Saturday, November 29, 2008

Political Math

I was doing some research on the last federal election and found an interesting stat.

It seems the New Liberal Bloc Coalition won zero seats and zero percent of the popular vote in the last election.

But I guess in politics, zero seats plus zero votes equals a viable, legitimate government.

Who knew?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Liberals Should Think This Through

The more I think about it, the more I think the Liberals would be making a dreadful error if they carried out their constitutional "coup."

I mean think about it.

* Do they really want Stephane Dion to be the guy leading the government at this time of fiscal crisis?

* Do they really want to be part of a government where the NDP will be calling the shots on fiscal policy?

* Do they think Canadians will really warm to the idea of an unelected government usurping control of the country?

* Do they really want to make some sort of deal with the separatists?

Maybe that's why Prime Minister Harper delayed the non-confidence vote for a week. He wants to give the Liberals time to think this through.

Two and a Half Cheers for Harper

I have an op ed in today's National Post, looking at the Harper government's plan to cut political subsidies.

I say it's good start, but more needs to be done.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Welfare for Politicians

Media reports indicate the Harper government plans to axe the subsidy political parties currently enjoy.

If true, this would be great news.

Let's face it, this subsidy plan -- which cost taxpayers about $30 million -- is nothing but a welfare plan for politicians.

It's just plain wrong and undemocratic to force taxpayers to finance a political party. Let politicians raise their own money through voluntary contributions.

However, if the subsidy is scrapped and if politicians are forced to raise funds voluntarily, then the government must also do away with current finance contribution laws which severely limit what individuals can contribute to political parties.

These limits are nothing but a limit on free political speech and hamper the ability of political parties to raise funds.

It's time to make the process fair for everybody, politicians and taxpayers.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Principled Canadians

There's a new grassroots group out there called The Association of Principled Canadians.

It's goal is to promote "government that is representative, accountable, fiscally and socially responsible, and truly democratic."

If ever we needed that kind of government, it's now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rise and Fall of the Green Empire

Here's my latest column from the Women's Post.

I explain why "green" ideology isn't as hot as it used to be.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tyranny Not So Nice

Been meaning to plug The Tyranny of Nice by Kathy Shaidle and Peter Vere for a while.

This is an excellent book that provides a comprehensive catalogue of how the state is crushing our freedoms in the name of political correctness.

As an added bonus it even comes with an introduction by Mark Steyn.

You can order it here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Media Alert

I will be a guest on the Michael Coren Show tonight at 8:00 PM EST to talk federal politics.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Using Billboards to Get Out the Message

Checked National Newswatch a little while ago and what did I see but this graphic of an anti-Rae billboard.

Boy did that bring back memories.

You see, I created that Rae billboard back in the early 1990s for Ontarians for Responsible Government, a project group of the National Citizens Coalition.

It really captured in a few words the disaster that was Rae.

I think it was one of my more brilliant PR ideas.

Mind you, I also am quite proud of another billboard I crafted to oppose the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly.

Billboards can make for fun advocacy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Best President

As noted in an earlier post, I recently attended a Students for a Free Economy conference in Michigan.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Lawrence Reed of the Foundation for Economic Education, who talked about his favorite American president. And no it wasn't George Bush.

Here's the first part of that talk.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pragmatic Conservatives

At the recent Conservative leadership convention, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared: "We will have to be both tough and pragmatic, not unrealistic or ideological, in dealing with the complex economic challenges that confront us."

Get that, the Tories are no longer ideological, but pragmatic: The Pragmatic Conservative Party.

I guess this means Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now officially dumping the incrementalism idea, whereby he would introduce conservative values in tiny, slow steps.

Now it looks like he won't be introducing conservative ideas at all.

As Publius over at the Gods of the Copybook Headings writes, "The PM's comments at the policy convention in Winnipeg are worrisome, they suggest that his default policy is not one of incrementalism, but of pragmatism. An essentially correct ideology provides a guide for long-term action. Pragmatism is the expediency of the moment. This crisis too shall pass, the new government programs and regulations born of this crisis may not."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Economics and Government

The Institute for Liberal Studies is hosting an Economic and Government Seminar in Kitchener-Waterloo on November 22.

Speakers and topics include:

Peter Holle (Frontier Centre for Public Policy) - Public Choice and Public Policy: Overcoming Self Interest in Government

Yuri Maltsev (Carthage College) - The Fall of Communism and the Rise of 21st Century Socialism

George Bragues (University of Guelph-Humber) - The Panic of 2007-2008: Not the Free Market's Fault.

This is going to be a fascinating conference so if you are in the area, you won't want to miss it.

Register today!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Media Alert

I will be a guest on the Dave Rutherford Show, (CHQR Calgary) today at 12:30 EST to talk about the Conservative Party and the conservative movement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Purging True Conservatives

Like a lot of conservatives, my friend Joseph Ben-Ami took strong exception to a recent comment by Conservative Party spokesman Ryan Sparrow.

Sparrow essentially relegated the Party's conservative base to the status of "stakeholders."

In a brilliant column, Ben-Ami says Sparrow's remark "accurately reflect the deep disdain certain key members of the Harper team have for conservative policies and their desire to marginalize and even purge conservatives from positions of influence throughout the party."

Read the rest of it here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Talking Freedom in the USA

I was in the People's Republic of Obama (formerly known as the USA) this past weekend speaking at a conference sponsored by Students for a Free Economy.

It was a great event and I had an opportunity to make several new libertarian friends.

My only disappointment was that I didn't bring home a "I party with economic models" T-shirt.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Bad Thing About Bush

John McCain's election loss might be the best thing that's ever happened to the American conservative movement.

Now American conservatives can at long last distance themselves from the cynical policies of the Bush/Rove/McCain crowd.

To understand what I mean, check out Craig Shirley and Tony Fabrizio's brilliant analysis of how George Bush and Karl Rove undermined conservative values in their pursuit of power.

And by the way, much of what they write about Bush, can also be applied to Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative Party.

The Good Thing About Obama

I am not sure what kind of job Barack Obama will do as President.

But no matter what happens, I will always be grateful to him for keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

On a more positive note, my friend Rondi Adamson wrote a column a little while ago explaining why an Obama presidency might be a good thing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Why Vote?

Millions and millions of Americans will vote today to pick a new President.

But there's one American who won't be voting -- economist Gordon Tullock.

Go here to find out why.

H/T Cafe Hayek

Monday, November 03, 2008

Health Care and Competition: The Video

My friend Matt Bufton has this excellent video commentary on Canada's health care system.

It's part of a Fraser Institute "Student Video Contest."

So check it out and give it a rating.

And as an added bonus, Matt's video includes some shots of my Alma mater, the University of Windsor.