Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking back at 2009

The year is drawing to a close

And except for the wars, the world-wide economic recession and the never-ending Tiger Woods saga, 2009 was pretty good.

It was an especially amazing year when it came to Canadian politics.

Don’t believe me?

Well here’s a brief recap of 2009’s top political highlights:

* A Constitutional crisis nearly occurs when it’s found no one in Parliament knows how to pronounce the word “prorogue.”

* A Health Canada campaign instructed Canadians on the proper way to cough into their arms. This helped stop an H1N1 flu epidemic; unfortunately it triggered an epidemic of infected elbows.

* The Queen awarded former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien with the prestigious “Order of Merit.” An ecstatic Chrétien celebrated by throttling a nearby protestor.

* To battle the recession, the Conservative government implemented a bold and exciting plan, which mainly entailed spending millions of tax dollars on TV ads telling Canadians the government had a bold and exciting plan.

* A photo op went tragically wrong when a giant cardboard novelty “economic stimulus” cheque government MPs were handing over to local politicians in South Porcupine, Ontario suddenly collapsed destroying several buildings and injuring dozens of onlookers.

* After wowing the nation with his singing performance at the National Arts Centre Gala, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced he will appear as a contestant on American Idol. In unrelated news, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson were both appointed to the Senate.

* The Canadian government’s budgetary deficit soared to a record-setting $56 billion. However, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty promised the budget will soon be balanced thanks to the expected royalties from Prime Minister Harper’s newest CD, which includes the hit single “What Afghan detainees?”

* A new political star emerged in 2009: the Conservative Party logo. The logo showed up on Canada’s Olympic sweaters, on government “economic stimulus” cheques and most amazingly of all, on the forehead of CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge.

* Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff announced Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “time was up” and declared he was ready to force a Fall election. Later, Ignatieff explained to reporters that he really meant the Fall of 2016.

* Beleaguered Liberal MPs desperate to reverse their sagging poll numbers reportedly plotted the overthrow of their leader Michael Ignatieff. Mentioned as possible replacements for Ignatieff were Bob Rae, Justin Trudeau and the Conservative Party logo.

* Hacked emails from a global warming research institute revealed a startling fact: former Liberal leader Stephen Dion’s dog, Kyoto, is actually named “Coal Burning Plant.”

* To protest a planned re-enactment of the Battle on the Plains of Abraham, Bloc Quebecois Bloc MPs donned 18th century military uniforms and stormed Parliament Hill. The stunt backfired, however, when the Bloc MPs were captured by Canadian military personal and handed over to the Afghan army.

* Governor-General Michaëlle Jean made headlines when she ate a raw seal’s heart. To gain similar publicity, NDP leader Jack Layton ate a pound of raw tofu shaped to look like a seal’s heart.

So you see 2009 was politically speaking a banner year.

And 2010 promises more of the same.

But try and have a Happy New Year anyway.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Chrissy Snow

Merry Christmas!!
And I have posted this picture simply because Suzanne Somers played the part of "Christmas Snow" in that wonderful old TV series Three's Company.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have yourself an Eco-Christmas -- that's an order

It didn’t get a lot of press, but the recent Copenhagen Climate Change summit issued a series decrees concerning the Holiday Season.

These decrees have essentially established new environmental Christmas traditions.

If you want to legally enjoy Christmas you must now adhere to the following rules:

All festive sing-alongs must include the song “I’m dreaming of a non-globally warmed Winter season.”

Santa Claus must now wear green instead of red and he must look like Al Gore.

Instead of reindeer, Santa’s sleigh must be portrayed as powered by solar panels. (The same goes for Rudolph’s nose.)

Burning of yule logs or any other non-renewable resources is strictly prohibited, unless the burners have first paid a carbon tax.

“Christmas” lights are banned unless they draw their energy from windmills.

On Christmas Eve, all parents are now required to read their children a poem which begins, “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except for David Suzuki, who was snooping about looking for illegal beer fridges.”

Instead of receiving a lump of coal, naughty children will now receive recycling bins stuffed with environmentally friendly products.

Christmas trees are now forbidden; instead families will now decorate a pesticide-free “Christmas tree seed”, which must be planted the following spring.

All food served at festive gatherings must be “organic” and “grown locally”. Since this is Canada and since nothing grows here in the dead of winter, all meals will therefore consist of whatever walnuts, fruitcakes and candy canes are left over from last Christmas.

Instead of hanging up stockings, Canadians must now hang up reusable canvas bags, the uglier the better.

So those are the new Eco-Christmas rules and regulations.

Happy Holidays!

(Please note these rules do not apply to any Third World Dictatorships)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Carbon Copy Tax

The Afghan detainee issue will not hurt the Conservative government, the prorogation of Parliament will not hurt the Conservative government, the fallout from the Copenhagen Climate Change summit will not hurt the Conservative government, but a flip flop on carbon taxes -- that definitely would hurt the Conservative government.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Conservatism in Canada

Is Canada moving to the Right?

Interesting CP article on that topic (and it's not interesting just because it happens to include a quote from me!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New OLA site

The Ontario Landowners Association has just come out with a revamped website.

It's all part of the OLA's increased efforts to promote and protect property rights.

Property rights, of course, is one of those issues we don't hear a lot about. And that's too bad, because the right to own and enjoy property is crucial for a truly free society.

That's why the OLA's mission is so important. And it does a truly great job in exposing and opposing attempts by politicians and bureaucrats to infringe on our freedoms.

