The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Andrew Coyne is right, but Ignatieff is not the new hope
Andrew Coyne writes that Michael Ignatieff could come back from his political collapse with a serious and adult attack upon the deficit. If Mr. Ignatieff, argues Mr. Coyne, talks seriously about what can and should be done to combat the deficit, then he is likely to find a great deal more support. Indeed he can hearken back to the Chretien years of deficit fighting. You want a good fiscal manager? Vote Liberal!
Mr. Coyne is right. This would be a fantastic strategy and it would be great for the country. The sad thing is that it is already too late. The Liberals have taken weak pot shots at the budget and focused on how they would spend billions of dollars. Michael Ignatieff has already presented himself to the Canadian public as a big Liberal spender, and you can be sure the Conservatives will make that title stick.
I sympathize with Andrew Coyne. He and I have the same problem. We are both sports fans with no team to cheer for; dedicated fiscal conservatives with no party to put our hopes behind. The Conservative Party, once the great hope of conservatives, has betrayed itself.
But I would not hold my breath and hope that Michael Ignatieff will take up our cause.
Andrew missed the boat on this one. Before thinking that the Liberals could be our new hope, let us take a look at their track record in the real world. They have contested any proposed cuts and they have demanded even more money for bailouts. There remains the possibility, slight I agree, that the PCs would have performed better in this area had they not been constant pressure from the opposition.
Frankly as it is I do not see any of them as a hope and the Liberals are the last ones I would place any hope.
Posted by: Alain | 2009-10-17 11:04:08 AM
I think the problem is deeper than being a "dedicated fiscal conservative with no party to put our hopes behind." Consider Stephen Harper's political cv, as a Reform policy chief, Reform MP, NCC boss, and Canadian Alliance leader plus his party's roots - deeper in Reform and the Alliance than with the PCs. If there ever was a party and a leader that fiscal conservatives should be able to rally behind it is this party and this leader but they cannot.
Now consider the relatively fiscally conservative Liberals under Chretien/Martin when Reform was nipping at their heels and compare them with the Harper Conservatives without a shred of credible opposition from the right. We have deficits, bailouts, rampant patronage, etc. precisely because of how easy it is to move to the left when there is no danger of losing votes to a credible right wing opponent.
We need a libertarian mirror image of the NDP. It need never achieve power directly to exert a tremendous positive influence on public policy. The only viable candidate for the job is the Libertarian Party but we "fiscal conservatives" need to be true enough and bold enough to give it our firm support - it needs a lot of work.
Posted by: Howard MacKinnon | 2009-10-17 1:48:55 PM
"Before thinking that the Liberals could be our new hope, let us take a look at their track record in the real world."
Yes. And in the real world, The last the last two PC / Conservative Prime Ministers (Mulroney and Harper) increased spending at a faster rate that the last two Liberal Prime Ministers (Cretien and Martin). The last two Liberal PMs balanced the budget routinely. The last two PC / Conservative PMs ran deficits routinely.
There are many other issues on which one might have a preference for one party over the other and just because Cretien and Martin had better economic track records than Harper and Mulroney does not mean Ignatieff will as well, but if the recent past (going back 25 years) is an indication of spending habits and budget balancing tendencies, the Liberals beat the Conservatives in a walk, even if only as the lesser of two evils.
Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-10-17 4:44:06 PM
I'm sorry. Didn't the Libs, Bloc, and NDP cajole, threaten, stomp their feet unless the gov't immediately spent 30Billion dollars in stimulus?
And let's not even talk Ontario's provincial Libs and their million dollars per auto worker job bailout.
Doesn't sound like a lesser of two evils to me.
Sounds more like pouring the foundation to deficit financing.
Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2009-10-17 5:44:55 PM
Goodness! I hope we do not have to endure five political parties in Federal politics. I believe libertarians do not know how to influence political inertia to any significant effect.
Posted by: Agha Ali Arkahn | 2009-10-18 10:14:18 AM
The Libertarian Party will never go anywhere as it always allows itself to be taken over by complete egotist divas who have no interest in serious politics. Right now the Libertarian Party of Canada is no better than the Rhinoceros Party or John Turmel as a serious political force.
For the Libertarian Party to be successful it has to show how it would successfully participate in the largely socialist political culture that we live in, and show how it would incrementally move us to a free enterprise society in the same way the NDP has incrementally moved us to socialism.
Posted by: Uncle John | 2009-10-20 11:50:30 AM
Except for their delusional attack on Danielle Smith, the ALBERTA Liberals may finally "get" it:
Iggy would be wise to take notes.
Posted by: John Collison | 2009-10-21 1:14:04 AM
"Right now the Libertarian Party of Canada is no better than the Rhinoceros Party or John Turmel as a serious political force."
Jct: Hey, Turmel tried twice to get the Libertatians off enshrining the liberty of loansharks to charge interest since I, Turmel, am a Social Crediter on money and Libertarian on gambling, sex, drugs and rock&roll, and they stayed wrong on money, so I made the government drop the marijuana charges against 4000 people, a Libertarian goal as an Abolitionist Party member. I fight them for equal time at election debates, action now ongoing in the Supreme Court v. CRTC not as a Libertarian for equal time but as an Abolitionist of crooked electiopns. I forced them to legalize gambling by making them tired of busting the Great Canadian Gambler, a Libertarian goal, and I was invited to the United Nations Millennium Assembly to make the speech on the new UNILETS (United Nations International & Local Employment-Trading System) interest-free time-based currency which was included as Resolution C6 to governments to restructure the global financial architecture. Not a Libertarian goal.
With Africa trading with mobile-phone minutes, Arabia trading with mobile-phone card credits, with Hours being traded in Ithaca, with Greencredits being traded in LETS, the banks get no interest. And the movement to cut the middleman out of the usury is growing.
With Facebook, Twitter, Graigslist, offering social currencies to their databases, the use of new social credits around the world is undergoing unheralded growth as the slower use of old anti-social credits in a social banking network make the news. Both revolutions in banking are going on but the use of interest-free time-based currency is key.
So say the Libertarian Party which enshrines the loanshark's liberty to charge interest may be no better than the the joke Rhino Party but to include the UNILETS Socred Libertarian engineer in the with them is a cheap or unaware-of-reality shot.
Posted by: KingofthePaupers | 2009-12-03 6:46:31 PM
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