The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, September 25, 2008
This Campaign is Over Already, Let’s Begin the Revolution
Forget the faint hope that the debates will turn things around for Mme. Dion (do you really think a man who can barely speak English is going to break through there? That’s like expecting Preston Manning to pull off a win in 1997 based on his performance in the French debate). Intrade puts the odds of a Tory win at 95%. I would put them higher than that. I would say that the odds of a Tory majority are, at this point, higher than 90%.
Indeed, if I were asked to guess where we’ll finish up at the end of the day, I would say that we’re looking at a very large majority. I think that two hundred is a realistic figure to be talking about at the moment.
Let’s look at the facts – the facts that I’ve mentioned repeatedly. As things stand, the left-wing vote in this country (even though that group includes a majority of the electorate) is divided three ways in English Canada and four ways in Quebec. What that means, as I outlined at the outset of this campaign, is that a “Great Silent Plurality” of small-c conservative voters can form a strong majority government that can hold onto the government in this country for as long as that split persists.
The Liberals are done for. No one wants to make Mme. Dion the Prime Minister (including, I would hazard, Dion based upon his dispirited performance so far). And we’re not going to make Jack Layton the Prime Minister either. That means that it’s Mr. Harper by default.
I think that we could sharpen it – and put further tarnish on the Liberal brand – by pinning Dion to the ground and knocking him absolutely senseless but, in the end, a win is a win.
What the Prime Minister has to ask now – and he really does have to ask it now, since he won’t have very long to do it – is whether he wants to be another Brian Mulroney, a brief interlude between long-serving Liberal Prime Ministers, or whether he really wants to change this country decisively.
A Conservative majority government, especially under a strong leader like Prime Minister Harper, offers a chance to transform this country beyond all recognition. The Liberals have been so successful in this country over the last four decades because they remade it in their own image, right down to the flag. They put their stamp on every institution in this country – a Maple Leaf-shaped boot stamping down across the Canadian face forever.
With a strong majority government – one not vulnerable to a confidence vote – the Prime Minister has the power to weather minor storms of public outrage and to use his five years to change this country in ways which will prove both popular and nearly impossible to undo.
In particular, I recommend that a Conservative government focus on the following:
1) Institutional demolition: The left-wing in this country relies upon government to keep itself running. The Prime Minister has taken some vital first steps in this area by junking the Court challenges program and cutting funding to radical feminist groups but, with a majority, the best option would be to go much further.
Sell the CBC. Junk most of the cultural subsides. Get rid of the human rights Gestapo. These, in the end, are “stroke of the pen, law of the land” sort of things. If a Prime Minister with a majority government wishes them, they could be so.
Gut the CRTC. Indeed, as I recommended before, the Prime Minister should forget his own copyright bill and instead pass the most liberal, progressive, and loose copyright bill in the Western world. Yeah, that’ll hurt some people – but screw them, they’re not going to vote Tory anyways.
Do too much, rather than too little. Don’t shift these things around. Burn them down and salt the Earth. A future Liberal government won’t have the guts, the time, the wherewithal, or the money to recreate them all at once. Sell the land and the buildings. Shred the records. Disperse the staff. It’s easier to destroy than it is to create. A Tory government on a rampage could destroy in a couple of months what it took four decades to create – and what it would take another forty to recreate.
2) Base Creation: At the same time as well tear apart the old Liberal nation, we need to create new institutions to replace the old. With the money we’ll save, we can go to work on a new grand and nation-defining enterprise – rebuilding the Canadian military and turning it into the national symbol that it should be.
This is important not only for nationalistic reasons, but for basic political reasons. A large-scale buildup of the Armed Forces will do more than prepare Canada to fight in an increasingly-dangerous world, but it will also create a powerful military-industrial complex that a future Liberal government would be loathe to confront.
Set as a goal that military spending should be, oh, roughly 3.5% of the GDP. On the ground, translate that into an active force of 200,000 or so men – with all of the associated family members and spin-off jobs that will be created. Buy as much equipment internally as possible, even if that makes it more expensive, because it will build an industrial base that can become a powerful lobbying force.