So check out their site and consider offering your support.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Debating Canada's reputation

Had a fun time yesterday debating former Liberal/Bloc Quebecois MP Jean Lapierre.
Our topic was Canada's reputation on the world scene when it comes to climate change.
Lapierre thought it was important that Al Gore like us.
I disagreed.
(Note my Christmas tie doesn't show up very well.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Media Alert

I am scheduled to appear on the CTV news program Power Play today at about 5:30 PM EST.

Be sure and watch because I will be wearing my special Christmas tie.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stop the dopey stunts

Both the Liberals and Conservatives really need to tighten up their security.

After all, it seems drunken frat boys are somehow breaking into their party headquarters late at night and causing all sorts of juvenile mischief.

These delinquents, for instance, posted a tasteless doctored photo on the Liberal website of Prime Minister Stephen Harper getting assassinated a la Lee Harvey Oswald.

It must have taken quite a few beers for the kids to do something that outrageously stupid.

Meanwhile, these same mindless pranksters also managed to insert a “pooping puffin” into a Conservative Party ad. Then there's this.

If something is not done soon to stop the sophomoric punks responsible for this sort of inane activity, it’s going to reflect poorly on our political process.

Canadians might start to think the Liberals and Conservatives actually condone such childish stunts.

McGuinty deserves credit

A couple of weeks ago, I had some nice words on this blog concerning Liberal MP Bob Rae.

Well as if that's not strange enough, I know find myself congratulating Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.

It seems the premier is considering the idea of privatizing certain provincial assets as a way to raise money for his cash-strapped government.

The fact that a lefty-Liberal like McGuinty is even considering privatization is pretty newsworthy and he deserves credit for putting it on the table.

Of course, only time will tell if he actually does place government agencies on the auction block.

I hope he does.

Then I hope he rolls back his plethora of nanny-state decrees.

Hey a guy can dream, can't he?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's be the bad boy

According to news media reports, Canada is a “pariah” when it comes to fighting global warming.

And I think that’s just great.

After all, when it comes to everything else we are such upstanding international citizens: we are never late for UN meetings; we are always polite to all the other countries, we hang out with the nice Alliances.

In other words, we are goody-two-shoes – the global equivalent of boy scouts.

Nice, but boring.

However, when it comes to the environment, or at least when it comes to “climate change,” Canada is the bad boy, the outsider.

We are dangerous, we are edgy, we play by our own rules.

When Al Gore sees Canada strutting down the sidewalk, he meekly crosses the street.

Rather than bemoan this state of affairs, as so many in the media do, I say let’s revel in it.

Sometimes it's cool to be bad.

So let's play it for all it's worth.

For instance, here’s what we should do at Copenhagen climate summit:

* Leave a couple of tons of fresh Alberta tar sands on Denmark’s doorstep and ring the doorbell.

* Announce we plan to increase our greenhouse gas emissions, “just because we can”.

* Spice up the environmentalist protests in the streets of Copenhagen by unleashing a dozen or so hungry polar bears.

* During all meetings we should drink out of plastic bottles labelled “Melted Glacier Water.”

* Continually ask the question: “If global warming is such a problem how come it’s so darn cold outside?”

Of course, none of this will actually impact on the climate. But then again, nothing done at the Copenhagen summit will actually impact the climate.

At least we can have a little fun.

Crossposted at Libertas Post.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Speaking out on gag laws

The reaction to my speech on election gag laws, which I recently delivered at a Free Speech and Liberty Symposium, has generated an extremely positive reaction.

And that's gratifying.

However, my real goal in delivering this talk was to help re-spark interest in the whole issue of free-election speech.

Sad to say, this issue has fallen off the radar lately, which is unfortunate because election gag laws deny all Canadians the right to free expression, not just those who wish to advertise. After all, free speech is a two way street; it means having the opportunity to speak and the opportunity to listen.

Simply put, gag laws prevent Canadians from getting all sides of a story.

So I am glad to see that writer/author Paul Tuns is blogging about how gag laws negatively impact on the Right to Life movement.

Similarly, Rightchik is urging Canadians on her blog to contact Prime Minister Harper and demand he scrap the gag law.

I hope other bloggers follow their lead.

Anyway, I would like to thank Joseph Ben-Ami of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, which organized the symposium, for giving me the chance to speak out on this matter.

It was a great event.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

NCC now a pussycat

It's painful for me to say this, but the National Citizens Coalition once a lion, is now a pussycat.

Just check out this recent blog from the NCC website, where the group apologizes to a Tory cabinet minister.

Industry Minister Tony Clement was angry because the NCC has posted in its "Tales from the Tax Trough" booklet that he had spent $30,000 on a trip to Kenya.

And it was true, he had.

But Clement called up NCC president Peter Coleman to complain and amazingly Peter agreed to apologize and to delete the Kenya reference from the booklet!!

And the NCC didn't do anything to warrant an apology.

The NCC even posted a message from Clement on their site (Note they refer to him as "Peter" Clement).

All I can say is that when I worked at the NCC we never would have let a politician bully us like this.

Somewhere NCC founder Colin M. Brown is rolling in his grave.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gag laws and free speech

On Monday December 7th, I gave a speech on the dangers of election gag laws at a Liberty and Free Speech Symposium organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies.

I have posted the text of my talk here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blogging friends

Been getting some good comments around the blogosphere these days.

Gay and Right has some kind words to say about Libertas Post and notes that a visit is "well worth your time."

