Nov 082012
 

Betsy Ross Flag 168x100Many Canadians grew up considering the United States, despite its many faults, as a nation to admire. It was the first nation created solely and explicitly to protect the individual rights of its citizens. It was the first nation to have a written constitution to limit the powers of its government and as a result, was the most prosperous nation this planet has ever seen. That is quickly coming to an end. There is a parasitic rot spreading rapidly throughout the US. It is the rot of envy, of greed, of wanting something for nothing at the expense of your neighbour (neighbor), and it is embodied in the person of Barack Obama, The Great Destroyer.

When Obama was elected for the first time in 2008 he was unknown, even to most Democrats, and as such the American people could have been forgiven their mistake. But having endured four years of crippling debt, massive unemployment, a weakened position amongst the world community and an economy all but in ruins there is no forgiving his reelection. He was reelected with deliberate intent with full knowledge of the damage he can cause.

The United States as many of us had come to know it, a noble country, vibrant and dynamic, an economic powerhouse, a country built on freedom and individual rights, a benevolent super-power, has ceased to exist. It is now just one amongst many countries whose people seek handouts and demand entitlements they have no right to. It has blended into a morass of socialist nations whose governments treat their people with disdain and contempt. It has lost its center, its identity as a unique nation among nations. It is experiencing its decline and the world will be forever poorer for its inevitable fall.

Words like “live free or die”, the motto of the State of New Hampshire, Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death”, Francis Scott Key’s “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” are now mere bromides repeated as by rote by adults and school children alike who have no implicit understanding of what those words mean.

It saddens me to think as we approach Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day in the United States, that the very concept of freedom is quickly being lost. Perhaps one day we can regain our sanity and rekindle the fire that is freedom, individual rights, honesty, integrity, productiveness, creativity, common sense, and maturity.

Perhaps one day we can look back at the envious, greedy, childish society we live in today and shake our heads and ask ourselves how could we ever have sunk to such depths? How could we have let such an idea as freedom escape our grasp?

 

Nov 082012
 

Obama_Romney_168x100I don’t claim to understand the American political system. It is quite complex and has actually changed several times over the years, but in general it goes like this:

The United States of America, contrary to what most people believe, (including many Americans) is not a democracy – it is a republic – a federation of states. Each state may be called democratic, if by democratic we mean that it elects its representatives in each state legislature and each state government derives its powers from the consent of the governed.

The US federal government on the other hand is elected by the states themselves and not by the popular vote of the nation as a whole. So the US is a mixture of a democratically elected House of Representatives, a State-appointed Senate, and a President elected by the States with each State having selected its electors by popular vote within each State, the only exceptions being Maine and Nebraska.

It is the Presidential election system of winner-take-all based on a plurality of votes in each state which keeps out smaller parties who would have to demonstrate a very broad appeal to be able to command the ballots of a majority of the electorate. Hence we have two historical parties develop over the years to dominate the system; the Republicans and the Democrats.

Try as they might, smaller parties like Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party or Jill Stein’s Green Party face a Herculean task of pushing out either the Democrats or Republicans to take first place and get any electors in the Electoral College.

Write-in candidates like a Green Ralph Nader or a quasi-Libertarian Ross Perot didn’t stand a chance with the winner-take-all system of electoral votes. Consider that Ross Perot, in the 1992 election received 18.9% of the popular vote, almost 20 million votes but not one Electoral College vote.

Running for the House of Representatives or the Senate is somewhat different for independents and several have been elected to these Houses but the Presidency will probably be forever beyond the grasp of any third party.

Thus, Americans are left with two parties to dominate the political scene for the foreseeable future.

The differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the US are much starker than the differences we see here in Canada between the Liberals and the Conservatives. In fact, this election has made me consider the duality of voters in the US and to a similar extent here in Canada.

With a large degree of generalization I would say that these are the two types of voters.

One is a producer; the other a parasite or moocher.

One has personal integrity; the other is willing to sell his soul to the highest bidder.

One asks no one to sacrifice himself to him; the other demands others sacrifice themselves to him.

One has pride in accomplishment; the other takes pride in destruction.

One is peaceful; the other violent.

One is patriotic; the other wishes to destroy the state.

One tells the truth; the other lies.

One is willing to listen to the argument of the other person; the other has no time for debate.

I leave it up to you to decide which of these would vote Republican and which would vote Democrat.

I’m sure there were both liberals and conservatives who placed themselves on the side of the peaceful, productive, truthful, patriotic, creators and thought that their opponents were on the other side. In fact there is some truth to that. There are people from both sides of the aisle who could be said to fit one description or another. There are no doubt Democrats who believe they are genuinely truthful, productive and patriotic as there are Republicans who are truthful, productive and patriotic.

That is the problem the US is having; not necessarily with a two party system, but with having each party represents only one aspect of a complete truth.

The Democrats are considered to be the defenders of individual liberties such as the right of a woman to choose the destiny of her own body, the right of gay people to enter into consensual relationships and marriages (If I can use that term), the right to consume mind altering drugs, the right to behave in ways not conforming to tradition.