Build big things. Canadians, for all that they claim to be a peace-loving people, want to love their country. That’s why, in the absence of a more compelling national identity, they hold onto the things that they do. Build a pair of Aircraft Carriers – giant, expensive, deadly, and useful symbols of Canadian pride that children can hang on their walls. Name them after Wolfe and Montcalm or something like that.
Oh, and well you’re at it, recreate the old individual services. Because it’s appealing – and because it’s a good and simple exercise of power.
3) Crime, Crime, Crime: The Tories are campaigning on this a bit, but they should be doing it more – and they should do even more as a majority government. Few things unify more Canadians than the conviction that our justice system is horribly soft.
As I’ve said countless times, nothing is better than forcing your opponent to – out of conviction – defend people who everyone hates. The Liberals the left in general really believe in our horribly deformed justice system and many of them will go to the stake defending it. What Harper needs is someone creatively evil to serve as the Justice Minister – or perhaps Deputy Minister (I’m not too busy!) to spend the next five years thinking up new ways of brutalize and humiliate criminals and which will send the left marching to the barricades time and time again to defend people who normal Canadians hate.
Of course, this is probably all a dream. Stephen Harper has shown himself, in his time as both Tory leader and as Prime Minister, to be a cautious man. The odds are that, winning a smashing majority; he will naturally conclude that he should go on doing exactly the same thing.
I'm sure that some Tories are reading this and saying to themselves, "for God's sake Yoshida, don't write anything like this - it'll scare people." I wish, I wish. Like I said - we're only going to get something like this, or even a tiny part of this, if we struggle for it and push for it.
To the extent that we might see anything of this sort, we have to begin talking about it now, thinking about it now, floating these ideas now, because the window of time in which a new majority might act is pretty small - a year, I'd say.
He should watch out, though, because after Dion (and remember, it was me who first told many of you that it would be Dion) is the Second Coming. Unless we burn Trudeautopia to the ground, the son will soon be here to reclaim the legacy of the father.
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If we do get a Conservative majority it'll be time for all of us firearms owners to bust some balls over campiegn promises of the past.
But if we push thing too far it'll solidify the left, for example I can see the long gun registry going out the door but we're not getting concealed carry any time soon, even if we did shift to a provincial firearms legislation model you can bet your back bacon that even if the people of say Alberta can be convinced that CCW lowers crime and makes people safer, it's not going to be allowed by the people of Ontario and Quebec because even when they relinquish some power to the provinces they never really do.
I agree, with all of point #1 and #3, humiliation should be a major part of crime management. It works for stopping Johns it can work for stopping drunk drivers and murderers too, a national wall of shame where people can respond to profiles of criminals and heckle them. You know what we could tie drunk drivers up outside of city hall and throw ripe tomatoes at them. A fine and losing your license is secret shame... public fooding is cheap and effective..
Posted by: Pete | 2008-09-25 12:43:34 AM
If only that pesky unelected senate didn't stand in the way of the Conservative course correction of this wayward country :P
Posted by: Pete | 2008-09-25 12:58:17 AM
Adam, referring to Dion as "Mme. Dion" makes you sound even less sophisticated than usual.
Posted by: Voice of Reason | 2008-09-25 1:32:07 AM
You're letting that crazy sociopath Adam Yoshida post here? The guy who, in the past, has recommended genocide?
Come on, Standard. I thought you were trying to clean up your act.
Posted by: Conservative | 2008-09-25 7:54:53 AM
>>A large-scale buildup of the Armed Forces will do more than prepare Canada to fight in an increasingly-dangerous world, but it will also create a powerful military-industrial complex that a future Liberal government would be loathe to confront.<<
Wow! We could eliminate the jobs that have Canadians living off the government and then create jobs that have Canadians living off the government! Genius!!
Being able to defend ourselves is one thing; emulating the giant black hole money pit that is the US military is another foolish matter altogether.