Kerry Forrest, who I had the pleasure to meet recently at the MacDonald-Cartier Society meeting in Ottawa, says my speech on conservatism has him "stoked to get out there and show the path to others."

And finally Rightchik gives a good review of a speech I gave on gag laws at the Liberty and Free Speech seminar.

Media Alert

I am scheduled to appear on CTV's Power Play this afternoon at about 5:30 PM.

One of the topics will be the Afghan detainee issue.

Speaking of which, I have just posted a poll on this matter over at Libertas Post.

Let me know what you think of this issue.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Talking about conservatism

On Monday night I gave a speech at a MacDonald-Cartier Society meeting on the topic: The conservative movement at the crossroads.

You can read the text of my talk here.

By the way, it was a fun event, the place was packed and I had a chance to meet many old friends and also to make some new ones.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

China and Harper

Lots of debate is taking place over Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to China.

Should he bring up human rights issues or should he focus exclusively on trade?

And that happens to be the focus of this week's Libertas Post survey.

Check it out and cast your vote.

Harper a Neo-Con?

I recently sent the following letter to the Toronto Star in response to this column.

Dear Sir/Madam:

Eugene Lang and Philip DeMont argue Prime Minister Stephen Harper has an “overriding objective to cut taxes.” (“Big-spender Harper true to his neoconservative roots” November 30)

If that were true, of course, it would also mean the Prime Minister would have an equally overriding objective to refrain from deficit spending.

After all, big deficits today inevitably mean higher taxes tomorrow.

Yet, the Prime Minister has, thanks to his economic “stimulus package”, plunged the country into a sea of red ink.

In other words, the supposedly tax hating Prime Minister is actually imposing a "future tax" on Canadians.

Lang and DeMont call this “neo-conservatism.”

I call it bad economics.

Talking conservatism

On the evening of December 7th, I will be in Ottawa to address the following topic: "The conservative movement at a crossroads: Lessons from the past, directions for the future."

The MacDonald-Cartier Society is organizing the event.

And it won't be just me yakking either, I will be a part of a panel that will include columnist John Robson, who will talk about "Reclaiming Canada’s conservative tradition" and Joseph Ben-Ami of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies who will offer his opinions on "Building a small-c conservative movement" and Don Lenihan of the Public Policy Forum who will speak on “Governing in a Multi-Stakeholder World: are conservatives ready, willing and able?"

Sounds like an interesting evening.

So if you are in Ottawa next week drop on by.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Rae and Black Ribbon Day

Never thought I would ever write this, but here goes: Congratulations to Liberal MP Bob Rae.

Rae introduced a motion in the House of Commons yesterday to declare August 23rd "Black Ribbon Day" as a way to commemorate victims of totalitarian Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.

As Rae himself put it, "We must unequivocally condemn the crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes and offer the victims of these crimes and their family members' sympathy, understanding and recognition for their suffering."

The motion, I am happy to report, passed unanimously.

August 23rd, by the way, was chosen as "Black Ribbon Day" because that's the day in 1939 when Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia signed their infamous non-aggression pact.

Of course, people have been marking Black Ribbon Day for years.

In fact, back in the mid-1980s when I was working at the National Citizens Coalition we helped to set up and organize "Black Ribbon Day" rallies.

Those were the days when the Soviets were still oppressing much of Eastern Europe and our goal was to remind Canadians that Soviet totalitarianism was just as evil as Nazi totalitarianism.

Anyway, I am glad to see Rae take this principled stand for freedom. The Soviet Union may be gone, but its evil legacy will live on forever.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The old double standard trick

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is taking a lot of criticism because he recently suggested that anyone questioning our prisoner transfer policy in Afghanistan was really maligning Canada’s soldiers.

Lawrence Martin calls this tactic “intellectually infantile”; Andrew Coyne, using less elegant language, calls it “trash” and Liberal MP Bob Rae stated “To argue that some are stronger supporters of our soldiers than others I think is frankly reprehensible ... to label what we are doing as somehow unpatriotic is quite frankly beyond the pale."

And to be sure, Prime Minister Harper is using an emotion-laden charge to make his point.

But isn’t that politics?

Indeed isn’t this exactly the sort of ploy the Left routinely uses when attacking conservatives?

Consider, for instance, this typical exchange between a conservative and a liberal:

Conservative: I think we need to cut taxes and make government smaller.

Liberal: Aha, your true agenda exposed! All you care about is helping the rich. You’re a heartless monster with no compassion for the poor or downtrodden. You want to close down our public schools, throw orphans into the streets and condemn our seniors to lives of poverty and misery. Oh and you probably want to bring back slavery, since you are also clearly a racist.

Conservative: We also need to increase funding for our military and help our allies in the war against terror.

Liberal: War monger!

Conservative: In my view it's time to inject some sort of free market principles into our costly and inefficient health care system.

Liberal: Oh I get it. You want to transform our hospitals into profit making factories which will heal only the rich and which will use poor people in diabolical medical experiments designed to help the rich live longer. And furthermore: rich, rich rich.

Conservative: I am sceptical about some of the global warming hysteria going on.

Liberal: OK you are clearly a pawn of the big oil companies. Why else would you want to murder those cute polar bears?

Conservative: The long-gun registry was a bad idea.

Liberal: Shut up you stupid redneck. You’re responsible for every murder in the past 100 years. In fact, you probably have all sorts of guns hidden in your basement and are just waiting to go on a mindless shooting spree. Umm … please don’t shoot me!!!

