Sunday, June 26, 2011

Freedom Forum

In an effort to better promote conservative/libertarian values in Canada I have launched a new website called Freedom Forum.

Check it out.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

About that Manning Centre poll

When an advocacy organization releases a poll, it's usually done to promote the group's agenda.
In other words, the group is saying, "Hey look, this poll shows everybody agrees with us, therefore we must be right."

Case in point is a poll released by the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.

The Manning Centre people tell us this poll indicates "traditional ideological differences across partisan lines, on most big issues, have virtually disappeared.'

Or as Allan Gregg, one of the people behind the poll, declared, “What I think you are seeing here is something almost the equivalent of end-of-ideology epoch There is no major differences left among the electorate in terms of directionally where we should be going.”

Gregg bases this startling claim on the way respondents answered a series of "value" questions.

For instance, the poll found wide support for  notions about government  "learning from the past"; "governments should be concentrating on the problems of today rather than tomorrow” and government should move with “caution rather than boldness.”

The poll also supposedly indicates Canada has evolved its own “unique strain of conservatism", a strain that's different from the American-style Republican/Tea Party version.

Our conservatism apparently combines, "free market principles, moderation, incrementalism and social justice.”

But more than that, the Manning poll indicates this Canadian-style conservatism, “has become mainstream as the ideological ‘centre’ has shifted to a new conservative orthodoxy.”

And this is all due to Prime Minister Stephen Harper who as Gregg put it has “moderated the image of Conservatives to conform more with the kind of conservatism being expressed by the population. 

Gregg also says the country has become less conservative in traditional “American conservative values” over the last year.


I don't think so. In fact, this whole poll is a bunch of hooey.

Here's why.

The Manning Centre makes the mistake of using a poll to reveal what people say, as opposed to what they really think.

First off, most people in general (Americans or Canadians) are wary about change, they want government to protect them, they want their standard of living secured.

Broadly speaking these are "conservative" values I suppose, but they are also human values.

Does this mean ideological differences don't exist?

No it doesn't.  I suspect some of the respondents to the Manning poll who said government should learn from the past, also give money to the NDP or  they may support new taxes on "the rich", others may want a flat tax or more money to health care.

The only way to tell would be to do a careful analysis of cross-tabs and a lot more questions.

In other words, this poll doesn’t really tell us much about the state of ideology in Canada.

But then again, I suspect that wasn’t the overall point of this poll.

My guess is the Manning Centre wants to justify or legitimize the Harper Conservative Party's, Liberal-lite, wishy-washy brand of conservatism.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Busy media day

Had a lot going on this day.

Have a column in today's Globe and Mail on the question of money and politics. Is money really all that evil?

Also have a column in today's National Post in which I urge conservatives to make sure the Harper Tories don't take their support for granted.

Finally, I have a column in the Ottawa Hill Times on the Conservative Party's "Dirty  Harry" political strategy. (It's behind a subscription wall.)

Additionally, I did a radio interview on the Arlene Bynon Show, (640 AM Radio Toronto) and appeared as a the Power Play "strategist panel."


Sunday, June 05, 2011

Turning the page

Is former Parliamentary page Brigette DePape a courageous hero or a spoiled brat?

Actually she can be both: It all depends on your point of view.

More specifically it depends on how you expect people to behave.

For instance, we all expect people to follow society's rules. It's part of what makes us human.

Hence, DePape is regarded by many Canadians as nothing but a self-aggrandizing, troublemaker because she disrupted the Throne Speech, clearly breaking the Parliamentary rules.

Yet there are those who are applauding DePape's bit of political theater.

Do these people not believe in rules?

Yes they do, but they would argue DePape was following a rule that transcends Parliamentary protocol, namely that we should stand up for what we believe.

In other words, we are all reading the same book, but sometimes we are on a different page.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Media Alert

I will be on The Weekend Morning News, (CKNW Vancouver) this morning at 10:07 AM ET to talk about civility in Parliament.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Media Alert

Will be on Canada AM, this morning at 7:10 AM ET (!) to talk about the Harper majority.