And your comments on brutalizing and humiliating anyone, criminal or otherwise, are disgusting.
Posted by: Janet | 2008-09-25 10:32:23 AM
I don't agree with everything in Adam's post, but I have to say I really liked this line:
"The Liberals have been so successful in this country over the last four decades because they remade it in their own image, right down to the flag. They put their stamp on every institution in this country – a Maple Leaf-shaped boot stamping down across the Canadian face forever."
Excellent. Truly excellent. Might not be as appealing to the general public, though :-).
As for brutalizing and humiliating criminals -- come on, people. What were you planning on doing with those who violate people's rights in libertarian land, anyway? Give them chocolate cake?
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-09-25 2:42:57 PM
"As for brutalizing and humiliating criminals -- come on, people. What were you planning on doing with those who violate people's rights in libertarian land, anyway? Give them chocolate cake?"
Uhm, false dichotomy.
I was thinking "put them in prison" or "take away their liberty." Or do conservatives no longer think that liberty is so important, that we have to humiliate and brutalize prisoners as well?
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-09-25 3:06:04 PM
Ok, but why should libertarians limit themselves only to prison as a form of punishment? Why not humiliate them as well, if that's effective? Is that incompatible with libertarian principles?
I didn't mean to say that the dichotomy is between jail and chocolate cake. That would be a false dichotomy. My dichotomy was between whatever forms of punishment are effective (jail, humiliation, etc) and whatever forms aren't punishment at all (chocolate cake, etc.)
I assume libertarians want punishments to be effective, no? Especially since in libertarian land, the only people who will be punished will be those who truly deserve it (rights violators.)
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-09-25 4:13:00 PM
"The Liberals have been so successful in this country over the last four decades because they remade it in their own image, right down to the flag."
The problem is it's not true. The Liberals maintained power because of the shift in demographics. If Harper wants to retain power, close Canada's mission in Chandigarh. Over 80% of immigration to Canada is family re-unification. Mass migration from the Punjab and other vismin origins are a surefire way to add to the Liberal voting block.
Posted by: DJ | 2008-09-25 4:35:10 PM
>>Ok, but why should libertarians limit themselves only to prison as a form of punishment? Why not humiliate them as well, if that's effective? Is that incompatible with libertarian principles?<<
That's fair enough. If humiliation were an effective deterrent it would actually probably be preferable to incarceration.
Regardless, I think it's safe to say that "spend[ing] the next five years thinking up new ways of brutalize and humiliate criminals" goes far beyond what is necessary for deterrence and I have no qualms about calling that kind of talk disgusting.
Posted by: Janet | 2008-09-25 5:19:02 PM
"Humiliate and brutalize" are, in this sense, relative terms. I would simply emulate the model of Sheriff Joe Apiraio:
- Chain gangs.
- Ugly clothing (including pink underwear in his case)
- No TV
- Tent living.
Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 2008-09-25 7:21:53 PM
-demolish museums, destroy artifacts
-demolish Parliament buildings to save on maintenance
-sell naming rights to country
-revert back to old flag
-intern Chinese (lest they spread more socialism)
Since this is a democracy though, you're sowing the seeds for someone so liberal that would make Trudeau look like Ronald Reagan. Nay, the Harper approach is the best, because his prudence builds trust and reputation.
Posted by: James | 2008-09-25 8:23:43 PM
I read this article a few times before responding to it. Now, I'm about as anti-left as one can get, but I don't know who to describe this article... nutty, maybe?
I don't want the Conservatives transforming the country into their own image. I want them to give Canada back to Canadians. I want them reduce the influence of government over my life.
I want a strong, capable military. But I don't exactly want the government running up massive deficits so they can build a huge "military-industrial complex" with ridiculous force projection capabilities.
It sounds like you just want to trade one large, intrusive government, for another. Except your version of it is through a nutty nationalist, imperialist lens.
As somebody who hails from "the right" to use the term broadly. I don't think I've ever actually used those terms to characterize someone in open debate before.
But there it is...