Of course, when left wingers make these sorts of arguments nobody calls them “infantile” or “trash.”

It’s what you call a double standard.

And by the way, if you don’t like this posting, then it means you must be some sort of Marxist.

Crossposted at Libertas Post

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 www.freespeechandliberty.ca 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.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Vaccination blues

It seems the H1N1 mass vaccination effort has been marked by shortages, long line ups and incompetence.

In other words, it's your typical government program.

In the grip of madness

Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education, recently wrote a brilliant column which exposes the fallacies behind the "big government can solve our economic woes" argument.

He was kind enough to give me permission to put it up on the Libertas Post.

You can read it here.

Speaking to Libertarians

On November 7th, I will be speaking at the Ontario Libertarian Party's Annual General Meeting.

Also speaking at the event will be Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute.

Should be an interesting gathering.

To get more details about the meeting go here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Scary stories

It's nearly Halloween, a time for scary, spooky stories.

So be sure and check out my Top Five Stories Guaranteed to Scare Conservatives.

Be warned these tales are not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ontario politics gets interesting

Something strange is going on in the world of Ontario politics.

Ontarians are suddenly getting passionate.

And this is a big change; for years political passion of any kind was lacking in Ontario.

Simply put, nobody seemed to care what was happening at the provincial government level.

This in turn translated into a political dynamic where there was no desire to keep the governing Liberals in power and no desire to drive them out. The Liberals were just there, unloved but also unhated.

This state of affairs, by the way, suited Premier Dalton McGuinty just fine.

In fact, his mind-numbing governing style seemed designed to keep Ontario voters in a catatonic state.

He stayed away from controversial or sweeping changes and settled down to mainly banning things – he banned using cell phones while driving, he banned pit bulls, he banned smoking in cars, and in the process tried to ban any sense of personality responsibility.

And it worked.

McGuinty and his boring, banning Liberals won a landslide majority in the last election and since then had maintained a huge lead in public opinion polls --- until now.

Things are changing. All of a sudden, Ontarians are turning on the Liberals.

According to a recent Environics Poll Liberal support now stands at 32 percent of decided voters which is down a whopping 12 points since June. Meanwhile the usually sad-sack Opposition Progressive Conservatives have surged ahead of the Liberals and stand at 37 per cent support.

What happened?

Well the McGuinty Liberals have taken some real hits lately: the ehealth scandal, ministerial resignations, the mushrooming provincial deficit, embarrassing Auditor-General reports, an unpopular HST and then there’s the millstone of his unpopular federal Liberal cousins.

All of this, of course, helps to explain McGuinty’s poor poll numbers.

But maybe something else is at work. Maybe Ontarians are just waking up and recognizing their leader for what he truly is: a lacklustre politician, who wants to make government bigger and more costly, who wants to make taxes higher and who consistently meddles in people's lives.

If this keeps up and if the polls continue to show a drop in Liberal support, Premier McGuinty will have only one choice, he will have to ban opinion polls.

Crossposted at the Libertas Post.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be on the Charles Adler Show this afternoon at 4:35 PM to discuss my (unpublished) letter to the Toronto Star on taxes.

What's wrong with the Liberals?

Over at Sobering Thoughts, Paul Tuns ponders the dark times now facing the Liberal Party.

He writes:

It seems that Canadians have come to accept/tolerate Stephen Harper and his Conservatives or have turned their back on the Liberals. Or a bit of both. Furthermore, this is not necessarily a new phenomenon. It is time to recast the narrative of Liberal defeat in 2008. It wasn't all about Stephane Dion and his incompetence. To some degree, it was about Canadians turning their back on the Liberal Party, not just the party leader.

This leads to an interesting question: What's wrong with the Liberals?

If you have an answer check out the latest Libertas Post survey which asks that very question.

Four-year-olds and government

Hugh Mackenzie of the left-wing leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives wrote a column in the Toronto Star citing the need for high taxes.

I responded with this letter to the editor:

Dear Sir/Madam:

Hugh Mackenzie likes to look at economic policy through the eyes of a 4-year-old. “Can we have an adult conversation about taxes?” October 26.

And he seems to think a 4-year-old would see the need for high taxes.

Maybe that’s so.

But an adult would understand that lower taxes would allow Canadians to keep more of the money they earn. This in turn would promote risk-taking and innovation and encourage entrepreneurs to do what they do best: create jobs.

An adult would also understand that if government was more careful with its spending, it could make do with less.

In fact, when it comes to spending, government is less sensible than even a 4-year-old.

As Ronald Reagan once put it “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”

Crossposted at the Libertas Post.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Speaking to Landowners

I had a marvelous time on Saturday meeting the people behind the Ontario Landowners Assocation.

This is an organization dedicated to promoting and protecting one of our most basic freedoms: the right to own private property.

Anyway, they asked me to give a little talk at their annual general meeting held near Shelburne Ontario -- a charming little town.

Here's the text of my talk.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Historic Canadian blunders

The blogger who writes Gods of the Copybook Headings, who knows Canadian history a lot better than I do, decided my Top Five Worst Political Blunders lacked proper historic context.

So he came up with his own "pre-Joe Clark" Canadian political blunders.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Harper's Inner self

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently declared:

"I actually do think we are in a rare period, one that as an economist I didn't think we would see again in my lifetime, where deficits are not only necessary but actually advised".

And somewhere buried deep inside him, a little Hayekian Harper was screaming "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!"

