Canadians who have no party

Boy, is Andrew Coyne bang-on:

…I would prefer there were at least one party that understood market economics, that stood for balanced budgets, honest money, and freely set prices, undistorted by subsidies, quotas, tariffs, ceilings, floors, or tax preferences; that had a general preference for competition over monopoly, voluntarism over coercion, open systems over closed, unless a compelling case could be made to the contrary; and that understood their virtues not only in terms of efficiency, but of fairness, freedom and environmental stewardship. And so in that sense I have no party.
But then, I have no party in a lot of ways — as, in fact, do a lot of Canadians. It isn’t just free marketers who haven’t got a party. Federalists have no party, in the sense of a party willing to defend the national interest against the pull of provincialism and Quebec nationalism. Democratic reformers have no party. Classical liberals (or as Barbara Frum used to call herself, “1950s liberals”), believers in the equal rights of every individual under the Charter — as opposed to group rights advocates, on the one hand, and Charterphobes, on the other — are no less bereft. There’s no party that stands for consumers, against exploitation by producer interests; for the jobless, against restrictive labour laws that prevent them from pricing themselves into work; for taxpayers, against the depredations of rent-seeking special interests; for property owners, against the marauding state. There’s just a vast gap in the Canadian political spectrum, or several of them, while the parties compete to see who can spend the most, devolve powers the fastest, pander most cravenly. Canadians think they live in a liberal, democratic, free-market federation, but there isn’t a party nowadays that believes in any of these things…

There’s also no party that bothers to understand, or that really cares about, defence issues. All treat defence essentially as partisan political, their main interest being in pork.
Mark C.


9 thoughts on “Canadians who have no party

  1. Coyne is right but this is nothing new. The overweening political correctness and soft socialism ensnared Canada a long time ago. And the truth of it is that our plentiful wood, oil and minerals, combined with easy access to the world’s biggest market, will keep us intellectually lazy for many years yet.

  2. Wah, wah, wah. No party speaks for me. For pity sake, stop whining and do something. Form a party, or take back over the Conservatives. No one’s stopping you. If that’s too much work, all you noble like-minded folks, run as independants.
    The problem is, if you actually do this, you’ll find the horrible truth — people don’t actually want those things. Largely because they sound good on paper, but in actual fact don’t work for shit.

  3. I share a lot of Andrew Coyne’s observations about the void in practical and logical political direction, which I have always thought the Conservative Party of Canada would fill.
    Filling that void is exactly why I have personally worked literally thousands of hours over the last fours years as a volunteer for that party.
    Unfortunately so far, the result has been a continual retreat by the government and its supporting party from the conservative philosophy of its base.
    The grass-roots water-carriers for the party continue to be led to believe that more time is required to educate Canadians why conservatism is the best philosophy for the well-being of Canadians, but I have seen little by the leadership to enlighten Canadians. Instead, we see the government gradually drift to the left to appease its opposition rather than taking a leadership role and promoting the values it presumably believes in.
    We are now into the fourth year of the Conservative Party of Canada’s government, and all we have seen so far if excessive growth in government in the economy, and now, a “stimulative” budget that includes more pork for the most trivial of special interest groups and thoughtless spending than we have seen in the history of this country.
    So far, I have seen very little progress on the “incrementalist” approach to educate Canadians about conservatism by the elites and how conservative philosophy will benefit Canada as a whole.
    As a conservative, I am deeply disillusioned with this government, and am seriously considering withdrawing my substantial voluntary support for the Conservative Party of Canada that is backing it until I see it standing up for values that I thought it once espoused, and for which I gave it my support in the first place.

  4. All pertinent points, but I don’t see the relevance of the Defence issues.
    Face it, Canada has no serious defence capability because it doesn’t need one. There is nothing to defend against, given that the Big Brother in the South is actually pretty benign and protective, and it is easy to hide under the security blanket.
    (Now, if we decided to start fulfilling the image that many anti-Americans have, you would have a different problem.)
    Canadian military capability provides neither protection nor projection of Canadian power, but is a mere novelty act.
    Why does Canada need any military?

  5. Well Sam lets just disband the whole thing and see how long it takes before folks like you are screaming for help from the military.

  6. Doesn’t the Libertarian party claim to represent most of those issues? Where are they on the budget? The Green Party gets dragged out to slag the budget from the left though they have no seats. Why doesn’t the Libertarian party get equal time to slag it from the right?

  7. “Well Sam lets just disband the whole thing and see how long it takes before folks like you are screaming for help from the military.”
    Don Mitchell, I am not sure who you mean by “…folks like you”? You don’t even know who I am. For starters, I am not even Canadian, nor do I live in Canada. I like Canada, and visit the Eastern part of the country 2 or 3 times a year.
    My point is, taking an outsider’s perspective, I just don’t see any significance to Canadian military capability. Neither for Canada’s territorial protection, nor for any larger play in foreign affairs.

  8. It’s not just that there’s no party. For all intents and purposes there are no politicians who represent so called conservative views.
    There’s no politician making a case for not just dumping money into a centrally planned economic recovery crafted by central planners who were unaware of the need for such a thing 4 months ago.
    Stephen Harper’s precious majority requires the docility of his party so that he can continue to draw Liberal voters and the Liberals need to present a united front and keep enough voters away from the NDP to stay in the game.
    Everyone, take a blind leap to the left please and let’s see how that changes the distribution of votes. If it’s favorable to Harper’s share, you can expect another one soon. If it’s favorable to Iggy, expect a no confidence motion after the second update.
    Of course Jack’s still doing fine. Next election he’ll point at the socialist policies, say that they aren’t sufficient, and tell his potential voters that they can expect more of it if they give him more MPs for improved leverage. At least it’s honest. Funny in a sick way, but honest.

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