Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Cost of Anti-Americanism

Patrick Basham of the CATO institute had a piece recently in the Washington Times that examines the politics of anti-Americanism in Canada.

Speaking of the Liberal Party, Basham writes:

“The party's only hope is to cast itself as Mother Canada, protecting her vulnerable and insecure children huddled for warmth along the American border. Which makes one wonder what ever happened to Liberal Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier's 1904 forecast that, `The 20th century shall be the century of Canada.’ Laurier must be turning over in his grave. A century later, his countrymen remain so culturally insecure and politically adolescent that they may once again fall prey to such crass politicking. Canadians need to grow up. And they need to do so quickly.”

Basham’s point is essentially that anti-Americanism actually undermines Canada’s own national self-interest.

“Canadians need to get over themselves. They need to accept the asymmetry of the U.S.-Canada relationship, one deeply beneficial to both countries. Rewarding their political leaders' anti-American prejudices is an immature response. A mature electorate, with the worldliness and self-confidence that Laurier foresaw, would appreciate that anti-Americanism is really anti-Canadian, for it hurts Canada most of all.”

It’s unlikely of course, Basham’s words will change many minds.

Anti-Americanism is the last accepted prejudice in this country.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

PC Guide for Bloggers

The recent outrage generated by a couple of Liberal blogs, see here and here, have rattled me a bit.

I mean, if even Liberals can’t live up to the ideals of Political Correctness what chance do the rest of us unenlightened non-Liberals have?

With that in mind, I have come up with a guide for bloggers to keep them out of trouble in these dangerous times.

Here it is:

1. Never use humour on your blog. Especially stay away from any kind of satire, as this could be construed as offensive to the PC police who have had their funny bones surgically removed.

2. Never make any comments about any person of a different gender, ethnic group, sexual orientation, religious background. Although please note that insulting Christians, WASPs, or conservatives is not only acceptable but actually encouraged.

3. Never call a woman “sexy” on your site as this could be interpreted as either misogynist or sexist. However, it is certainly permissible for female bloggers to call me “sexy” as this will only be interpreted as “charitable”.

4. Never use the defence of “free speech” to defend anything you post on your blog as this strategy is only useful when referring to Supreme Court sanctioned pornography.

5. Or to be really safe shut down your blog and spend your time watching the CBC to help with the necessary PC indoctrination process.

And to anybody out there who wants to report this blog to the authorities, rest assured I am in no way being satirical.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be a guest on Adler Online at 2:30 PM eastern time today to talk about the election blackout law the National Citizens Coalition is fighting.

The Vancouver Sun also ran my op-ed today on the same topic which you can read here.

Why We Need to Defend our Freedoms

American economist Walter E. Williams has an excellent column entitled “Do we deserve it?” which argues that small infringements on our individual freedoms often lead to larger infringements later on.

Williams notes two examples: the attack on religion and the attack on smoking.

The attack on religion in the United States began in 1963 when the Supreme Court banned organized prayer in schools. Who knew at the time that this ruling would eventually lead to calls for the elimination of all Christian symbols or to the banning of Christmas carols from public schools?

The attack on smoking on the other hand, began with demands for no smoking sections on airplanes. That has led to no smoking bans in airports, restaurants, parks and to billion dollar legal suits against tobacco companies.

Here in Canada we will likely see the same thing with election gag laws. This law began as an attack on the right on non-political parties to participate in elections.

I dread to think where it could eventually lead.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Lion Movie Rocks, but don’t tell the Liberals

I took my family last night to see the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and we all absolutely loved it.

This movie has it all – great acting, fantastic special effects, cool battles and a wonderful message or two.

I heartily recommend it to everyone, everyone that is except Prime Minister Paul Martin.

That’s because there’s a scene in the movie where Santa Claus, instead of giving the children toys, gives them weapons with which they can more properly battle the forces of evil.

If Martin ever gets the idea that Saint Nick is illegally arming people he will probably ban Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Shopping Hints

Need some Christmas gift ideas for the dreaded last round of combat shopping?

Check out Rondi Adamson’s site for some handy suggestions.

Good luck and be careful out there!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Let It Bleed Takes on Gag Law

Aaron Freeman makes the case for election gag laws on the Globe and Mail’s online site.