Victory for freedom in Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada got it right today when it ruled unconstitutional a Quebec law which barred certain students from attending English-language schools.

This ruling is a victory for freedom.

The Court unanimously ruled that Section 104, which closed a loophole in its French-language charter that had enabled some students who weren't eligible to attend English schools to gain that right, was “excessive.”

Essentially prior to the passage of 104, students who gained access to unsubsidized private English-language schools, could become eligible to attend English-public schools.

By striking down this law the court is restoring freedom to Quebec parents who may wish to have their children educated in English.

Special congratulations must also go to Brent Tyler, the crusading lawyer who led the legal challenge to 104.

Tyler has been a tireless opponent to Quebec’s oppressive anti-English language laws.

It’s good to see him score a victory.

Crossposted at Libertas Post

Speaking to Landowners

This weekend I will be giving a speech to the Ontario Landowners Association's Annual General Meeting.

Topic: Fighting for freedom.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Loyal Review

Paul Tuns has a review for my book Loyal to the Core.

Check it out.

Also Loyal to the Core is now out in paperback so what are you waiting for?

Order your copy today.

Media Alert

I am doing a radio interview this morning at 11:30 AM EST on the Tom Young Show to talk about the top five dumbest political mistakes in Canadian political history.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Libertas Post in the news

Here's a good article on one of my favourite topics -- The Libertas Post.

Canada's Top Five Political Blunders

Ever wondered what were the worst political blunders in Canadian history.

Well wonder no more -- here's the official list.

Writing right

I have some advice for my friends over at the National Citizens Coalition: hire a writer.

Simply put, whoever writes the NCC's blog postings must have skipped all his or her grade school grammar classes.

Here's an actual, cringe-inducing sentence from the latest NCC posting: "First of all, the so-called ‘logo-gate’ scandal has received far too much outcry from the Liberals as Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his party was masters at it when they were in power and made no apologies for it."


I am not saying the NCC blog posts should read like Hemingway or anything, just that they should contain coherent sentences.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our best buddy Mao

Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien reportedly is bemoaning about how Canada is no longer communist China’s best friend.

And it’s true.

Once upon a time Canada and China were the best of friends.

We would hang around at the malls together, go out on double-dates and every once in a while we would pull the odd prank at the United Nations.

But then Stephen Harper became Prime Minister and things started turning sour. For one thing, Harper -- spoiled sport that he is --- started talking about “serious” stuff, such as human rights abuses.

So naturally this put off our formerly best buddies, the Chinese who can be very sensitive when it comes to how they torture, murder and imprison people.

They were used to Liberal leaders like the late Pierre Trudeau who realized that while Chinese dictators such as Mao Tse Tung might have slaughtered several million people, it was all really done with the best of intentions.

Hey, you can’t make a communist utopia without breaking a few eggs.

Hopefully current Liberal Michael Ignatieff can help restore our “special” relationship with China.

A good start would be for Ignatieff to film his next political ad in Tiananmen Square.

(After, of course, he got permission from the Chinese political censors)

Crossposted at the Libertas Post.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Libertas Post Update

Some interesting stuff recently added to the Libertas Post.

* Radio host Rob Breakenridge says it's time for the Nanny State to butt out.

* Martin Masse, of Le Quebecois Libre, wonders if all the hysteria about H1N1 is just another example of somebody crying wolf.

* Wendy Stewart worries about voter apathy.

National Post slams Tory hubris

The National Post has an excellent editorial today which goes after the Conservative government's blatant use of tax dollars for partisan self-promotion.

Here's a sampling:

The latest uproar, over the government's propensity for including its party logo on giant ceremonial cheques used to distribute stimulus money, could be dismissed as just more of the same, were it not for the brazenness of the Tory reaction.

The Prime Minister's Office sent out a memo to MPs advising that logos were not allowed, but chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas assured local MPs there was nothing to stop them putting their own names on the cheques, and defended their right to claim credit for successfully funneling public money to benefit their ridings.

That's an attitude we've seen before, from haughty and complacent Liberal regimes so accustomed to power they came to treat it as a right. After less than four years in office, the Harper government appears to have similarly lost sight of the fact the money it spreads around so enthusiastically belongs to Canadians, not to Conservatives.

The aim of stimulus money is to offset the worst effects of a re-cessionary economy, not to win votes for the local Tory MP.

This government spends heavily on promoting itself. Canadians have become accustomed to TV ads presenting its economic program as a Conservative good deed, paid for with taxes that could have been put to better use elsewhere. When Conservative MPs hand over money, they not only put their own name on the cheque, the do their best to prevent MPs from any other party showing up to share in the credit.

Mr. Harper is fortunate for the moment in facing a disorganized and ineffective opposition, but Michael Ignatieff may yet figure out how to offer a viable alternative.

Hypocrisy and hubris lost the Liberals the support of Canadians, and cost them their hold on power.

They could do the same for the Conservatives if they continue disregard the principles they were elected on.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be a guest on the The Afternoon News with Tom Young at 11:10 AM EST to discuss my National Post column on "logo-gate."

Canada's balloon boy

All the recent drama concerning that "balloon boy" kid, reminded me a of a column I wrote a little while ago about Canada's very own balloon boy, an artist who managed to get a very large government cheque.

Check it out over at the Libertas Post..

Why "logo-gate" is bad for democracy

Poor Gerald Keddy.

He's the Tory MP taking all the heat because he plastered a Conservative Party logo on one of those oversized novelty cheques.

