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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Libertarian Party leader will challenge Stephen Harper in Calgary Southwest

Since his first interview after being elected leader of the Libertarian Party, Dennis Young has set his sights on Stephen Harper’s record in office. On issues as diverse as the war in Afghanistan, marijuana law reform, corporate welfare and Ezra Levant’s high profile campaign against the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Young has contrast his party’s policies against the record of the Conservative government.

The Western Standard has now learned that Young plans to take his attack directly to Stephen Harper by running against the Prime Minister in his Calgary Southwest riding.

“I’ve been working to show Canadians who believe in personal and economic freedom that Harper and the Conservatives do not share their core beliefs," said Young. “I can’t think of a better way to do that than to take the Libertarian Party message directly to the constituents of Calgary Southwest.”

In the 2006 federal election, Harper won the Calgary riding with 72 per cent of the vote, but that huge majority doesn’t concern Young. “Harper won by convincing the constituents of Calgary Southwest that he believes in small government and fiscal responsibility,” said Young. “When Calgarians are presented with facts to the contrary, and when they are presented with a clear alternative to the biggest spending government in Canadian history, I think voters will rethink their loyalty.”

Calgary Southwest voters did, in fact, rethink their loyalties in the 1993 federal election, replacing Progressive Conservative incumbent James Hawkes with none other than Reform Party candidate Stephen Harper.

“Calgary Southwest voters punished the Conservatives in the past for abandoning the principles of limited government and constitutional equality. They took a chance on the Reform Party and Stephen Harper. Now it’s Harper who’s the out-of-touch Ottawa insider, and who has to answer my questions about why he saw fit to expand the size of government when he took over from the Liberals. I don’t think his excuses are going work any better than Mulroney’s,” said Young.

While Young says his party is not ready to release its official national platform, he has announced that the campaign slogan will be “Trusting Canadians with Choice.”

“Our message is that the Libertarian Party trusts adult Canadians with their own freedom and choices. We believe in the basic decency and common sense of average citizens and think they can be trusted to manage their own affairs and make their own choices without the interference of government,” said Young. “People will make bad choices from time to time, but that’s all part of what it means to be truly free. We need laws to protect people from the aggressive acts of others, not laws that protect people from themselves.”

The Libertarian Party plans to release its national platform in early September.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on August 28, 2008 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink

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Comments

Hopefully this will force the PM to take a stand on the CHRC at least, for it is time for him to be forced to end his silence on a major issue.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-08-28 4:33:26 PM


Geez...

Harper has a MINORITY not a MAJORITY..he is limited on what he can do. The whole idea is to stay in office as long as possible..he had to overcome the Scary Stephen thing. He has strong leadership numbers no matter what people think of him.

And the whole idea of this election is to bankrupt the Liberals..they are financially wobbly right now..Harper wants them on their knees..which is where they belong along with begging us to forgive them for stealing 40 million of unaccounted for taxpayer's money.

You know, I think a lot of Conservatives just need to calm down and be patient..Harper is a good PM and you have to remember, in this country, not everyone gets what they want, but with Harper, you have a better chance of getting some of it.

Posted by: trawna | 2008-08-28 5:54:33 PM


Geez...

Harper has a MINORITY not a MAJORITY..he is limited on what he can do. The whole idea is to stay in office as long as possible..he had to overcome the Scary Stephen thing. He has strong leadership numbers no matter what people think of him.

And the whole idea of this election is to bankrupt the Liberals..they are financially wobbly right now..Harper wants them on their knees..which is where they belong along with begging us to forgive them for stealing 40 million of unaccounted for taxpayer's money.

You know, I think a lot of Conservatives just need to calm down and be patient..Harper is a good PM and you have to remember, in this country, not everyone gets what they want, but with Harper, you have a better chance of getting some of it.

Posted by: trawna | 2008-08-28 5:55:45 PM


You know, I think a lot of Conservatives just need to calm down and be patient..
Posted by: trawna | 28-Aug-08 5:55:45 PM

While we go broke under the largest administration in Canadian history?
So much for "CONservative". They left the meaning of the word conservative behind a long time ago.
I know trawna, that we'd all like think, what if Harper had a majority...wouldn't it be paradise then? No it won't...it will just mean more god damned government. Something we could do with a lot less of.
The Right has become the Wrong and the Left is as stupid as ever...
This is not a time for patience, its a time for change.

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-28 6:17:04 PM


Choosing that riding is a mistake IF the Libertarian leader expects himself to boost his vote count. Party loyalists like to believe that were things only different (e.g., were they to have a majority), there party would advocate different policies. And, although such hope is unjustified, they are more likely to come out and vote FOR their party if they think there is the slightest chance that someone is trying to horn-in on the "right-wing" action. If the Libertarian runs in Calgary, and takes the approach that he is the capitalist that Harper is not right now, I expect he will get stomped like a narc at a biker rally, electorally.