Posted by: Mike Brock | 2008-09-25 10:53:23 PM
If this actually came to pass, Jack Layton would be PM in 2012. By a landslide.
Posted by: momo | 2008-09-25 11:28:52 PM
Viva La Revolución!
Posted by: Daniel Santos | 2008-09-26 12:39:37 AM
This is exactly why Conservatives - and conservatives - should be kept as far away from power as is humanly possible, once and for all.
Posted by: BeingThere | 2008-09-26 8:44:50 AM
Wow. I see this article appearing in many an ad in the very near future...
Posted by: Kaplan | 2008-09-27 7:36:30 PM
This line, in particular, is very, very quoteworthy:
"A Tory government on a rampage could destroy in a couple of months what it took four decades to create – and what it would take another forty to recreate."
But there's so many for NDP and Liberal ad writers to choose from.
Posted by: Blisko | 2008-09-27 7:39:05 PM
The fact is, Adam forgot to mention the human-size microwaves we will need to intimidate traitors and liberal leftists.
Posted by: Gary Ruppert | 2008-09-28 9:07:35 AM
Smells Like Gestapo Spirit ... "It's easier to destroy than it is to create" because only the latter requires intellect, skill & persistence ... just like it's easier to be in a vegetative coma than it is to actually think.
LOL - wrong century, kid.
What - no extermination-camps?
You must be on the terrorists' side, then.
How about Canada getting its own H-Bombs, too?
What sort of WIMP are you?
No Secret Police?
I smell a pansy!
Posted by: jim | 2008-09-28 11:16:29 AM
Sheriff Joe Apiraio not only gives criminals what they deserve, but he also offers programs for these people to better themselves,and it seems to be working. Might be the reason he is always re-elected by a landslide.
Posted by: glen | 2008-09-28 11:54:39 AM
Humiliating people is fine by you, eh? I'll keep that in mind.
And I assume you also approve of these instances where prisoners DIED or were CRIPPELD in his custody?
This is what you want to bring to Canada?
Posted by: solenadon | 2008-09-29 7:56:50 AM
"Why not humiliate them as well, if that's effective?"
Oh, if only there were something....like research, or something...to tell help us out here.
Libertarian disgraces are many, but solipsism and intellectual sloth are the worst.
Posted by: Conservative | 2008-09-29 8:49:40 AM
Geez, I thought maybe someday you'd grow up, Adam. Guess I'll have to wait a while longer.
Posted by: tim gueguen | 2008-09-29 12:00:45 PM
I'm glad to see the commentators have the good sense to repudiate Mr. Yoshida's insane fascism. I hoped that, with entrenched social liberalism, Canada under the Conservatives would only pursue radical economic change. It seems, though, that you all have your national-socialists, too. I don't expect Mr. Harper to listen to Mr. Yoshida, as I believe him to have entered politics with a libertarian agenda, but it's sad to know that people like this are there to pressure the Conservative majority.
That's why libertarians must stand on their own feet by divorcing the Right. As we use them for electoral viability, they use us for our small-government platform, and then reveal their true intentions once in power. The Right has no more to do with liberty than the Left. Someone tell Mr. Yoshida to keep his big-government fetish to himself, and shame on this newspaper for giving them voice.
Posted by: Mike Vine | 2008-09-29 12:22:45 PM
After reading your column and the assoc. commentary, two things have become clear to me: (1)
When I become El Cid I want Yashida as my spiritual advisor, and (2) lefties have no sense of humor.
Posted by: virgil xenophon | 2008-09-30 11:33:50 AM
Geez, you forgot all about demolishing Human Rights Commissions ... with a memory like that, I wouldn't want you in charge. After all, I thought that was what the Western Standard was really all about, like its reason d'etre, eh?
Oops, pardon le francais...
Posted by: MMC | 2008-09-30 12:51:31 PM
Let' not confuse human rights commissions with all that is right and beautiful. They are demonstrated to be pseudo-judicial tools for the supression of free speech and the expression of individual points of view.
