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Monday, September 21, 2009

I wish it was true

I won't bother to point out the idiocy of Michael Ignattieff's economic plan. The Globe & Mail article does it for me:

Canada has previously pursued an industrial policy of investing in winning industries, promoting regional development, protecting Canadian firms from foreign takeovers and seeking alternative markets to the United States. These were the pillars of Pierre Trudeau's approach to the economy. It would be charitable to say that results were mixed.

This is the part that I wish was true:

“Stephen Harper thinks no taxes are good taxes because he believes that the only good government is no government at all,” Mr. Ignatieff told the Toronto Board of Trade at a noon-hour address.

Everytime I hear the Liberals attack the Conservatives it makes me like the Conservatives more. My uncle onces told me that he dislikes Mr. Harper because he seems to hate government. I once supported him because I thought it was true.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on September 21, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

I'd still take Mr. Harper's vision more than anything Iggy, Jack and Betsy and their rich masters in Ontario can offer.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-21 5:04:39 PM


Hugh, I realize it's fashionable in libertarian circles these days to dump on Harper. I have noticed this attitude ever since Harper "dumped" libertarians in his now-infamous speech. But tell me, of the candidates now or even potentially on offer, who is better qualified for the job than he?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-21 5:37:35 PM


The Count, who's proudly admitted to never owning any investment vehicles,talking about economics is like a new born discussing 18th century grandmaster chess openings.

Posted by: Bocanut | 2009-09-21 6:29:12 PM


@ Mr. Pike:

Where do you think Ontarian Stephen Harper's masters reside?

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-21 6:39:17 PM


Indeed, if only it were true! Keep in mind that it is highly unlikely Iggy came up with this on his own (remember the handlers) but had he any sense he would have know better than to parrot such rubbish. The Liberals cannot drop the welfare state concept for individuals and industries. They, like the NDP, remain anti-wealth.

To claim that Harper wants no taxes and no government is the hight of dishonesty, considering how he has increased the size and spending of government. Let us not forget his silence on the CHRC or that the gun registry is still here, and that is only a start.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-21 6:40:43 PM


Given their respective committments to both the Welfare State and the Warfare State, the Liberals are more likely to eventually promote freedom than the Tories are.

Love of war and "national greatness" on top of their new found love for domestic social democracy makes the Harper Tories easily the most dangerous government in Canadian history, and likely to remain so for some time.

The Warfare State REQUIRES debt, inflation, and increasing domestic controls. And the Tories are locked and loaded. Just watch them once Obama resorts to attacking Iran.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-21 6:46:59 PM


John, you are either a Liberal hack or on some kind of drug. It was the Liberals who sent our troops, not the Tories. It was the Liberals that created the gun registry with the Liberal minister responsible stating that only the police and the military should have arms. Oh, and let us not forgot the creation of the CHRC/CHRT whose claim to fame is the elimination of freedom of speech. While I am not holding my breath for the Tories to return our traditional freedoms to us, the Liberals have proved by their policies and behaviour that they will never do so.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-21 6:59:32 PM


@ Alain: thank you for the courteous speculation as to the foundations of my beliefs. I guess apart from drugs or corrupt affiliation with a political party there could be no possible exuse for not drinking Tory bathwater.

If responsibility for EXISTING policy is only ever to be assigned to the party that implemented it, WHY do we change governments?

The Harper regime has not only perpetuated the ugly, costly, murderous, war in Afghanistan, he has beat the drum for it.

Harper has had HOW many years to do away with the gun registry? You may want to research Stephen Harper's own history with gun control: he SUPPORTS it, from way back.

The NANO second a new party assumes government ALL extant public policy becomes THEIR public policy.

Same for the CHRC -- which, despite the narrow attention spans of some "conservatives" is actually a minor threat to free speech in this country. But I'll play along: what has the Harpo Junta done about the HRCs?

I would argue it is worse to CONSERVE evil institutions than it is to invent them.

