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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Andrew Coyne on the Conservative Party of Canada

This video was filmed by me at the Manning Centre Networking Conference earlier this year. It is the opening statement by Andrew Coyne in a debate over the state of the Conservative Party. For me, and many others, Coyne's remarks were the highlight of the whole event, and in many ways set the mood for the balance of the conference.

The video quality if shaky. This is a function of the fact that I was at the back of the room, about 200 feet back from Coyne and zoomed all the way in, without a tripod. And as I was recovering from a fairly serious cold at the time, you can also hear me breathing at parts as a result of my congestion. The audio quality is fantastic, though.

Posted by Mike Brock on July 14, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

Andrew Coyne, on Andrew Coyne:

"I fear I am here under false pretenses. I was introduced as being a real conservative, somebody who sees things in pure, free-market terms, sort of the good old-fashioned religion.

I’m actually not a conservative — either in name, or in any other way. If forced to describe myself, I’d say I’m a socialist, because by any usual or sensible definition, I would be.

I favour public pensions, public health care, public education, public unemployment insurance. I favour a whole battery of things involving the state function. In fact, I’ve had tangles with some of my conservative friends over things like user fees for health care, or the necessity of carbon taxes to combat global warming."

His "analysis" of the CPC is of little value, as would be that of any other self proclaimed socialist.

Coyne can be honest with self and others; why can't you, Mike Brock? I see you're still on the blogging tories blogroll, despite being neither conservative, nor Conservative, nor Tory. There is a Liberty blogs blogroll and a Libertarian Party of Canada: stop being silly falsely portraying yourself as a c/Conservative, fragger, be a man, and present yourself as you are.

Posted by: Fair Commenter | 2009-07-14 10:39:55 AM


His "analysis" of the CPC is of little value, as would be that of any other self proclaimed socialist.

Let me get this straight: because he calls himself a "socialist", he's not qualified to analyse the CPC. Who is qualified? Only conservatives?

This is your typical intellectually bankrupt statement.

Are only socialists qualified to criticize other socialists? The Western Standard is decidedly unsocialist--I think both the libertarians and conservatives here would agree-yet, we spend a lot of time and energy bashing socialism. So should we desist in this endeavour?

You know, I've spoken to Coyne at length about his views, and while he refers to himself as a "socialist", his views are somewhat a little bit to the economic left of Milton Friedman, in that he supports governments role in limited wealth redistribution. And in this sense, despite calling himself a "socialist", Coyne is decidedly to the economic right of almost every Parliamentarian sitting in the House of Commons, including the Conservative Party today.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-07-14 10:56:41 AM


You ignored my more pertinent questions - stop branding yourself as a conservative and a Conservative Mike. Be a man for f*cks sake not a child.

"Western Standard is decidedly unsocialist--I think both the libertarians and conservatives here would agree-yet"

You're gay marriage militants who want to impose your gay agenda - whose origin is straight Marxist - on a populations that doesn't want it. Culturally Marxist, and certainly not libertarian. It's straight tyranny. Oh, and you're a feminist, wanting to impose harsh feminism - because, by your admission, your woman influenced you to. Your politics are selfish, reflecting what you want with no regard for the rest of society. Immature.

Give up the charade, faker, as long as you falsely portray yourself as a conservative and Conservative you have zero credibility. You're a radical feminist and militant gay agitator, and both feminism and the gay agenda are wholly Marxist in origin - and tyrannical.

Posted by: Fair Commenter | 2009-07-14 12:57:15 PM


Fair Commenter,

First of all, I do not "brand myself" a conservative. I haven't for a very long time. I brand myself a libertarian. I was only referring to the other WS contributors who do consider themselves conservatives.

You're gay marriage militants who want to impose your gay agenda

You know, my fully-qualified position on the matter is that government get completely out of the marriage business; no civil marriage at all.

I only demand that gays and lesbians be able to marry as long as the government is in the business of marriage as I believe that all laws should be non-discriminatory.

I fully support Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, etc. refusing to marry gays and lesbians, or even people with freckles.

- on a populations that doesn't want it.

More than 50% in Canada support same-sex marriage according to recent polls, so I just want to be clear what argument you are invoking. Are you appealing to the democracy, or are you invoking tyranny of the majority? If the latter, I'd really be interested in hearing your explanation on that.

Oh, and you're a feminist, wanting to impose harsh feminism

I'm a "liberal feminist". Not a "Marxist feminist". That means I believe women should be politically and culturally equal to men. It does not mean that I believe men should be discriminated against, for example. I do not support affirmative action, hiring quotas, or men being forced to wear tampons.

You keep throwing all these labels at me, but you fail to actually criticize any of my actual positions, other than these broad generalizations about me.

I'm certainly no Marxist, but I'm also convinced you don't even know what a Marxist actually is.

Your politics are selfish, reflecting what you want with no regard for the rest of society.