Now I’ve debated Aaron on this question so many times on radio, on TV and in print over the past five years that I just can’t bring myself to do it again.

In other words, I’m too lazy.

Fortunately, Bob Tarantino over at LetitBleed, did a magnificent job of demolishing of Aaron’s arguments.

Check it out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Battling the Bloc

Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper is garnering praise in some quarters for his bold offer to debate Bloc Quebecois boss Gilles Duceppe one on one.

But I don’t think it's such a good idea.

I mean let’s say Duceppe takes Harper up on the challenge; and let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Harper demolishes Duceppe.

The only upside for the Tories is they drain away nationalist support away from the Bloc.

But let’s face it, considering their lowly standing in the polls in La Belle province the Conservatives will never swing enough votes to win a seat.

What they could do, however, is weaken the Bloc enough to allow the Liberals to win a few more seats in Quebec – maybe enough seats to keep the Grits in power.

That’s why Harper should forget about Duceppe and forget about pandering to the Quebec nationalist element.

The election will be won or lost in Ontario.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Golf Ball Politics

Hey the Bloc Quebecois is stealing our golf ball bit.

Earlier this year the National Citizens Coalition came up with the idea of Adscam golf balls after former Prime Minister Jean Chretien's disgraceful performance before the Gomery Inquiry.

And now here's what the Bloc is selling.

I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Now if we could only get them to imitate our desire for smaller government.

Turning Cheek Strategy a Mistake

According to a story in today’s Globe and Mail, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper has adopted a “turn the other cheek” approach to Liberal smear attacks.

“For the time being at least,” says the article “the Conservative strategy of ignoring harsh personal attacks and refraining from making them in return while instead peppering the country with ideas, looks to be set in stone.”

In my view it’s a dubious strategy.

One of the reasons the Tories fell short in the last election was that they failed to effectively respond to Liberal attacks ads.

Politics is a blood sport, and sometimes you got to fight fire with fire. Otherwise you will get burned.

I pontificate further on this in a column I wrote for the Vancouver Sun last spring.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Belinda Wants Gag Law Eased

Belinda Stronach, the Liberal Minister for Democratic Renewal, admitted recently that the election gag law is too strict.

In a column appearing in the Newmarket Era Banner, Stronach is quoted as saying “easing some of the limits on third-party advertising may be worth considering”.

This is kind of a big deal since she is the first senior Liberal to even suggest the gag law is too restrictive.

Mind you she is no where near as opposed to gag laws as she was last year. That’s when she signed an NCC pledge which committed her to scrapping the gag law should she become Prime Minister.

But at least it’s a start.

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper has also pledged to scrap the gag law.

Could this be the beginning of a bipartisan move to restore free speech to Canadians?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dubbed Debate

No I didn’t watch the debate last night.

For me, watching a French language debate is like watching a dubbed Japanese movie without Godzilla.

What’s the point?

For those who want a thoughtful debate analysis I suggest you go here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bloggers Beware of Internet Gag Law

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will hear Paul Bryan’s challenge to an archaic and undemocratic law – a law which all bloggers need to know about.

I am talking about Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act, which bans the “premature transmission” of voting results on election night. That means it’s illegal for somebody to post election results from a region of the country where the polls are closed to a region where they are still open.

You can learn more about his law here and here.

Bryan challenged this law back in 2000 because he thought it was an infringement on his right to free speech.

What he did was post real time voting results from Atlantic Canada on his website in British Columbia.

The next day Elections Canada dispatched Speech Police to his home and seized his computer.

He was later charged.

But Paul fought back. With the support of the National Citizens Coalition, Paul challenged the law in court. In 2003 the BC Supreme Court overturned the law, but earlier this year the Court of Appeals reinstated it.

That means if any blogger in Eastern or Central Canada posts election results which can be accessed on the West Coast, you will be violating the law and could be charged.

Of course, such a law is not only undemocratic; it’s unenforceable. Look how long the ban on the Gomery testimony lasted.

