Ontario Libertarian Party Resists Anti-Smoking Bill
The Ontario Libertarian Party held a Smokers Night meeting in Vaughan on January 12.
Libertarian principles were explained very effectively at the meeting. One way of understanding libertarianism is to try the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.
Guest speaker Nancy Daigneault made a strong presentation on behalf of mychoice.ca, a smokers’ rights organization. People who oppose government social engineering can find encouragement in Ms. Daigneault’s energetic campaign against government attempts to control the personal lives of citizens.
There were a number of points raised at the meeting that were very instructive.
For one thing, the tide may be turning against the anti-smoking lobby. Nancy mentioned that during phone-in radio shows, the calls she heard in the early days were often very hostile, but more recently the majority of calls were positive.
There is a propaganda website devoted to attacking smokers called stupid.ca produced by the Government of Ontario. Why? Because there are people who truly believe they will somehow force all of nicotine-addicted mankind to stop smoking.
One smoker in the audience felt that smokers were being beaten down and persecuted. He called it a hate campaign – and maybe it is. And are we to hate our own family members and friends who smoke? One lady in the audience mentioned the terrible effect of anti-smoking bylaws on bars and other businesses.
What’s so different about smokers? Why not pick on everyone whose health may be at risk from their addictions? Why not make all their lives even more difficult and add plenty of extra hardship on top of their financial and health problems? What about people who use or abuse other drugs? What about alcoholics? What about gamblers (encouraged by the government)?
What about TV addicts? Think about all the harmful or potentially harmful things people do to themselves and each other as they try to enjoy their lives. All you have to do to “solve” all those “problems” – and they’re not YOUR problems – is to BAN them all! Threaten property owners with fines and prison and run the evil-doers out into the streets, and if that’s not far enough, chase them into the hills to freeze to death. Of course there won’t be any people left to worry about after that.
The Ontario government’s Smoke-Free Ontario Act is likely to be passed by June, 2005. It’s an effort to eliminate smoking from so-called “public” places completely. The public needs to speak out against it, because the next step by the anti-smoking lobby will likely be even more extreme local by-laws or government attempts to ban smoking in homes and cars.
People get hung up on the “issue” of second-hand smoking. Every policy question becomes a “scientific” question because the media and government know they can just throw numbers at you to shut you up. Who dares to question the Science? Take your pick: the standard opinions vs. the dissenting study.
Never mind logic or philosophical issues or questions about freedom and choice, or harming businesses, or the harm caused by interfering in what people want to do with their lives – the harm and corruption caused by fines and prison sentences for victimless crimes. Everyone’s a scientist now, right? Maybe science is what this is all about and it’s just one big scientific experiment by governments to test free will, to see how far governments can push ordinary people into accepting whatever assertions of authority they can invent for themselves – to test whether Canadians really are capable of thinking and choosing and self-ruling. Canadians should send them an answer!
There are countless natural and man-made substances in our environment that may or may not negatively effect our health. Are we going to have bans on burnt toast, unpasteurized cheese, camp fire smoke, or wood dust?
Are we going to have “political solutions” to the safety issues involved in living on the surface of planet earth where we are subjected to a constant stream of high-energy particles from space, as well as radon gas, not to mention viruses, bacteria and natural disasters? Think about it. That’s just giving some people ideas for more regulation. Where does it stop? When did Canadians surrender to governments the responsibility for their own health and the health of their children?
I wish all of the millions of smokers in Canada – and everyone else who believes in freedom – would just take a bit of time out from feeling guilty and powerless. Please write your politicians and oppose whatever restrictions are being imposed in your area.
Example Letter / Email / Fax:
Jan 15, 2005
Joe Smoke, M.P.P.
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, M.P.P.
Premier of the Province of Ontario
The Honourable George Smitherman, M.P.P.
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
Dear Sir (Madam),
I am writing to oppose the Ontario government’s proposed Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
[Insert your own words here. Please adapt the following for your own use, but they might not take copies of the same words seriously. Myself, I plan to make my actual letter a little nicer and simpler too.]
I am not going along with your government’s control agenda, which includes efforts to ban smoking. Smoking and second-hand smoke are medical issues for consumers, doctors, parents and property-owners to consider. It’s something for tobacco growers and companies to to think about. People decide for themselves. I object to any law that forces property owners to act as enforcers for government lifestyle restrictions.
I believe in property rights and freedom of association. This is how we have peace. The legislation even threatens private clubs, such as the Royal Canadian Legion, where people share common beliefs and hang out together voluntarily. They find ways to accommodate each others’ bad habits or they choose to go elsewhere.
Restaurants and bars are owned by people who need to attract customers, some of whom need a place to smoke, and who want to spend time with others who tolerate their smoking. Customers and business owners should work out their own ways of solving conflicts.
In a free society, employees would find work where they feel comfortable and customers would complain to the manager if they didn’t feel comfortable.
In the past anyway, if I entered an establishment owned by someone else where customers are in the habit of smoking, I respected their way of doing things, and I would never dream of demanding that anyone put out their cigarettes. But somehow the Government of Ontario has the nerve to demand that a whole province full of businesses and private clubs should throw away their ashtrays.
Please take your Orwellian proposals and put them back on the shelf.