Interesting seminar. Despite being a federal Liberal, I myself do agree with a lot of libertarian ideals on economic policy. Sometimes they maybe a bit too idealistic, but at least they are in the right direction even if they go too far. I just wish conservative parties would drop the social conservatism, blindly following the US on foreign policy, and idea of radical de-centralization. If they did those three things I could support the party, although I wouldn't count on that happening as long as Harper is leader. In the mean time I'll stay with the Liberals where different ideas are welcomed even if I disagree with the party on many issues.

Matt said...

Miles, the Liberal Party is not as tolerant of different ideas as you might like to think.

On SSM (a bill that I, a libertarian and a Conservative would have voted for if I had the chance) 1/3 of the Liberal caucus was denied a free vote, while all CPC members were free to vote.

During the last three elections the Liberal Party has consistently claimed that the ideas of their main opposition are "dangerous", while the CA/Conservatives focused on critiquing the performance of the ruling Liberal Party.

There are many people in the CPC who are not social-conservatives. Some are libertarians, some are Red Tories. We accept our differences and engage in debate and democracy to create party policy which, you have to admit, generally stays away from social issues.

I'm also curious why you would accuse us of advocating "radical decentralization." To my knowledge Harper has essentially said that he would like to create tax room for the provinces to allow them administer in areas which are constitutionally defined as provincial jurisdiction. That's radical?

Finally, I'd be interested to hear how your opposition to decentralization meshes with your claim to be an economic libertarian. A large, centralized government goes against the basic principles of classical liberalism.

Miles Lunn said...

On SSM (a bill that I, a libertarian and a Conservative would have voted for if I had the chance) 1/3 of the Liberal caucus was denied a free vote, while all CPC members were free to vote.

Government bills are always whipped votes for cabinet ministers. This has always been the case. The free vote cabinet ministers got in 1987 on the death penalty was a private members bill, not a government one. And lets remember cabinet ministers could still resign as Joe Comuzzi did.

During the last three elections the Liberal Party has consistently claimed that the ideas of their main opposition are "dangerous", while the CA/Conservatives focused on critiquing the performance of the ruling Liberal Party.

And some although certainly not all of their ideas are dangerous. And the Alliance-Conservatives didn't just critique the Liberals, they also painted them as much worse than they really were

There are many people in the CPC who are not social-conservatives. Some are libertarians, some are Red Tories. We accept our differences and engage in debate and democracy to create party policy which, you have to admit, generally stays away from social issues.

Thats not what my experience when I use to be a party member was. I was told libertarians and Red Tories were not welcome and that they should go join the Liberals. The party seemed eerily similiar to the Republicans in the states.

I'm also curious why you would accuse us of advocating "radical decentralization." To my knowledge Harper has essentially said that he would like to create tax room for the provinces to allow them administer in areas which are constitutionally defined as provincial jurisdiction. That's radical?

He's talked about building firewalls around Alberta. Also Canada is already one of the most if not the most decentralized federations in the world. Any further decentralization would make essentially an EU style organization as opposed to a genuine country.

Finally, I'd be interested to hear how your opposition to decentralization meshes with your claim to be an economic libertarian. A large, centralized government goes against the basic principles of classical liberalism.

I am not for a large centralized government, I am for a small but centralized government. Due to economies of scale, programs can be delivered cheaper if done at the federal level than provincial level. It is no different than Wal-Mart being cheaper than your mom and pop store.