The better approach would be to campaign against the conservatives on libertarian positions that are NOT the same as positions thought to be conservative (i.e., to campaign as a liberal on anti-libertarian conservate policies), and to campaign against the liberals on things that nobody, in Alberta, could like whether liberal or conservative. For example, if the Libertarian Party of Canada is pacifistic - and many of its members are sure to be - it would be easier to get votes by campaigning against military participation in Afghanistan while campaigning against the liberal carbon tax.

However, almost any advice one could give to a Libertarian candidate will be of little importance at the end of the day because, in reality, the vast majority of voters do not vote according to policy. Here's how it will happen, in every riding, amongst the vast majority of voters.

1. They will wake up on election day and say to themselves "well, I'd better figure out who I'm voting for".

2. They will not base their decision upon the parties' election platforms: they will not read the election platforms.

3. The radio and television news will not say much about polls etc. on election day, so those sources will be largely useless. They will turn to friends, family and colleagues if they turn to any source of information at all.

4. But, in all likelihood, they will simply ask themselves whether the Harper government is causing them more grief than they are willing to suffer any longer. If so, they will vote liberal NOT because of what the liberals are promising to do or not to do, but because voting liberal increases the chances that the Conservatives will cease to be the government. If not, they will vote conservative, and give it no more thought. For the vast majority of voters, it's really that simple.

Poll after poll demonstrates that the most important factor in determining whether a party is elected is: it's size. A person who wants the government to stay in power just votes to reelect the government. A person who wants the government out of power will vote for the BIGGEST alternative party - the party with the greatest chance of knocking the governing party out of power. For those who are sufficiently wanting to change the government: if the biggest alternative party is the communists, the communists will get the vote; if it's the capitalists, the capitalists will get the vote; if it's the Nazis, the Nazis will get the vote. In short: most people do not vote FOR a party not in power, they vote AGAINST a party that is in power; the vote not to change policy, but to change people.

The Libertarians do not enter the running because virtually nobody believes they stand a chance of dislodging Conservatives. Only Liberals, NDP, or Bloc candidates (depending upon the riding) are currently thought of as having the power to knock-out a conservative MP.

The right approach for a party with no (current) chance of electoral success is to (a) contrast itself with the parties that win seats, and (b) to attack, relentlessly, the party that parades around falsely claiming to be the voice of the ideology that the small party really does endorse. For example, the right approach for the greens right now is not to co-operate with the Liberals, but to torpedo them. Expose every lie. Expose every ambiguity and equivocation. Expose every bad judgment. And do not be afraid to call a liar, a fake, or a moron a liar, a fake, or a moron, respectively. Until the faux-green Liberals are undone, the truly-Greens have little if any chance of replacing them.

At the end of the day, all countries are two-party countries and the reason for that fact is: people vote against, not for. They are looking for a big hammer, not a good idea.

Sorry.

Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario

Posted by: Paul McKeever | 2008-08-28 7:12:27 PM


...change the name of the group and he might be taken serious.

Sounds too much like:

1. Liberals
2. Cult
3. Rhino party

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-08-28 7:35:44 PM


trawna,

If you think a Harper majority is going to fix what is wrong with this country then you have been hanging around conservative websites too long.

It's the party system itself that is killing democracy.

Posted by: Canadian Observer | 2008-08-28 8:40:56 PM


At the end of the day, all countries are two-party countries and the reason for that fact is: people vote against, not for. They are looking for a big hammer, not a good idea.
Posted by: Paul McKeever | 28-Aug-08 7:12:27 PM

Unless you have proportional representation, then people do vote for who they want to govern.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-08-28 9:28:59 PM


And the big problem with proportional representation is that the individual cannot vote for a competent, attractive individual candidate irrespective of party affiliation.

Posted by: DML | 2008-08-28 11:10:53 PM


This is good news. When this Llibertarian moron gets all of 12 votes we can all STF up about these marginal freaks.

Posted by: epsilon | 2008-08-28 11:14:02 PM


Sorry, epsilon, but I'll keep talking about them regardless of how many votes they get.

You'll have to keep writing "Dennis who?" and "Bob who?" until your fingers fall off.

And then you can get back to worrying about the things that really matter. Like American Idol. Because, apparently, for you everything is a popularity contest.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-28 11:17:59 PM


Politics is popularity you goof. If you are not popular, like the llibertarian kooks, you get only 12 votes from the ususal assortment of eccentrics that compete for all the commie and flying rhinocerous candidates.

I don't watch Canadian Idol, but the fact that you condemn it only shows how out of touch you are with average people.