But really, Keddy is just a sympton of a larger problem. After all, since the summer Tory MPs have handed out enough oversized cheques to wallpaper the Great Wall of China.

And that's bad for democracy.

I explain why in this column which appears in today's National Post.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be a guest on the World Tonight with Rob Breakenridge (CHQR Calgary) this evening at 10:00 PM EST.

Topic: Logos, as in the Conservative logo appearing on government cheques.

Responding to a left-wing columnist on taxes

I sent the following letter to the Winnipeg Free Press in response to a column by the left-wing writer Frances Russell:

Dear Sir/Madam:

Frances Russell must secretly be yearning for a Conservative majority victory in the next election.

Why else would she suggest that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff adopt a pro-tax agenda?
“Liberals could fight Tories on taxes” October 14.

Surely Russell understands that Canadians are fed up with paying taxes that are already too high and burdensome.

The last thing voters want to hear is a politician promising to make that burden even harder to bear.

What Canadians really want is for politicians to make more efficient use of the tax dollars they already have.

It’s time, in other words, for government to provide the services we deserve at a price we can afford.

Crossposted at the Libertas Post.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bailout Redux

With all this talk about oversized cheques and stimulus spending, I thought it might be a good time to revisit a column I wrote last July entitled, Bailout Bozos.

It still stands up.

Stop the logo abuse

I want to talk about an issue that’s suddenly at the forefront of our national consciousness and which threatens to explode into a national scandal, and that issue, of course, is logos.

Or more properly, the issue is logo abuse.

You probably know what I am talking about.

It’s all over the news about how the Conservative Party is slapping its logo everywhere with reckless abandon.

The party logo --- a stylized “c” gulping down a red maple leaf ---is showing up on everything from Olympic team jackets to over sized, cardboard “economic stimulus” cheques.

Anything it seems associated with government is in danger of being “logoized.”

Word even has it that the Tories are actually planning to tattoo their logo on Peter Mansbridge’s forehead.

(Ironically about the only place you can’t see the Tory logo is on their TV attack ads.)

Clearly, this has got to stop.

Political logos are designed to appear in only certain special settings, such as those polling graphs seen on TV.

To use political logos for any other purpose violates the all-important, constitutional ideal normally referred to as the separation of state and trademark.

Raising taxes not the answer

In response to this column which appeared in the Metro News, I sent the following letter to the editor which appeared in today's paper.

Dear Sir/Madam:

Charles Davies suggests that to reduce the national deficit, the federal government will likely have to raise taxes. (“Higher taxes may be the only solution”, October 13)

Certainly that will be the likely solution of politicians, which serves to remind us that today’s deficits are really tomorrow’s taxes

Of course, raising taxes is not the only way to trim the deficit.

A better way is for the government to cut its spending, not ours.

As former US president Ronald Reagan, once put it, “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Forbes stands up for free markets

Capitalism is under heavy attack these days.

But fortunately, the free market also has its defenders, people like Steve Forbes who has written a fantastic article called Capitalism: A True Love Story.

Forbes makes the case for the morality of free markets.

Here's a sampling:
This is how wealth is produced in society: Countless individuals seek to meet their own needs by meeting the needs and wants of others. That's indeed the moral basis of capitalism. It is the antithesis of greed. Forming networks of cooperation, individuals create businesses that produce innovations--not just pencils but inventions ranging from laptops to washing machines. In the process of providing for themselves, people generate the capital and innovations that yield economic growth, improving living standards and enabling society to advance.

Talking liberty

Here's three interesting articles recently posted over at the Libertas Post:

Joseph Ben Ami, a conservative commentator and writer, says the time has come for the Conservative Party to make a choice -- are they true conservatives or not.

Tim Mak, a reporter for NewMajority.com, exposes the serious (and scary) inefficiency plaguing the US Census Bureau.

Blogger Raphael Alexander worries about our eroding liberties.

Gaudet vs Kenney

One of the good things about Twitter is you get to eavesdrop on conversations.

For instance, last week I noticed an interesting exchange between the current head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Kevin Gaudet, and Jason Kenney, a former president of the CTF who today serves as the Conservative Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

It began when Kenney “tweeted” about the federal government’s stimulus package thusly: “The Libs say our infrastructure projects are only going to CPC ridings. Really? I've announced 2 projects in opposition ridings in 2 days.”

This led Gaudet to reply: “@MinJK You wouldn't have bragged of this when you were a fiscal conservative.”

To which Kenney countered “@KevinGaudet I'm proud to belong to a conservative government that has cut taxes by $190 billion, to their lowest level in 4 decades.”

In other words, Kenney was essentially saying, “don’t worry we are still fiscal conservatives because we are cutting taxes.”

The problem with that argument is the Conservatives are actually raising taxes not cutting them.

It’s just that their tax hikes have been put off into the future.

After all, the Tories have burdened the country with a $56 billion deficit. Sooner or later that will have to be paid, either through massive spending cuts or through tax increases or both.

I just hope they don’t put a tax on tweets!

Crossposted at the Libertas Post.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Adler gives dramatic reading to Libertas Post letter

One of Canada's top radio hosts, Charles Adler, read my letter to the Nobel Prize Committee on the air.

It's a beautiful reading!

Listen for it aout 28 seconds in.

Crossposted at the Libertas Post.

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be a guest on the Ryan Doyle Show (News 1010 Toronto) tonight at 7:45 PM to talk about Obama's Nobel prize.