This is probably the only statement you make that I don't completely reject out of hand. It's still wrong, but it comes the closest to being accurate.

I most certainly am an individualist, but I am not an egoist. But this last sentence here is actually quite telling of where you are coming from.

What is a Marxist, anyways? For one, a Marxist is a collectivist. Not an individualist. But you started off accusing me of being a Marxist, and then ended by criticizing me from being an individualist; you don't even have your thoughts straight. And stangely enough, you, like Shane Matthew's are both appealing to what is good for society, over individual interests. That, my friend, is a way of thinking that is far more close to Marxism, than is my position.

I believe, like Adam Smith, that the ultimate good for society is achieved when people are all operating freely, in their own interest, through voluntary co-operation with others.

In the case of government, however, I believe if it has any influence over society it should always be neutral. A government cannot give rights to one group, and not to another. It cannot make moral pronouncements on the sexual habits of individuals.

In fact, Chinese Marxists, Russian Marxists, Cuban Marxists are/were extremely restrictive on homosexuality and sexual freedom.

Sexually provocative imagery is banned in China and Cuba, and was in the USSR. Homosexuality was fiercely repressed by the Marxists in the USSR, Cuba and China for most of the 20th century.

So... l think it's fair to say, that:

1) You have no fucking idea what you're talking about; and
2) You're incapable of having a conversation which isn't principally compromised of simple insults and broad generalizations;

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-07-14 1:19:03 PM


More than 50% in Canada support same-sex marriage according to recent polls,
Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-07-14 1:19:03 PM

The last poll I saw indicated that 52% of Canadians did not support gay marriage. What was interesting was that 65% of Canadians " born elsewhere", I guess that today's euphemism for an immigrant, where against gay marriage. What's really amusing is that libertarians are for unrestricted immigration. The very people they encourage to come here are the ones that are least likely to support anything libertarians believe in.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-07-14 1:38:24 PM


Great video Mike. Coyne's spot-on analysis is always a treat.

Posted by: Ben Hicks | 2009-07-14 1:55:06 PM


Stig,

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_marz.htm

This is a pretty nice summation of all the polls on the issue over the years, and even in a poll done by Focus on the Family--which is opposed to gay marriage--their own polling found that: "46% of Canadians favored same-sex marriage; 44% disagreed"

The polls have been pretty consisted, with the margin of acceptance of gay marriage getting larger and larger as the years go by.

The only two demographic groups in Canada which seem to consistently oppose SSM throughout all the polls are: persons aged over 54, and Albertans.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-07-14 1:56:01 PM


"1) You have no fucking idea what you're talking about; and
2) You're incapable of having a conversation which isn't principally compromised of simple insults and broad generalizations;"

Your mouth is starting to piss me off, boy. If you're unable to argue like a man, shut er down. You do this every time.

Let me return fire, and reiterate what I once said: You are the stupidest fucking person I have ever encountered on the internet, no mean feat, that.

Canadians were opposed to gay sex marriage prior to its introduction, but that's not what I was saying, I was referring to Prop 8, and your admission, and Watson's admission, that you support using the state IN GENERAL NOT IN ANY SPECIFIC PLACE to ram your gay sex agenda down the throat of a populace that doesn't want it, and your feminism too.

You ignored - again - the fact you are quoted as a "conservative", a disgruntled one, in the press, and that your are part of a Conservative blog roll. In addition to being a moron, you're a deceitful sleazebag.

Several years ago a Carleton U. professor emailed you to tell you you shouldn't write about politics because you're too fucking stupid. I actually supported you in that thread, but now I know better, he was right. You're too unread, too stupid, too emotional, too dense, and too deceitful to talk about politics. Stick to being a propeller head.

Posted by: Fair Commenter | 2009-07-14 3:39:58 PM


As I have said before, in regards to my membership on the Blogging Tories, and as has been defended by the person running the thing (Stephen Taylor), is that the BT is a big tent blogroll of libertarians, conservatives and classical liberals that have traditionaly been stratified around the Tory party.

There are plent of Blogging Tories members who do not currently support the party in it's current iteration, and the fact that people like me are tolerated is a testament to the intellectually honest nature of how it is run, in my opinion.

Secondly, when I was referred to as a conservative by Jennifer Ditchburn of the Associated Press, which is the article to which I think you are referring, I was quoted from this blog, not by personal interview. In fact, I sent and email to Ms. Ditchburn on the matter clarifying the fact that I am most certainly not a big-C conservative.

Your obsession with these details only demonstrates your inability to have a productive discussion. You operate in ad hominems and red herrings.

Every point you've thus made, including your initial comment about Mr. Coyne was an ad hominem, in that case a subdued appeal to motive and attack on his credibility.

I treat you with the same rudeness you show me. Learn to have an argument that doesn't involve attacking someone's character, and you'll find I grant you equal respect.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-07-14 4:22:20 PM


Is there really a "Conservative Party of Canada?"
Where can one find it?