Let’s hope the Supreme Court sees it that way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Crying for Help

Maclean’s magazine on Svend Robinson:

“Last year, Svend Robinson’s lawyer, Clayton Ruby, explained that his client’s theft of a $21,500 ring was, in essence, a `cry for help’. Ruby’s arguments were successful and his client got off with a conditional discharge. Now Robinson is back, once again seeking a seat in the House of Commons. It’s our turn to cry for help.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Social Conservatism in Canada

Paul Tuns, a Canadian conservative writer, has an excellent article in Comment that examines some of the reasons why Canadian social conservatives have not been as successful politically as their cousins in the United States.

He essentially boils it down to three main reasons:
1) the lack of conservative infrastructure such as foundations, think tanks, and publications;

2) the failure to organize and become part of a larger conservative coalition;

3) Charter-era politics.

Tuns makes the case that the same-sex marriage debate may help galvanize social conservatives to help offset points one and two, but the increasing supremacy of the courts makes it difficult to debate moral issues in the political arena.

It’s a thought-provoking piece.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Politics, Popcorn and Beer

Scott Reid’s infamous comment about popcorn and beer tells you everything you need to know about the Liberal Party mentality.

Simply put, the Liberals think Canadians are idiots.

We are too stupid to take care of our kids, hence the need for a state day care program.

We are too stupid to know how to spend our money, hence the refusal to give us any meaningful tax cuts.

We are too stupid to hear different political viewpoints, hence the need for an election gag law.

How long will it be, I wonder, before the Liberals think we are too stupid to vote?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Stronach Strikes Back . . . Sort of

Belinda Stronach appeared on Mike Duffy’s Countdown program this evening and Duffy asked her about my column in today’s Globe and Mail, the one that challenged her to take a stance on the gag law.

She demonstrated an amazing ability to avoid answering the question, meaning she is now truly a Liberal.

Joel Johannesen posts the clip on his blog.

Check it out.

Belinda and the Gag Law

I have an op-ed in today’s Globe and Mail taking Belinda Stronach to task on the election gag law issue.

Back in early 2004, when she was running for the Tory leadership, Stronach signed a pledge to scrap this horrible law which denies all Canadians the right to free election speech.

Did she really believe gag laws were wrong or did she sign it merely to help her win the leadership?

She has an obligation to her constituents to set the record straight, and I hope my article spurs her to do just that.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hardly a Gun Ban

The media is misleading Canadians about Prime Minister Paul Martin’s new gun policy.

The headline in the Toronto Star for instance says “PM vows `total’ handgun ban”.

But that’s not true.

Here’s what the text of the Star story says:

“Liberal sources say that the proposed ban, to be announced by Martin in Toronto, will be sweeping – only police and select security officers would be allowed to carry handguns.” (italics added)

It seems to me that a “total” ban on handguns would also include the police, security officers and heck even the army.

So when you come down to it, Martin is only offering a partial ban on handguns.

But why not a total ban? Why exempt the police? Why should they enjoy a special exemption denied to the rest of the citizenry? Aren’t all Canadians supposed to be equal before the law?

Of course, Martin’s supporters might say cops need to be armed in case they run into some pistol packing crook.

But doesn’t that argument undermine the whole premise of the handgun ban? I mean if a ban on handguns doesn’t make the police feel safe enough to patrol our streets unarmed, why are the rest of us supposed to feel safer?

By exempting the police Martin is essentially acknowledging that his gun ban won’t disarm criminals. It’s a policy that just won’t work.

And by that I mean it won’t work when it comes to stopping crime, but it might work when it comes to winning votes – which is all that matters to the Liberals.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The NDP's Hidden Agenda

Talk about a hidden agenda.

Leo-Paul Lauzon, an NDP candidate in Quebec, recently praised Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro and says the Canadian government should nationalize Air Canada, CN Rail, and the oil and gas industry.

Is this what Jack Layton really has in store for Canada?

Now that’s scary, but I wonder if the media will think so.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

NCC Billboard Protests Gag Law

To protest the federal election gag law, the National Citizens Coalition has put up an unusual billboard in downtown Toronto.

The billboard doesn’t have a catchy slogan, or an election message, or any words at all.

It simply features the stark image of a man with tape across his mouth.

Our billboard symbolizes our loss of free election speech. The gag law stifles free election speech. It undermines democracy. It prevents us from effectively participating in the election debate currently raging across the country.”