War, and the state processes necessary to pursue it are the essential prerequisites for the Welfare State and all other domestic state controls over society and economy.

The Liberals have less love of war; consequently, they are less of a threat to freedom than the Tories are.

I won't even get IN to the Tories love of tasers, their War on Drugs, and their attempts to regulate the internet.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-21 7:15:28 PM


I don't understand why most Conservatives think that Harper is a conservative. He is a Big Government Conservative that thinks it fine to spend to improve moral behavior, ie. more jails and more police, and policies to bring in a police state. When are people going to realise social conservatism is not the same as fiscal conservatism. Both the extreme right wing and extreme left wing have a lot in common because they are statists.

As far as Harper is concerned, he is no better or no worse than the leaders of the other parties. Like them all, he's proven he is a hypocrite and a lier. There is no party now that deserves a majority government. The electorate should punish all politicians with no hope of majority government until they stop their partisan bickering and lust for power and get to work governing the country.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-09-21 8:52:37 PM


John, you may be a Liberal and that is your right. What I objected to was the dishonesty. I never said that I was impressed by the present Tory government, and in fact gave a few reasons for my disappointment. What I said and stand by is that the Liberals are not for individual freedom which is confirmed by their very long track record nor am I a blind supporter of the present government. You are either ignorant of the Liberal track record or you are a blind supporter, and I base this conclusion on your own comments.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-21 8:55:33 PM


Mr. Harper has supporters everywhere because he is the only truly national leader. Iggy and Taliban Jack have to fight for Toronto and parts of Ontario. May gets whatever Iggy and Jack let her have. The Bloc has most of Quebec as they should.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-21 9:08:09 PM


Doug, I absolutely agree. With the partisan divide and conquer being successful, we reward politicians who lie to us, stand for little or nothing other than getting elected. I have had enough of this, but until most people realise that they are being played and had the circus will continue.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-21 9:13:37 PM


Where did this idea that Harper supports “no government” come from? He made one statement about taxes at some point, but yet continues to make more and more legislation, which increases the size of government.

The Libertarian Party is the only small government party that I am aware of.

Posted by: Freedom Manitoba | 2009-09-21 9:49:24 PM


Big Government is people's worst enemy and obstacle!

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2009-09-21 10:22:54 PM


@Alain:

Dude, you're really gonna have to do better than just calling me a "Liberal". All that kind of talk establishes is that you are qualified to write for the Chandler Dyrholm campaign in the WRA race.

That said, I am definitely liberal -- as in a radical liberal anarcho-capitalist, with some a la carte conservative views. So may we dispense with the kindergarten-calibre ad hominems?

Even to DENY being a Liberal is undignified.

And for the record, I was using the term "Liberal-fascist" very publicly, to describe the Chretien cretins long before, I suspect, you Went Political. You are yet to learn that partisanship of any kind is a rube's game.

I now also suspect, based on your own omissions, that you are a National Greatness Pro-War kinda conservative. Otherwise you would grasp that whatever capital-L Liberals have implemented in the past, today, it is TORIES who own those policies, and who are the clear and present danger to freedom and the individual.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-21 10:41:41 PM


Shane,

I am pretty sure that most of the bloggers on Shotgun have been "dumping" on Harper for much longer. Though I admit any scruples I personally might have had about attacking the leader of the party that I once worked for went out the window.

As for who is better? I am now willing, after his economic policy, to say that Ignattieff would be worse. Yet I am not willing to argue over if I'd rather be kicked in the nuts or punched in the nose. Both are bad.

Freedom Manitoba,

The idea that he hates government comes from the stuff that he use to say and presumably think. Read Gerry Nicholls' "Loyal to the Core" Harper was once upon a time a hard core conservative.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-09-22 4:45:25 AM


John and Alain,

How about we get rid of central banking? Then if our dishonest politicians want to spend more than they earn for war or the welfare state, then they'll either have to pay for it or watch interest rates soar. No more screwing over the population with inflation.

I have a feeling when people understand how much war and the welfare state is actually costing, things will change rather dramatically.