Epsi

Posted by: epsilon | 2008-08-28 11:22:30 PM


And the big problem with proportional representation is that the individual cannot vote for a competent, attractive individual candidate irrespective of party affiliation.
Posted by: DML | 28-Aug-08 11:10:53 PM

Absolutely. And the other big problem is the level at which party's qualify, such as in Italy or Israel.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-08-28 11:24:11 PM


I don't condemn it, epsi. I also didn't say Canadian Idol, I said American Idol. But I don't think it matters, just as I don't think that popularity, per se, matters.

And since we're not a political party, but a news website, we don't care how many votes someone attracts.

We care 1) that someone is promoting the culture of liberty (and we'll post about organizations and people trying to do that), and 2) we care about the web traffic that is generated.

With lots of love,

Peter

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-28 11:43:49 PM


Look JC,

I can relate to what you are saying, but the fact is, unless the West separates and you can have your own thing going on (and I wouldn't blame the west if they did, especially if someone like Dion got in), you still have a big pile of left leaning idiots out east to contend with. That being said, Harper's gotta do what he's gotta do.

Harper wants to decentralize Ottawa, give more power to the provinces..if that isn't more direct democracy I don't know what is.

And what kind of change do you think you would get if you tried to get everything you wanted in government? A LIBERAL MAJORITY THAT'S WHAT.

You will never change how and why they vote out east..get used to it..I have.

Posted by: trawna | 2008-08-29 5:56:08 AM


And what kind of change do you think you would get if you tried to get everything you wanted in government? A LIBERAL MAJORITY THAT'S WHAT.

You will never change how and why they vote out east..get used to it..I have.

Posted by: trawna | 29-Aug-08 5:56:08 AM

Hey trawna, I wasn't really under the impression that the CPC wanted to decentralize. That doesn't really seem to fit the pattern of either party's history. And I'd rather not see the west seperate either. I have huge doubts that would ever happen.
And the two party system is to me the delusion of believing we have choices. Any more, the choices are not so great. Our freedoms have been disappearing and taxes are out of control under either party. I guess I'm looking for that third choice.

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-29 6:47:51 AM


Since the consensus here seems to be that people "vote against" a government on election day, then if Harper gets a majority, we will get the "same old, same old", BIG F/N GOVERNMENT! That's what Taronna and Ontario & Quebec want and where most of the voters are, so I doubt that any poli worth their salt will do anything to change that and thereby lose the NEXT election. Patience my a**! Harper has had ample opportunity to frame their platform and paint the rest of those time-servers in opposition in the blackest light possible.

He "hasn't got it done" and he won't get my vote because of that. His Party has sidestepped important issues on democracy and his Income Trust decision spoke to government as being the final arbiter of every facet of your life, includng what you get in retirement. They "rule" us as if they "owned" us!

That means to me, my vote doesn't count since I don't live in Taronna anymore. I'll go for separation and leave the cesspool that central Canadian politics has become. I live in Harper's riding, so I'm not too pleased with certain issues that I feel are more important to me, like too big government, run by un-elected, publicly paid civil servants whose only aim in life is to steal as much money from my paycheck to stuff in their own pocket, with a pension, without me resorting to armed insurrection to put an end to the legislative "theft" that they practice.

I'll vote for anybody who makes reducing government and it's "take" of my paycheck their prime platform, ditches the CHRC and gives me the rights to my property. Until then, you can have your prissy two party system and stuff it. The Conservatives are Liberal Lite and no better! The country needs a revolt with a guillotine.

Posted by: jt | 2008-08-29 9:42:53 AM


jt: I like your thoughts and style. My only disagreement is that the Cons are not Liberal lites. They are Liberals on steroids.

They've taken the bloated gov't of Cretien and grew it another whopping 14%. That ain't lite.

Posted by: attitude | 2008-08-29 10:48:12 AM


The vast majority of the energy directed at running Libertarians will be consumed at keeping the movement from dying out as a marginal Party. The advances of Liberty by direct political action is glacial. I will venture that John Stossel or Penn Gillette of Penn and Teller contribute more to libertarian enlightenment than having Libertarians on the ballot. I suspect that (some of you Calgarians may remember) ADPR giving each high school grad a copy of Atlas Shrugged back in the seventies likely did more as well.

Harper is not threatened by the Libertarian leader as he knows the philosophy well enough to ignore the logic and stick to populism and "pragmatism" or if push comes to shove, expose the soft underbelly of Libertarianism in the form of naive foreign policies or exploiting the image of irresponsibity by focusing on in-your-face drug issues. Professional politicians need to see a real threshold of support to pay any attention.

Harper can no longer afford to advance libertarianism as he prefers the attainment of power.

Keep up the battle!

