I attended the all-candidates debate at Albert Campbell Collegiate on Tuesday morning (Oct. 7th). There were really two debates and it was fairly intense. Half the students were there for the first hour and then the other half came for the second hour.
Here is my opening statement in the main debates. (And if you think anyone else mentioned these topics, forget it. Keep the topics as boring as possible about rearranging deck chairs and that way you don’t remind anyone about deeper problems. )
I’m running as a Libertarian to present my concerns and give you an opportunity to vote for freedom.
Freedom means the opposite of control and domination.
In daily life, we have to negotiate with others and try to respect their autonomy and choices.
But when it comes to politics, we use government power – threats of prison and fines – to control others – how they use their money, their property and their bodies – what they can and can’t do with their lives.
Over the years, Parliament has increased the government’s powers, such as FINTRAC’s monitoring of our financial transactions. Also introduced recently was mandatory roadside drug testing. Other proposals threaten civil liberties in the areas of natural health products and intellectual property.
In February, a Civil Assistance Plan was signed that allows the U.S. military to come into Canada whenever there is a civil emergency.
Canada should be demanding the return of Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, captured as a child, so he can have a fair trial.
Canada should not be turning away war resisters who want to follow their conscience.
It doesn’t seem that Parliament has any intention of letting other nations or individuals work out their own lives and follow their own destiny.
The other parties don’t seem to have any intention of creating a more voluntary society based on respect for personal autonomy.
A lot of topics were covered during the debate. For example, I had a chance to respond to questions about proposed gun bans for Toronto by advocating for the right of law-abiding citizens to carry the means of their own defence so they’re not helpless and victimized by people who don’t obey the law (and who wouldn’t follow “gun bans” anyway and who don’t legally own guns). I explained that we shouldn’t have different classes of people: those in government – police and military – who are allowed to carry guns and another class of ordinary helpless citizens who are not allowed to carry guns.
And it’s an important point also to mention, whether or not I explained it clearly at the debate, that prohibition is making a life of gangs and violence too attractive and profitable to some, so ending the war on drugs would eliminate this problem. Prohibiting trade in something (a victimless “crime”) means it is very profitable for lawless gangs, who create actual victims.
I also had a chance to touch on a property rights approach to dealing with pollution and safety risk. Also, I attempted to explain how reducing taxes (ultimately to voluntary fees) and getting rid of centrally imposed regulations, government licensing, and credentialling monopolies would revive the Canadian economy and open doors to everyone, including immigrants. This alternative means a society based on contracts, consumer choice and accountability, fraud protection and competing credentialling associations – a free market in other words. Freedom means opportunity and wealth through maximizing the division of labour where everybody has opportunities to do what they do best. That’s what free-market capitalism means (not the fake kind of capitalism we have) – it’s a natural system of cooperation where people are free and they respect each others’ rights. The more freedom there is, the more of their own wealth people can keep, the more opportunities they have to feel better about their lives and to create a much more positive society.
I didn’t get a chance to talk about global warming in the actual debate, but I started a discussion about the issue in the staff room afterwards with some candidates, teachers and students. Basically I started out by challenging the Liberals and others who describe carbon dioxide as pollution. It’s not a completely new concept to me, but I was taken aback by this terminology “greenhouse gas pollution” in the Liberal’s Green Shift plan. The public is definitely being confused by this and I think many people are mistakenly associating carbon dioxide – an invisible non-polluting life-giving gas – with smog and real pollutants. Plants need carbon dioxide for life.
The politicians are calling it a “pollutant” because it is a greenhouse gas that is supposedly in excess quantities in the atmosphere. I gave some arguments that indicate human-produced carbon dioxide can’t have much of an effect. One example of these arguments is the drop in global temperatures from 1940 to 1975 despite increasing industrialization.
All combustion produces carbon dioxide and water vapour. Controlling human production of carbon dioxide by taxes is very serious because it will affect our “freedom” (yeh, I know, whatever that means, I’ll keep explaining it) – our ability to travel and heat our homes, as well as our whole economy. It’s not like actual pollution where individuals can assess costs of pollution. I covered some of the key points from this page.
Philosophically, I don’t believe that governments have a right to interfere in this way even if human industry did cause global warming, because what we do as humans naturally – without imposing damage on others – is part of nature and it’s up to individuals to solve problems voluntarily. That’s fine, but there is more going on here. As soon as you start looking into the subject, you realize the whole idea of man-made global warming is full of holes and totally questionable.
So now I’m a “denier” because I deny that humans cause global warming – and the other tactic of trying to shame and bully people with their top-down “scientific” pronouncements is in full force. Why is that? Because it’s not about reality and truth. It’s about control. And their “truth” has no place for freedom. Someone who is skeptical of pronouncements by the state and global bureacrats is automatically going to question this flimsy story supposedly backed by “science”.
My hunch, based on people I’ve talked to, is that many in the public aren’t buying it. They don’t want to be poorer. They don’t want to be even deeper into serfdom. We don’t want to be tax slaves. More and more people are tired of it – thousands of years of it already. Enough. How do you like that for TRUTH? Don’t hear much of it from the establishment media.
And this imposition of beliefs combined with politics – do you realize that this is exactly why freedom of conscience is guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights? To protect us from people who want to impose beliefs on others! You don’t just impose beliefs on human beings with your politicized science and expect everyone just to accept whatever they’re told and expect to be held guiltless when human beings start suffering the consequences. This strategy of imposing an agenda and a religion dressed up as science violates the whole supposed basis of our society long before the Charter of Rights.
So I hope it all falls apart! I’m optimistic with that subject at least. Because I think many will examine the evidence and arguments scientifically on their own and will think for themselves.
October 10th, 2008