Please no responses from economically illiterate trolls.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-09-22 6:05:00 AM


Love of war and "national greatness" on top of their new found love for domestic social democracy makes the Harper Tories easily the most dangerous government in Canadian history, and likely to remain so for some time.

Our current mission in Afghanistan was launched by the Liberals, not the Tories. You're an idiot.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 6:39:58 AM


If responsibility for EXISTING policy is only ever to be assigned to the party that implemented it, WHY do we change governments?

That does not excuse your assigning the entire blame for previous government's policy to the present one. Especially given your stated view that the Liberals are better for liberty because they supposedly oppose war.

The Harper regime has not only perpetuated the ugly, costly, murderous, war in Afghanistan, he has beat the drum for it.

Spare us the histrionics. Rooting out terrorists is a worthwhile goal. Unless, of course, you think it's okay for girls to have acid thrown in their faces for daring to attend school?

Harper has had HOW many years to do away with the gun registry?

And how is he supposed to do that if none of the other parties will vote on the matter? He tried to find a way to get rid of the registry in the early days, only to find that he would not be able to do so without a vote. He doesn't have a majority. And the reason he doesn't have a majority is that the Liberals could run 300 clones of Saddam Hussein and still carry Ontario. (His anti-American credentials were unimpeachable.)

The NANO second a new party assumes government ALL extant public policy becomes THEIR public policy.

Spare us the self-righteous pap, too. Or are you really under the delusion that a newly instated party could, in a single term of Parliament, undo everything done by the previous 142?

Same for the CHRC -- which, despite the narrow attention spans of some "conservatives" is actually a minor threat to free speech in this country.

As long as you're not white, Christian, or rich, or believe in due process instead of something that could step whole and breathing from the pages of Malleus Maleficarum.

I would argue it is worse to CONSERVE evil institutions than it is to invent them.

I would argue otherwise. Next.

War, and the state processes necessary to pursue it are the essential prerequisites for the Welfare State and all other domestic state controls over society and economy.

Then explain why the modern welfare state came to North America at a time when it was not at war with anyone.

The Liberals have less love of war; consequently, they are less of a threat to freedom than the Tories are.

Of course! They hate war so much that they sent Canadian troops to die in a combat zone for the first time in 50 years.

I won't even get IN to the Tories love of tasers, their War on Drugs, and their attempts to regulate the internet.

Good idea. You're already discredited enough.

Honestly, John, how bad do the Liberals have to get before you put down the doobie and open your eyes? Their last three leaders have been unqualified disasters. We've had a dithering Anglophone, a bumbling Francophone, and now a delusional ivory-tower Robert McNamara wannabe who can apparently turn straw into gold.

Frankly, you come off as a provocateur who is not interested in serious discussion, but only in yanking people's chains. Real mature. Why don't you take the kids and go back to the clubhouse?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 6:58:20 AM


I don't understand why most Conservatives think that Harper is a conservative. He is a Big Government Conservative that thinks it fine to spend to improve moral behavior, ie. more jails and more police, and policies to bring in a police state.

You don't even know what a police state is, Doug, so until you find out I suggest you stop using the phrase. When last I checked, Canada had no significant secret police.

When are people going to realise social conservatism is not the same as fiscal conservatism. Both the extreme right wing and extreme left wing have a lot in common because they are statists.

And libertarians and old hippies have a lot in common because they are anarchists. What's your point?

As far as Harper is concerned, he is no better or no worse than the leaders of the other parties. Like them all, he's proven he is a hypocrite and a lier.

Unlike the leaders of other parties, he's an economist, which we could certainly use right now. I'll bet he can also spell the word "liar."

There is no party now that deserves a majority government. The electorate should punish all politicians with no hope of majority government until they stop their partisan bickering and lust for power and get to work governing the country.

Right. Because the government is really just a fancy-dress ball and hamstringing it in a fit of pique will have no practical consequences for the Canadian people. It may wreck the country, but too bad, I'm pissed off, gotta vent, it's all about me, fuck the world, la-di-da.