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2009-07-14 6:22:09 PM


Mike,

Good video. Coyne makes some excellent points. Building of his analysis, what's ironic is this:

He's right that a good leader is able to "bring the middle to him." At the same time, he's right that the Conservatives have changed expectations. By doing this, arguably the Conservatives haven't moved the middle closer: they've actually pushed it farther away, or farther away from where they said at one time they wanted to be.

Thus, even if the Conservatives get their majority, they're going to have a hard time doing any of the "radical" things we at one time expected them to do.

Here's a question for those more knowledgeable than myself about Canadian politics than myself:

If an election were called today, and the Conservatives ran on the same platform they used in 2006 or 2004 (or, hell, on the old Reform platform), would they even get a minority?

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2009-07-14 7:47:20 PM


I'd say no, Terrence. But if they'd used the years since 2004 or 2006 to make arguments in favour of smaller government, then the answer might've been yes. Politics, after all, is about persuasion as well as power. Look at the NDP - they've never formed a government at the federal level but have had a decisive influence on public policy since the 1960s.

Thanks for posting, Mike. In future, just ignore the trolls. You only have to read that idiot's first post to know he's not worth engaging with.

Posted by: Craig | 2009-07-14 8:07:59 PM


Your posts are appreciated Mike. Fair Commenter is anything but.

You are correct in saying when you strip away their insults and inflammatory remarks there's not much there in way of a debate or substance...unfortunately, this is all too common in our political discourse now.

Posted by: Acer | 2009-07-15 6:37:07 AM


Good post and I think Craig is spot on in his analysis.

Too bad some had to resort to name calling and personal attacks instead of valid argument. As for the statement that only a conservative can criticise conservatives, it is like the feminists claiming that men cannot criticise anything women do. If the criticism is wrong, then there is a valid defence; if however the shoe fits, then wear it.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-07-15 11:51:53 AM


Hey Mike.

I pretty close to libertarian myself, even anti-statist, see the URL I added in the form.

My problem with gay "marriage" is that its not. Two men cannot be "married", they can do as they like and pretend all they want but its not "marriage".

Dropping that, we already gay marriage, unless they want government sanction, thats all I am saying.

Just as if a man has a "sex-change" operation it doesn't make him a woman, it makes him aa eunich or however thats spelled, gelding?

The whole point of the Gay Marriage movement is to destroy the institution of marriage. Thats why they seek the approval and sanction of the state for their behavior.

The left is all politics, all the time whether its the MISS USA pageant or Saturday morning cartoons. We should not believe any of their stated reasons when we know its all about power and politics.

Simply my opinions based on my observations.

By the way, I am a HUGE fan from way down here in Texas.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-07-15 4:50:58 PM


The whole point of the Gay Marriage movement is to destroy the institution of marriage. Thats why they seek the approval and sanction of the state for their behavior.

Geron,

I've seen almost no evidence of this. What every gay couple I've known has wanted is to be entitled to the same tax benefits, legal benefits, inheritance benefits (ie. the ability to collect the government pension of a deceased spouse).

There are very few gays and lesbians that harbour any intentions to "destroy" anything other than the hatred and disdain directed against them and their lifestyle.

There are a few interesting examples of radical, Marxist, feminist lesbians that have some pretty out-there views on wanting to destroy the institution of the family that they view as reinforcing capitalism, sexism, and the enslavement of women. But to be fair, most feminists that think like that were of the "second wave" in the 60's, 70's and 80's, and this kind of over-the-top view is pretty rare in both gay and feminist circles.

I think you're listening too much to conservative talk show rhetoric, which is usually pretty far removed from reality.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-07-15 5:02:17 PM


Should I be watching MSNBC that sat there and made fun of conservative protesters with nasty talk of "teabagging"? Thats the fair media we have down here. A half a million demonstrators get made fun of, if 12 came out in protest of immigration raids the media would be there with bells on.

You have seen no evidence of it? Try going to their websites and reading their own words. Thats what I do with leftwing websites, they are filthy, racist, hateful people to their core.

Its no wonder someone could get on national TV and make sex jokes about a politicians minor daughter. Let a conservative try that. The media defended Letterman, of course.

After gay marriage the next issue to destroy western culture seems to be allowing (encouraging) child sex. "That can't happen" .. we have seen a lot of things that cannot happen.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-07-15 5:53:34 PM


Mike, your claim that all "gays" want is to be entitled to the same benefits as a married couple, does not hold water. They already had all of this in Canada prior to same-sex marriage, but still demanded that their union be called marriage. As this is not the topic, I shall not say more, but I could not allow this inaccuracy to pass.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-07-15 8:23:59 PM


"They already had all of this in Canada prior to same-sex marriage, but still demanded that their union be called marriage."

That's because most gays and lesbians reject the concept of "separate but equal". A concept that has been rejected by the courts when it was attempted in other contexts.

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-07-16 5:10:19 AM



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