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-08-29 11:00:15 AM


John Chittick:

That was probably the most intelligent analysis on the subject I've seen here. Libertarianism is in and of itself a fantastic life and political philosophy that demands Individual Responsibility as the cost of Personal Freedom. If only we hadn't all been spoon fed socialism as part of the school curriculum sinse the age of 5, we might actully be enjoying a society of moral / ethical people who contribute to a steady/consistent economy and a system of justice as opposed to a system of "laws".

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-29 11:54:14 AM


I say go get Stevie!

The problem is look at what happened in Ontario. Now there was an opportunity for "fringe" parties to big up big votes, against a very liberal Tory. But it didn't happen.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-08-29 1:06:57 PM



"Trusting Canadians with Choice"

I LOVE it! That should be the Libertarian Party's new slogan, as our current one is really stupid.

Posted by: Paul R. Welke | 2008-08-31 3:49:47 PM


Paul...why didn't "we" come up with that one?
The T shirts I had made and distribute come close with "The Power of Choice" on them...but this is just great! :)

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-31 3:54:30 PM


"Choosing that riding is a mistake IF the Libertarian leader expects himself to boost his vote count."

A loss in the PM's riding is more newsworthy than a loss anywhere else. I suspect he's hoping to inspire interest in the party rather than to win an election. The odds are stacked against him in any riding, so why not go for the big fish?

Posted by: K Stricker | 2008-08-31 4:55:04 PM


I'm still waiting for the new leader and president to demonstrate that it is not "business as usual" in the Libertarian Party. Most libertarian ideas are sensible, and you might think that such ideas would help them run an ethical political organization, but the party has been beset with censorship to hide misdeeds, corruption and scandal and outright criminal activity for many many years.

When (if?) the new party leadership demonstrates that their commitment to libertarian philosophy consists of deeds (not just words) then perhaps the party will start to get some traction with voters - and also with the vast majority of serious libertarians in this country who will have nothing to do with the party.

Posted by: ken wiebe | 2008-08-31 6:13:01 PM


Most libertarian ideas are sensible, and you might think that such ideas would help them run an ethical political organization, but the party has been beset with censorship to hide misdeeds, corruption and scandal and outright criminal activity for many many years.

Posted by: ken wiebe | 31-Aug-08 6:13:01 PM

Those are fairly nasty allegations of misdeeds and corruption, so "Qualify Them" I'd like to see that.

As far as I know the only censorship that has taken place in the Libertarian Party has to do with some fellow placing abusive posts on the LPC website. And as I recall, the decision to ban that fellow was agonized over.

And in the last while the LPC has, if anything begun to solidify, and it has done so by gaining members who have broader views on the direction of the LPC than say the "single issue" people.

Its important in any party to have core values that come before each individuals personal pursuits. And not everyone is going to be happy
with that fact. Perhaps those single issue people need to pursue their personal goals in their own way.

People who want to see the changes the Libertarians advocate are welcome to join and learn.

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-31 7:47:46 PM


trawna posts "And the whole idea of this election is to bankrupt the Liberals.."
Seems to me the whole plan of the conservatives is to bankrupt Canada, and they are well on thier way. Their spending to buy votes is worse than anything the liberal ever did.

Posted by: Valentine Michael Smith | 2008-09-01 5:40:13 AM


Ultimately, most people share substantially the same values, desires, goals and fears when it comes to the big issue. The true differences that set us apart from each other are really not all that great.

I believe that almost everyone, when presented with libertarian ideals in a way they can relate to as individuals, would choose freedom of choice and personal responsibility over the alternatives.

What is required is an articulate spokesperson with a high-profile to awaken the libertarian that lives within each and every one of us.

By running against Steve Harper in his home riding, Dennis Young's Libertarians will get far greater national media exposure than running in any where else Canada. That strikes me as kind of smart.

The fact that it makes epsilon so nervous is just a bonus.


Posted by: Dale Leier | 2008-09-01 7:57:47 PM


Steven Harper is no different then any other politician he will tell his constituents anything they want to here and when he gets elected voters be dammed.

What Dennis Young should do is what I plane to do in my riding of Vancouver Quadra and that is to give every voter a signed affidavit stating that my being elected is subject to me making every sincere effort to fulfill my promises.

Could you imagine what if honesty actually broke out in politics? Could you imagine politicians and civil servants held to account? I know it’s a scary thought that we should live in an honest country where our servants and elected representatives govern and no rule.

Yours truly Norris Barens

Posted by: Norris Barens | 2008-09-02 8:22:55 AM



JC,
That's pretty good too. The motto that I REALLY disliked was the "A Whole New Idea" one.
To me, it just seems really arrogant and stupid for us to claim that this is a new idea and that we invented it.
I think that it's an important distinction that we as libertarians don't "give" people rights. We merely protect their rights from being infringed upon.

Cheers,
PRW

Posted by: Paul R. Welke | 2008-09-07 2:32:45 PM



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