How can people have so much education and yet be so stupid?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 7:03:54 AM


Yet I am not willing to argue over if I'd rather be kicked in the nuts or punched in the nose. Both are bad.

I see. So your point would be that if it can't be perfect, why bother. Well, that'll certainly get you far.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 7:06:20 AM


That said, I am definitely liberal -- as in a radical liberal anarcho-capitalist, with some a la carte conservative views. So may we dispense with the kindergarten-calibre ad hominems?

When you dispense with the pre-nursery-school, single-sided double-talk. Do you know why it's so rare for radicals to come to power, except via a violent revolution? Because they don't make any concessions to reality and everyone around them knows it.

whatever capital-L Liberals have implemented in the past, today, it is TORIES who own those policies, and who are the clear and present danger to freedom and the individual.

And what makes you think the Liberals would be any different if brought in a second time? What are you basing that on? Give it up, John. Past experience provides context and is vital to any meaningful debate. Don't try to hush it up and immerse everyone in a perpetual unending electronic present, because it isn't gonna work.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 7:12:40 AM


I have a feeling when people understand how much war and the welfare state is actually costing, things will change rather dramatically.

Well, as long as you have a feeling.

Please no responses from economically illiterate trolls.

Please, no restrictions placed on freedom of expression by morally bankrupt vulva-munchers.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 7:13:49 AM


Good grief. I should have known my attempt at a logical conversation would degenerate into stupid rather quickly.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-09-22 7:39:59 AM


Attempts at logical conversation do not cite feelings as a source of information. And all economically developed countries today have a central bank; England has had one since 1694. You will have to come up with a better reason for dismantling all of that than "it would really screw the politicians."

How's that for logic?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 8:02:55 AM


No Shane that isn't my point. Did I say "Harper is not a pure libertarian therefore I won't support him." What I did do was compare his policies to being punched in the nose. You can see that there is a wide spectral difference between those two positions.

I honestly feel that Mr. Harper's policies have been bad for Canada. So why should I support someone that I feel is making things worse? If he was making some things worse but most things better (like Mike Harris) I can support him. Otherwise I won't.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-09-22 8:27:37 AM


Has it occurred to anyone that individual political leaders are not the problem, but our whole fractured system of democracy?

Personally, I think Canada is a pipe dream. The Federal Government realizes this and does its very best to blind side the rest of us with ridiculous notions of political correctness, wealth redistribution, gigantic unnecessary social programs, and one-size-fits-some social and economic regulation.

At the Federal level, I wish Ignatieff was right in his claim that Harper thinks "the only good government is no government at all." The Federal Government has WAY too much power over our lives and the current organization of our society from the bottom up only ensures it will always be that way.

I wish we could take the example from our neighbors down south - that being when a tyrannical government tramples the individual rights and freedoms of the citizenry, the citizens resist and form a new government. Americans have historically demonstrated their capacity for change from their very inception of a nation by defeating the most powerful nation on Earth to their election of Obama (I am NOT an Obama supporter).

Canada, on the other hand is a nation formed from defeated British loyalist and defeated orphaned French. It seems to be a proud part of our culture and history to be subjugated and ruled by tyrants and just accept it as unavoidable.

Posted by: HTC | 2009-09-22 9:20:23 AM


What I did do was compare his policies to being punched in the nose. You can see that there is a wide spectral difference between those two positions.

No, what you said was that neither choice was good, therefore you weren't going to discuss the differences between them, even though you know they exist and that one candidate is, in fact, better than the other.

I honestly feel that Mr. Harper's policies have been bad for Canada. So why should I support someone that I feel is making things worse?

I don't share that opinion, but never mind. If nothing else, you can vote for Harper simply to ensure that others, who would do an even worse job, don't get in. that would be doing something worthwhile. By refusing to vote, you give up your voice. Rather like cutting off your nose to spite your face really.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 9:23:56 AM


Shane,

I don't understand why you are not getting this. One may be better than the other but it is not better enough for me to care about the difference. It is like buying a slushie for 1.81 or buying a slushie for 1.76. the 1.76 price is obviously better but I don't care enough about 5 cents for it to effect my purchasing decisions.