They sound good on paper though.
Posted by: DCM | 2008-09-30 2:43:15 PM
Terrence: Libertarians tend to believe that liberty is really, really important. If we're right about that, then prison should be sufficient.
Everyone else: Please don't confuse Adam Yoshida for a libertarian. I think he's made it clear that he does not like, nor identify with, libertarianism.
In addition, please don't call a blog post an article. Articles go through me, the editor, or Terrence, the assistant editor. Blog posts are posted instantly, without editorial oversight.
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-09-30 10:44:55 PM
Most of you are taking Adams comments like true liberals. On the issue of criminals he is speaking figuratively. Here is a Quiz.
If the police arrest a violent repeat offender (of guns crimes) what should the judge do?
a) release him on bail
b) deny him bail
To many times today it is door number one, only to have him re-offend while out on bail, or better yet kill someone. Things need to toughen up. This is just one of many examples.
The CBC is an embarrassment to Canada, and like many of you, is incapable of presenting a balanced argument. Most of the lunatics on the CBC seriously lean to the left and have for a long time. Sell it off.
I would like to see a government that actually did what the majority of the voters wanted, instead of pandering to special interest. For example, will we ever know if same sex marriage would have passed if put to a referendum nationally? The supreme court would not do it - so our elected officials raced that one through. I am not even that concerned about same sex marriage itself, but I am very concerned that a major issue was rushed through without any input from the public. Why do we not put questions like this on the voting ballot when we have national and/or provincial elections? Other issues like this have been put through, by way of pressure from special interest. That is not what a democracy is supposed to be. This kind of thing sets us down a slippery slope. Clearly the Liberals are not capable of running a true democracy, perhaps a conservative government can. I am not suggesting that we hold a referendum every time, but on big issues it should be done - and the Liberals have failed us many times on that front.
I would also like to see Canada become proud of its history and promote it. It offends me that our immigration policy seems to be, we do not have an identity - so please bring your own. We are a nation of immigrants, and each should bring the best of what they came from, but at the end of the day much more assimilation should take place - into a Canadian identity. The Liberal philosophy today is a watered down faceless mess.
Posted by: Prepare | 2008-10-01 2:27:37 AM
Sir J.G. Bourinot wrote in "How Canada is Governed(1895) under "Executive Power" with regards to the Dominion Government and the National flag, Quote" The Dominion of Canada has also authority to display on all public occaions a national flag; viz., the Red or Blue Ensign...The Red Ensign is displayed at the opening and closing of parliament, and on national occasions. The Blue Ensign is a distinguishing flag of the government vessels of Canada; the mercantile marine of the Dominion has a right to use the Red Ensign."Sir John George Bourinot,(1837-1902)Canadian historian and political scientist. He is remembered as an authority on the Canadian constitution and government his "Local Government in Canada (1887), Manuel of the Constitutional History of Canada (1888,rev.ed.1901), How Canada Is Governed (1895, rev.ed. 1918)," and other books are still authoritative... It would be wise and only fair to make sure that it becomes common knowledge that with the passage of time the true perspective on the creation of the current national flag of Canada, and the great emotion and sadness that accompanied the moment has in many ways been purposly hidden, lied about, overlooked and in many cases forgotten. In June 1964 the Toronto Telegram wrote "The people of Canada should be allowed to decide whether or not they wish to live under the flag of thier forebearers or discard it in favor of a new emblem...Mr. Pearson has an enviable reputation for sagacity and diplomacy. Let him ask the people by referendum whether they want to replace the banner that carries the symbols of our nationhood by one that is mounted on the colour of surrender and would be most suitable for an arboretum." The Vancouver Province wrote "Canadians who are outraged at the thought of abandoning a flag sanctified by lives and blood of thousands of our countrymen in two great wars - a flag of colour and character in every way superior to the glorified dish towel that Mr. Pearson seeks single-handedly to impose on this country." No one can change these facts and many of us will always remember.
Posted by: Bill Bishop | 2008-10-19 3:57:56 AM
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