How to win a Nobel Prize

I just sent the following letter to Norway:

Dear Nobel Prize Committee:

I believe in peace and fervently hope that all nations can be really nice and kind to each other.

I dream of a world where lunatic Iranian leaders will make Israelis their Facebook friends, where demented, egomaniacal dictators will use their nuclear reactors to power Ferris Wheels instead of bombs and where Al Qaeda terrorists will exchange their box-cutters for X-Boxes.

And I pray every night for sunshine and rainbows

Now that you know where I stand, when can I collect my Nobel Prize?

Yours truly,

Gerry Nicholls

Crossposted at the Libertas Post

Me on the Commentary.ca

Did an interview on The Commentary.ca.

We discussed politics, the Libertas Post and of course, The Office.

Check it out.

Poetic injustice

Yesterday Marni Soupcoff had a column in the National Post which revealed Toronto had hired a left-wing activist to serve as the city's "poet laureate."

This led me to write the following letter to the editor, which was published in today's paper:

Poetic injustice

Re: A Job No Outspoken Poet Would Want, Marni Soupcoff, Oct. 8.

So Toronto is paying Marxist and militant feminist Dionne Brand a cool $30,000 to act as the city's "poet laureate."

It's news like this which makes me wish I could hire a poet laureate of my own.

I need somebody to help me find a phrase which rhymes with "ridiculous waste."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Libertas Post

As some of you may know, I am working on an exciting new website called Libertas Post.

“Libertas” is Latin for “freedom” And freedom is what I want this site to be about.

More specifically, I want to provide a conservative voice for Canadians who cherish things like free markets, smaller government and individual freedom.

My hope is that this site will not only provide a conservative perspective on political events, but that it will also energize the conservative community into helping make this country a freer better place.

Fighting for freedom isn’t new for me. For 22 years I worked with the National Citizens Coalition, overseeing that group’s communication and media campaigns.

Now I want to continue fighting the good fight through the Libertas Post.

I encourage everybody out there to check it out. I also encourage everybody to post blogs, to leave comments, to fill out our surveys and to subscribe to our free newsletter.

And if these words don't stir you to action, just get a load of my first-ever video:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Party's Over

According to a Canadian Press report "Michael Ignatieff is preparing to embark on a politically risky 'adult conversation' with Canadians about the painful measures necessary to eliminate the country's ballooning deficit - including the possibility of tax hikes."


This idea is to political strategy what Kamikaze pilots are to World War II.


Here are my predictions for the MLB divisional series:

Bronx Bombers over Twinkies.

Bosox over Halos.

Rocks over Phils.

Dodgers over Red Birds.

Update: Paul Tuns has a slightly more detailed analysis of three division playoff battles.

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be a guest on the Joe Easingwood Show (CFAX Victoria, B.C.) at 12:30 PM EST to talk turkey.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

List of Cannots

The source of this quote is unknown but it rings true.

The Ten "Cannots" of Political Economy:

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

You cannot help the wage-earner by tearing down the wage-payer.

You cannot further the brotherhood of mankind by encouraging class hatred.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative.

You cannot help man permanently by doing for them what they could do and should do for themselves.

Source: Libertarian quotes.

How to trigger an election

Things are looking good for Prime Minister Stephen Harper these days; he’s riding high in the polls, the economy is looking better and he is a serious contender for a Grammy nomination, in the “Best vocals by a world leader” category.

Yup, this would be a good time for Prime Minister Harper to call an election. Except there’s one slight problem: for the past few months he’s been telling everyone who would listen that this would be a bad time for an election.

So what he needs is a little strategy. He has to somehow force the Opposition parties into voting against his government so that it will fall.

But this is easier said than done because, after all, the other parties aren’t crazy, the last thing they want to do right now is go to the polls.

This means the Conservatives must employ the old “poison pill” tactic, put some measure before the House which the other parties would find so offensive or repugnant they would have no choice but to vote against it.

Right now, no doubt, the Tories are crafting just such a pill.

To help them out, I am offering a few suggestions:

* To get Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff going introduce the following resolution in the House of Commons: “Be it resolved that Yale’s debating team could trounce Harvard’s debating team any day of the week.”

* Propose legislation which would require CUPE union boss Sid Ryan to actually make sense. There’s no way the NDP could support such a bill.

* And to get the Bloc Quebecois to vote against the government appoint as the Official Languages Commissioner, Don Cherry.

Now if none of this works, the government still has one option, which is certain to trigger an election call: end the welfare for politicians scheme, under which taxpayers subsidize political parties.

Recall the last time the government tried this it led to a near political mutiny.

Indeed, the Opposition leaders would probably rather swallow a real poison pill than get kicked off the dole.

Of course, I might be wrong about the government wanting an election. The Prime Minister might want to hold off, at least until after the Grammy awards.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Political Turkeys

Thanksgiving is nearly here, which of course means it's time for my annual "Top Political Turkey" list, which appears in today's Sun media.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Canada's Political Idol

In a stunning political move, Prime Minister Stephen Harper scored a “game changer” on Saturday night when he wowed a National Arts Centre gala by playing the piano and belting out a Beatles tune.

When the surprising performance was over, the crowd, made up of artists who are typically hostile towards the Prime Minister, stood up in unison and chanted. “We want a grant, we want a grant.”

A senior Conservative strategist later told the media, “We wanted to show the country that the Prime Minister wasn’t just a policy wonk, but a policy wonk who could play a musical instrument.”

Caught off guard by the new Conservative strategy, the other parties are now scrambling to play catch up.