Think of Mr. Harper as a $5 slushie and Mr. Ignattieff as a $5.50 slushie. $5 is the better price but it is still more money than I am willing to pay for a slushie. So I will not buy a slushie.

And before you go on and on about me giving up my voice I will point out that I am clearly not doing that. I make every effort for my voice to be heard in the market place of ideas. Voting is just one ineffective and ambiguous way to do that.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-09-22 9:35:48 AM


NOBODY would be worse than Harper. My friggin dog would do a better job. (at least the dog wouldn't attack Canadians freedoms and try to implement a police state. eg. C-6 and C-15)

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-09-22 9:51:13 AM


Again, Greenthumb, save the big words for after you've given up pot and your brain has had a chance to recover. Police states make extensive use of secret police and secret trials (or no trials). Germany under Hitler, Russia under Stalin, and Cambodia under Pol Pot all fit this description. This, on the other hand, is the country where inmates are paroled after serving one-fifth of their sentence, in the rare event that they get jail time at all.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 10:41:18 AM


Unfortunately, Hugh, voting is the ONLY effective way most people have to do that. Policy is made by governments who win elections, not in university lecture halls or on political blogs. You're not going to change the Canadian political landscape by hanging around with the scribblers on the Western Standard, I will tell you that right now.

Of course, the same is true of me as well, but then I have no political aspirations, and in general I am satisfied with the direction the country is taking. Trudeau and the baby boomers cast a long shadow even in death, but we are finally starting to see some daylight. The "natural governing party" is discredited, having had three disastrous leaders in a row and standing revealed as the grasping, arrogant self-appointed aristocrats they are. Canada's economy is in much better shape than America's or that of many other countries (at least one of which is officially bankrupt). Harper is MUCH better than Ignatieff, who has proven himself to be surprisingly bumbling and inept; his one distinguishing feature is his breathtaking arrogance, which may be why the Liberals like him; he fits in well with their corporate culture.

And before commenting on Harper's performance, you would do well to remember that he has not had the free hand to govern his predecessors have had, so it is not really fair to compare him to them. Nor did any of them face the extraordinary economic circumstances that Harper has to deal with.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 10:49:13 AM


Shane, you are appologizing for Harper's lack of principles. He has proven himself a liar. All I'm saying is that anyone who is ready to drop their principles to get elected does not deserve to be leader. A true leader leads because he has to not because he wants to. To change things in politics maybe there should be a law that if a politician is proved to be caught in a lie or hypocracy, he is thrown out no matter what. How is that for you law and order types. Do you think that would be a fair law?

And the comparison absolute right wingers like you and left wing nut bars is true. You both want government to force people to your morals. Both sides are statists and want government to control peoples lives. Until you realize your hypocracies, no one will take the bullshit you spout seriously.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-09-22 11:13:37 AM


I might not be a classic libertarian but if the choice is what we have (US & Canada) and no government. It's a very easy choice for me.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-09-22 11:29:48 AM


@Freedom Manitoba "The Libertarian Party is the only small government party that I am aware of."


I am a member of the Libertarian party but I am concerned that they are getting in bed with the social conservatives. The problem is the definition of libertarian. It means one who believes in freedom. Other than that it's a little hazy. It's comparible to an anarchist or nihilist party (Imagine trying to write the mission statement for those two parties.)

Libertarians must define themselves politically. For example, I consider myself a fiscal conservative, social moderate classical liberal influenced by John Stuart Mills and Ayn Rand.

A better idea would be a "lover of freedom party." Because as far as I'm concerned there are there are two types of people in the world, socialists and individualists.

Socialists are people who like to control others, those who can't live without being told what to do or want to be supported by the government, or those who want to save others (souls, morals or health) by using the hammer of the state to make laws to enforce their own values.