The election gag law, which was enacted in 2000, imposes severe restrictions on how much money non-politicians can spend on election advertising.

The NCC has battled gag laws in the courts until last year when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled them to be constitutional.

Under the gag law only politicians and political parties have the right to effectively and freely speak out during elections. Everybody else has to keep quiet. We think that’s wrong. We think everyone should be free to participate in the election process.

The gag law prevents important issues from being discussed and debated. Groups on all sides of the political spectrum will be silenced.

The only items on the election agenda will be those items the politicians want to discuss. That’s bad for democracy.

Trick or Treat Election

Maybe they should have held this election around Halloween instead of around Christmas, because of all the strange and eerie goings on.

First of all you’ve got Jack “I will bring down the government to save public health care” Layton now saying private health care clinics are OK.

And yesterday the NDP unveiled their star candidate – Paul Summerville a former Bay Street economist who says the NDP doesn’t want to increase taxes.

Then you’ve got union boss Buzz Hargrove stiffing Layton and endorsing former corporate capitalist Paul Martin.

What’s next?

Is Layton going to endorse nuclear power instead of windmills? Is Martin going to make “Solidarity Forever” his campaign theme song? Is the Toronto Star going to endorse Stephen Harper?

Who knows?

All we do know is that we can expect a lot more tricks and treats before January 23.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Buzz's Ploy

I have been thinking over the weekend as to why a union boss like Buzz Hargrove would endorse the Liberal Party. After all, isn’t the NDP supposed to be the voice of the working man?

Came up with three possible reasons:

Buzz is sending a message to the NDP brass that he doesn’t want to be taken for granted.

Buzz believes Prime Minister Paul Martin is a closet socialist.

Buzz wants to be ambassador to Denmark one day.

It remains to be seen, of course, if Hargrove’s endorsement will actually help the Liberal Party.

Unionized workers are notorious for ignoring the advice of union bosses when it comes to voting and other voters might actually get turned off by Hargrove’s seal of approval.

Mind you, at this stage of the game, the Liberals will likely take anybody’s help.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Health Care Will Be Fixed Somehow

Stephen Harper announced his health care plan today.

He is going to reduce medical waiting lists --- somehow.

This is pretty much the same as Paul Martin’s plan, which also promises to reduce waiting lists --- somehow.

Of course, neither man sees a role for the private sector in our socialist health care system.

And until they do see a role for the private sector, sick and dying Canadians will just have to get by --- somehow.

GST Gambit

The Conservative Party plan to reduce the GST is brilliant politics.

By taking an anti-GST stand the Tories are essentially forcing the Liberals to defend one of the most hated taxes in the country – a tax they themselves vowed to scrap back in 1993.

And the more, the Liberals defend the GST the more they will remind people of past broken promises.

Mind you, some economic eggheads say cutting the GST is bad fiscal policy.

Well, I’m no economist, but one thing I do know is that lower taxes are better than higher taxes.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tax Wars

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper argues cutting the GST is a good idea.

Prime Minister Paul Martin says he wants to cut personal income taxes.

I say they are both right!

A Modest Proposal for Homolka Judge

Convicted killer Karla Homolka is a totally free woman today; she’s free to travel around the country, free to associate with children and free to contact her ex-husband and fellow monster Paul Bernardo.

Isn’t that a comforting thought?

And we have a Quebec Judge, Justice James Brunton, to thank for this state of affairs.

Brunton yesterday removed all the restrictions imposed on Homolka last June when she was officially released from prison.

“The possibility that (Homolka) might reoffend one day cannot be completely eliminated,” he wrote in his ruling, “However . . . on balance of probabilities . . . this is unlikely to occur. She does not represent a real and imminent danger. . .”


Even though Homolka is a depraved, psychotic, cold-blooded child-killer, Brunton says she is no “real threat”.

Well if that’s the case, Brunton shouldn’t be afraid to walk the walk.

I propose he voluntarily take his little angel Karla into his home for the next year or so, just to show us how confident he is in his judgment.

What’s more, he should put Karla in charge of babysitting his kids. After all, on the “balance of probabilities” she won’t murder them.

Only when Brunton takes up my suggestion, will I buy his argument, otherwise I’d advise all Canadians to beware: a wolf has just been let loose among the sheep.