Word has it that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff will stand up in Question Period tomorrow, slip on a fedora, and croon the Leonard Cohen hit “Closing Time.”

Meanwhile, NDP leader Jack Layton and the Bloc Quebecois’s Gilles Duceppe have joined forces to create a rock band called “The New Coalition.”

“We are primarily going to be a Rolling Stones cover band,” explained Layton. “We will not allow the Prime Minister to corner the market on golden oldies. If anyone should represent 1960s attitudes it’s us.”

In a related development, Elections Canada recently announced that Simon Cowell will determine the winner of the next Canadian election.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Time for a new Liberal leader?

A consensus seems to be emerging that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is a dud, a Stephane Dion 2.0.

Yet, even as Ignatieff continues to drop in the polls, his loyal Liberal MPs are rallying around their beleaguered leader, as this makes it easier to stab him in the back.

All of this has led me to “jump the gun” a bit and to ponder who the Liberals could get to succeed Ignatieff.

And so after an exhaustive 10 seconds of research, I have come up with a list of five potential Liberal leaders along with their “pros” and “cons.”

Here it is:

Bob Rae
Pros – Rae is media savvy, smart, tough, and as former Ontario Premier he has tons of political experience.

Cons – Voters remember Rae’s handing of the Ontario economy, the way military historians remember General Custer’s handling of Indian relations or the way boating enthusiasts remember the Titanic’s handling of ice bergs.

Ken Dryden
Pros – As a former NHL hockey star Dryden enjoys fantastic name recognition.

Cons – Zzzzzzzzzzzz …. Oops sorry guess I dozed off there for a second

Dominic Leblanc
Pros – This New Brunswick MP is young, bright and telegenic.

Cons – Who?

Justin Trudeau
Pros – Let’s face it, he is blessed with a magic and legendary political name – Justin. Also his father was kind of famous and he can count on the endorsement of family friend Fidel Castro.

Cons – To use the correct political science term, Trudeau is a "flake".

Roman Polanksi
Pros – A famous Hollywood director, Polanski would win the support of the trendy and hip culture crowd.

Cons – He will soon be a con.

That's my list.

I hope in some small way it is helpful to the Liberal Party, which these days needs all the help it can get.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Media Alert II

I am scheduled to be on the Charles Adler Show (Corus Radio Network) at 4:30 PM to talk about honesty in politics. (We I seem to be an expert on this subject since the National Post picked up on my recent blog posting.)

Media Alert

I am scheduled to be a guest on the Tom Young Show (88.9 News St. John New Brunswick) at approximately 11: 10 AM EST to talk about honesty in politics.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Politics is no place for honesty

Poor Gordon Landon.

He, of course, was the Conservative Party candidate for Markham-Unionville who got dumped because he seemed to openly suggest his riding was missing out on the pork gravy train simply because the voters there had mistakenly voted in a Liberal MP.

Now I suppose Landon deserved to get turfed for making such a major politically incorrect “gaffe”, but let’s face it, his comments as they were perceived reflect a political reality.

The fact is if you want to get dough it helps if your MP is on the government side of the aisle, it helps even more if your MP is in cabinet, it helps even more if your MP is in cabinet and represents a riding in Quebec.

That’s what big government politics is all about.

So shouldn't we actually be praising Landon for his candour? Indeed, maybe we should insist on total, brutal honesty from all our politicians.

But what would such unabashed political sincerity actually sound like?

Well it might just sound something like this:

An honest New Democrat MP
“Look I know we haven’t got a hope of ever forming the government. And that's actually a good thing because, heck the idea of Jack Layton being Prime Minster scares even me! But still Canada needs a strong NDP to do the important job of making the Liberals look good by comparison.”

An honest Liberal MP
“Sure we have no policies, no ideas and no vision. And yes our leader, Michael Ignatieff, has all the pizazz of a pickled kumquat. So what? The important thing is we have been out of government since 2006. And it’s driving us crazy. You don’t know what it’s like. It’s awful. If we don’t get back into power soon, we might lose it altogether and try something desperate. Think we’re kidding? Ever hear of Bob Rae? Yeah, that’s right we are warning you….”

An honest Conservative MP
“Some people say we have a hidden agenda. That’s absolutely preposterous. Our agenda isn’t hidden … it’s lost. I mean it. We can’t find it anywhere. We have looked under the bed, behind the filing cabinet, even in Julie Couillard’s apartment. This is serious. If you see our agenda, please let us know. It’s kind of important.”

An honest Bloc Quebecois MP
“Bonjour. Comment-allez vous? Ca va bien merci. Ooh la, la, la chocolat tante Louise. Au revoir mon ami.” (Sorry I figure an honest Bloc MP wouldn’t speak English, and this is all the French I know.)

An honest Green Party Wannabe MP
“This is not a traditional, quote, unquote party. This is a party that basically serves as a travelling road show for our leader Elizabeth May, who figures the best way to save the environment is to run and lose in a different federal riding each election.”

OK, so maybe it isn’t such a good thing if our politicians are brutally honest.

Future of conservatism in Canada

One of my favorite topics is the future of conservatism in Canada.

So it was lucky that the Young Conservative Forum has invited me to be part of a panel that will address this important issue in Montreal on October 29.

Also scheduled to be on the panel will be such conservative stars as Adam Daifallah, Joseph Ben Ami and John Robson.

Believe me, this is going to be a fun and informative event, that no consevative would want to miss.

I hope to see you there.

Here are the details of where, when and why.