Individualist actually want to be left alone by government if they are not harming anyone (offending is not the same as harming), support themselves instead of relying on the government and basicly have a live and let live attitude.

So what the country needs is a party full of individualists and not socialists.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-09-22 11:32:41 AM


"And all economically developed countries today have a central bank; England has had one since 1694."

You really are stupid. Do you think this is an argument? It isn't. So until you can come up with an actual argument that isn't fallacious I will simply insult you. Call it an experiment. See how long it takes you to either stop addressing me or learn how to think.

In the meantime, the argument was that w/o central banking, the system would be less inflationary and hence less damaging to society.

Now buzz off.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-09-22 11:33:47 AM


You really are stupid. Do you think this is an argument? It isn't.

No, of course not. Three centuries worth of statesmen and bankers are wrong, and Charles is right. That's why Charles scribbles on non-mainstream political blogs instead of owning his own national network, because he knows so much better than everyone else.

Don't try to go toe-to-toe with me in an insults battle, Charles. I'm much better at it than you are. Moreover, you didn't argue that there would be less inflation without central banking; you simply said it. There is a large difference. Now take a deep breath, and feed that brain cell.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 12:00:56 PM


Shane, you are appologizing for Harper's lack of principles. He has proven himself a liar.

No. I am saying they are irrelevant to his qualifications as a statesman. The profession does not encourage honesty, and most of the fault lies with the voters.

All I'm saying is that anyone who is ready to drop their principles to get elected does not deserve to be leader.

Then what you are saying is wrong. Results are more important than principles, provided fundamental justice and ethics are not violated. ALL politicians lie, Doug, as do most voters. And political realities often require compromises one would rather not make but which are still preferable to the alternatives. Especially in a minority Parliament.

A true leader leads because he has to not because he wants to.

A true leader leads. Period. The motive is irrelevant.

To change things in politics maybe there should be a law that if a politician is proved to be caught in a lie or hypocracy, he is thrown out no matter what.

And maybe there should be a law that if a voter is shown to refuse to face the truth, his right to vote is taken away. Forever.

And the comparison absolute right wingers like you and left wing nut bars is true. You both want government to force people to your morals. Both sides are statists and want government to control peoples lives. Until you realize your hypocracies, no one will take the bullshit you spout seriously.

You are the hypocrite, Doug, because you hold others to a higher standard than you hold to yourself. Ours is a government of the people, by the people, for the people; its representatives are not aliens from another planet. They are chosen by us, from among us. That entire paragraph is nothing but your opinion. And a poorly formulated one at that.

And call it a low blow if you like, but until you take the time to write without such glaring mistakes, no one will take YOU seriously. Ever. Nothing, repeat NOTHING detracts from an argument like sloppy presentation, no matter the quality of the content. That's because corroboration of that content is often not immediately available, and it is therefore left to the presenter's credibility to carry the message.

So make sure your presentation is up to snuff. If your chosen medium is to be the written word, learn to write. More than two spelling mistakes and you've lost half your credibility right there. Bring up your the fact that you graduated cum laude in the same post as those mistakes, and you can kiss the rest of it goodbye.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 12:19:13 PM


I might not be a classic libertarian but if the choice is what we have (US & Canada) and no government. It's a very easy choice for me.

It shouldn't be, because no society has ever successfully functioned without some form of government, so you have no idea what to expect. Nihilism was discredited in the 19th century, Geron. I suggest you wake up.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 12:20:19 PM


Shane,

"Unfortunately, Hugh, voting is the ONLY effective way most people have to do that."

Voting is not effective and it is ambiguous. You suggest that I vote for a political party because I think it is better not because I like it. That sends a signal of support that I don't want to send. No one knows why people vote the way they do, so no one really understands what a vote means. It is ineffective because my vote equals a very small percentage of the decision being made.