The Republicans are considered to be the defender of economic and property rights, the right to self-defense and to bear arms, the right to own and keep property, the right to treat one’s home as one’s castle, the right to create and amass wealth, the right to trade freely with others.

But each Party has its list of faults. The Democrats are seen to be destroyers of business, wealth re distributors, protectionist, squanderers of the public purse, and pacifists. The Republicans are seen to be war mongers who are anti-gay, anti-women, against personal liberties and any aberrant yet peaceful behaviour such as consuming mind-altering drugs.

In general these observations are accurate. And yet while the US has had the Democratic Party control both Houses and the Presidency for the first two years of Obama and the Senate and the Presidency for the last four years, the war on drugs has escalated and they are still in Afghanistan and have active military operations throughout the world. When the Republicans were in power we saw a massive increase in regulations and government spending and debt.

It seems that regardless of which Party achieves power Americans are doomed to see the steady erosion of both personal and economic rights and liberties. I don’t believe anyone can say with absolute certainty that a Romney Presidency would be any better than an Obama Presidency; although personally I believe Obama to be the absolute worst President our neighbour has had the misfortune to endure.

I can say this with certainty. Unless one or both parties begins to adopt the perceived positive policies of their opposing Party the United States is doomed to fail as a nation.

Jul 232012
 

mike_harris_168x100

 
 
 
 

Created and hosted by London talk-show personality Jim Chapman, Left, Right, and Center was launched and aired live from the studios of CJBK am 1290 Radio in London Ontario as a weekly Wednesday feature of his regular three-hour-a-day show Talk Of The Town. Regulars Jeff Schlemmer (a lawyer with Neighbourhood Legal Services) represented the ‘left,’ while Robert Metz (president of the Freedom Party of Ontario) represented the ‘right.’

On this show Gil Warren of the London and District Labour Council filled in for Jeff Schlemer and I filled in for Bob Metz. The topics under discussion were the 1999 Ontario election, taxes and democracy.

Depending on you browser settings you can click here to download the show or use the player below to stream it.

Apr 072011
 

A capitalist in Canada is faced with no candidate he can support in this election.  Just as with every other federal election prior.  Some might think that the Conservative Party is the party favoured by capitalists but may be because either 1) they don’t understand the definition of capitalism or 2) they don’t understand the Conservative Party of Canada.

A capitalist is one who seeks the abolition of force from society and the separation of government from the economy.  He would not advocate any law which would tax any of his fellow citizens.  He would not expect the government to bailout businesses with loans or grants.  He sees as the only purpose of government the protection of each citizen’s individual rights – nothing else.

There are no parties in Canadian federal politics which fit this definition.  All three of the main parties are socialist.  All three hold policies which vary only slightly and only in degree not substance.  For example, all of the socialist troika are in favour of universal, government run and financed health care.  All three favour to one degree or another corporate largess such as with the recent bailout of the auto industry.  All favour deficit spending with the Conservatives recently racking up a deficit of $53.8 Billion in 2010.  All favour business regulations which prevent foreign competition lowering our standard of living.  All favour so-called ‘stimulus spending’ which destroys one person’s job to create another person’s job.  The list of agreement between the three is endless.

What complicates the matter is the deliberate misconceptions by the media who often portray the Conservatives as capitalistic.  The recent CBC Compass poll which has been taken by over 1 million Canadians to-date has incorrectly positioned the Conservatives far from the other parties both fiscally and socially.  It ranks the parties by their stated rhetoric and published policies rather than on the actual actions of each party.  Here are a few examples from the 30 statements and questions on the poll:

For the statement “The federal budget deficit should be reduced, even if it leads to fewer public services.” The CBC stated that the Conservative Party’s position is “somewhat agree” while in reality the Conservatives are responsible for some of the largest deficit spending in Canadian history.

For the statement “Canada should adopt a carbon tax.” The CBC says the Conservative Party position is “strongly disagree” and yet Prime Minister Harper has, on several occasions, indicated he supports government enforced reductions in CO2 emissions, having bought into the left’s climate change scheme.

For the statement “How much of a role should the private sector have in health care?” The CBC states the Conservative’s position as “somewhat more” and yet the Conservatives have categorically stated that they support and uphold the Canada Health Act which limits all private involvement in the administration of health care and outlaws any private health insurance; the identical position of the other two socialist parties.

The poll correctly grouped the Liberals, and NDP together in policies but the separation of the Conservatives from the group is contrived and dishonest and perpetuates the myth that Conservatives are fiscally responsible when the opposite has been demonstrated to be true.

If there is any difference in the parties at all it may be in what motivates them.  The Conservatives are motivated by faith and tradition, God and the Queen.  Something is good because it is revealed as such in the bible or because it what our parents did.  Contrarily the Liberals support a position based on science (mostly pseudoscience like climate change) or because it is new and progressive.  Neither party support a position because it is rational or right to do so but only because it is supported by priests, mullahs or scientists or because it is a conservative or a progressive position.  Note that regardless of the motivation of the Parties the position held is the same for all, that position will always involve government intervention into the lives and economy of the people.  It will always be statist and it will always be socialist.

(Broadcast on Just Right Show #194, April 7, 2011)