In 2006 I was all for giving Harper time and space to make his move. I was sure that Harper would be fustrated and forced to compromise. But he has not been facing an effective opposition nor has the public been hostile to fiscal conservative ideas. Basically Harper gave up more than he had to before he was asked to give up anything.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-09-22 1:01:04 PM


@ Shane:

Dude, you ARE Mr. Conservative!

Partisan AND incoherent.

Your, ahem, arguments, are priceless, in that they are fueled with so much second-hand anger as to render them ideal vehicles for alienating just about everybody. Just what I like in a Conservative.

Reading all your rants here -- and I must confess I didn't -- is like getting a phone call from Hell -- from somebody who LIKES it there.

Question: do you spend more time reading Newsmax and watching Glenn Beck or writing these inane, incessant Shotgun posts?

Hail Harper, fellah, hail Harper!

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-22 1:25:09 PM


John, I just think shane is additioning for Fox News. His ability to blather nonsense likely makes Rush Limbough, Anne Coulter, and the rest of the GOP nutballs envious.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-09-22 2:01:39 PM


Voting is not effective and it is ambiguous.

Really. Why don't you ask any elected politician how ineffective voting is.

You suggest that I vote for a political party because I think it is better not because I like it.

Bingo. Where is it written down that all your choices have to be easy ones?

That sends a signal of support that I don't want to send.

It helps ensure the country has the best possible government, even if the best ain't that great. But you are too caught up in your own discontent to think about the good of the country, and would rather send messages to the blogs than send policy-makers to Ottawa.

No one knows why people vote the way they do, so no one really understands what a vote means.

The voters know. Even the ones who aren't forthcoming about it.

It is ineffective because my vote equals a very small percentage of the decision being made.

So what you're really complaining about is not that you have a say, but that you don't have a bigger say. Meaning that you think your say is more important than other people's, because more say for you can only come at the expense of the say of others.

In 2006 I was all for giving Harper time and space to make his move. I was sure that Harper would be fustrated and forced to compromise. But he has not been facing an effective opposition nor has the public been hostile to fiscal conservative ideas. Basically Harper gave up more than he had to before he was asked to give up anything.

Memory problems, Hugh? Harper came within a single word from the Governor-General of losing Parliament to the Coalition of the Three Stooges, and handing a de facto veto to the Bloc to boot. Nor has Iggy ceased his campaign to topple the government no matter the cost to his party or the country, so long as he can get his face in front of the cameras. These are dangerous times indeed, both for Harper and for the country.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 2:26:48 PM


Dude, you ARE Mr. Conservative! Partisan AND incoherent.

Blah, blah.

Your, ahem, arguments, are priceless, in that they are fueled with so much second-hand anger as to render them ideal vehicles for alienating just about everybody. Just what I like in a Conservative.

I can't stand it. It's too easy. After your unapologetically false and double-faced spiel, your shameless shouting of your radical status from the rooftops, you have the nerve to criticize someone else for "second-hand anger"? You don't even argue. You just chum out the most outrageous statements you can think of and then troll through the guts.

Reading all your rants here -- and I must confess I didn't -- is like getting a phone call from Hell -- from somebody who LIKES it there.

Do you have any argument of substance, or did you just drop by to administer an e-wedgie, thus confirming my observation that you are, in fact, a pathetic little troll, thus making me right and you wrong? YES!

Question: do you spend more time reading Newsmax and watching Glenn Beck or writing these inane, incessant Shotgun posts?

Hey, I'm not the one people have accused of being on drugs, mouthy-creep-who-won't-give-his-real-name-because-he's-too-chicken. What is it to you what I do, mouthy-creep-who-won't-give-his-real-name-because-he's-too-chicken? Back to work, mouthy-creep-who-won't-give-his-real-name-because-he's-too-chicken. That Phonics homework ain't gonna do itself. And try not to cut yourself on the pencil sharpener.

Hail Harper, fellah, hail Harper!

More euphonic than "Hail, Iggy" to be sure.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 2:38:50 PM


John, I just think shane is additioning for Fox News.

Amen! How wrong can you get?

His ability to blather nonsense likely makes Rush Limbough, Anne Coulter, and the rest of the GOP nutballs envious.

It's Rush LIMBAUGH and ANN Coulter, asshole. Yeesh, who the hell wrote your thesis?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-09-22 2:40:51 PM


"Really. Why don't you ask any elected politician how ineffective voting is"

What the hell? How is asking a politician going to tell me how effective voting is for communicating policy choose?

"It helps ensure the country has the best possible government, even if the best ain't that great. But you are too caught up in your own discontent to think about the good of the country, and would rather send messages to the blogs than send policy-makers to Ottawa."

Umm no...my point is, and I will say it again,that voting doesn't effectively send policy signals to anyone. Also, and I will say this again, if the difference betwee bad and better is so small that you don't care...welll then...you don't care. I don't understand how you can't get this concept in your head. You may disagree that Harper is only a little better, but how can you argue with the conclusion given the premise?

"The voters know. Even the ones who aren't forthcoming about it."

My point is that politicians and civil servants don't know. How can they make decisions based on a public mandate that they don't understand. Was Mr. Harper elected because he promised to balance the books or because he looks good in sweater vests? I don't know, you don't know, no one knows.

"So what you're really complaining about is not that you have a say, but that you don't have a bigger say. Meaning that you think your say is more important than other people's, because more say for you can only come at the expense of the say of others."

No that is not what I said nor is it what I meant to say. I said that due to the high number of electorate my portion of the decision making is very small. Did I at any point say that mine should be bigger or even complain that it was small? No I just said that for this reason I don't view voting as important as you do.

"Memory problems, Hugh?"

No I remember soaring government expenditure. Mr. Flaherty is the highest spending Finance Minister in Canadian history. That happened long before any coalition talk.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2009-09-22 2:48:03 PM


Hugh, I share your frustration with voting in the existing system which does not offer the option: None of the above. However by refusing to vote at all even for the lesser of evils, we hand over the reins to the usual political activists and special-interest groups who vote. While I remain torn on the issue, I shall cast my vote assuming that not all candidates are equally unacceptable.

I also recognise that it is due to our complacency, myself included, that has allowed for the never-ending taxation and government spending and growth along with the erosion of our liberty and freedoms. While the radical activists and special interests were demanding more gun control, anti-smoking, state day care et cetera we remained either complacent or indifferent as a people, thinking well so long as it does not affect me... So all of us are reaping what we allowed to be sown.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-09-22 3:10:42 PM


@ Shane
"Hey, I'm not the one people have accused of being on drugs, mouthy-creep-who-won't-give-his-real-name-because-he's-too-chicken. What is it to you what I do, mouthy-creep-who-won't-give-his-real-name-because-he's-too-chicken? Back to work, mouthy-creep-who-won't-give-his-real-name-because-he's-too-chicken. That Phonics homework ain't gonna do itself. And try not to cut yourself on the pencil sharpener."

Five bucks for anybody who can tell me what Shane means, here.

Shane: do you drink AFTER you get angry, or do you get angry after you hit the sauce?

Two things, pardner:
1) libertarians' biggest objection with voting is not that their votes aren't effective enuff, but that voting is applied to too many aspects of life and hence is, collectively, TOO powerful, or effective;
2) Whole Language has failed you, Shane; do look into some phonics yourself. It will do your comprehension wonders.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-22 5:48:12 PM


What it really all comes down to is a future environment where collective say over life, via voting, is radically reduced, while personal autonomy, via increase in the personal, private sphere, is increased.

That way, Shane's influence upon rational, civilized people will be mitigated.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-22 5:50:04 PM


@Alain:
NOT voting is one of the most powerful things those of us trapped inside a quasi-democratic system can do: it helps delegitimize the system and those who assume power through it. We see this in the UK, where successive governments are in a crisis (theirs) of confidence, and at the municipal level, where many administrations are hamstrung by their own uncertainty. Its early days, but this trend is encouraging.

Posted by: John Collison | 2009-09-22 5:52:30 PM



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