Note: I would probably answer some of these questions differently in 2015 since I’ve learned a lot in recent years.
Jan 21-22, 2006 Updated: Jan 22 ’06
What happened to the Libertarian Party of Canada?
Add your comments here to CBC’s “Riding Talk” for Scarborough-Rouge River (http://forums.cbc.ca/ridings/2005/11/190.html)
Environment and Nuclear Waste
Libertarian Party vs. Conservative Party: Property Rights, Self-Defence, etc.
Foreign Policy, War, Sovereignty, Independence and Trade
Libertarian vs. Conservative
Ending Foreign Interventionism
Equality vs. Liberty
What’s going on with the Libertarian Party?
More Commentary Related to Election and Libertarian Party
Statement by Libertarian Candidate Scarborough-Rouge River
As the Libertarian Party’s candidate in Scarborough-Rouge River for the federal election, I would ask those who believe in individual rights and liberty to support my campaign and get involved locally with the Libertarian Party after the election.
- *Self-ownership and property rights. Greater personal and economic liberty.
- *Repeal victimless “crimes”. Police and courts should be focused on crimes of violence, theft and fraud.
- *Restitution. Criminals should have to compensate their victims.
- *End drug prohibition which enriches criminals and leads to violence.
- *No to social engineering. No to government taking over the responsibility of families with child care subsidies.
- *Oppose restrictions on freedom of expression. Preserve and enhance basic Charter freedoms.
- *Preserve civil liberties, due process rights and habeas corpus.
- *Humane treatment of all prisoners. Canada should take a stand against the abuse of detainees.
- *End foreign interventionism. Strengthen the military, but only for defence.
- *Non-aggression. Say no to the bombing of civilians and their homes.
- *Canada should be militarily and politically independent.
- *Stop the growth of government surveillance which threatens individual rights and liberties.
- *End government domination of our lives through regulations, taxes, subsidies and fiat currency.
- *Oppose Kyoto and let Canadians make their own decisions about climate change propaganda.
- *Human needs first. Enhance property rights and say no to environmental central planning.
- *Peace and genuine free trade with the world.
Authorized by the Official Agent for Alan Mercer
I don’t know the whole story, but I think it was too conservative in its appeal and a lot of members went to Reform.
It’s time to rebuild the Party in a new configuration, to get the libertarian message out there publicly. Our message is not being heard yet. The Left dominates the discussion about human rights with its mixed up ideology.
We’re not a conservative, liberal or socialist party. We’re a libertarian party. We believe in self-ownership – the right to control one’s own life and property.
Add your comments here to CBC’s “Riding Talk” for Scarborough-Rouge River (http://forums.cbc.ca/ridings/2005/11/190.html)
” …but good luck though”
There are many things that should not be crimes. Individuals (and parents) should be responsible for their own lives. Alcohol prohibition profited gangs and led to violence and more crime. The same with drugs.
The War on Drugs has terrible consequences in terms of empowering a potential police state and aggressive foreign policy. The U.S. government is spraying pesticide on farmers’ coca crops in Colombia with terrible consequences: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=4229.
Coca is considered “illegitimate” but actually it is used harmlessly as an ingredient in South American soft drinks. See this shocking story here http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1222/p04s01-woam.html.
A few years ago there was a great movie that came out called “Traffic” which makes a strong argument in favor of ending the whole mistake.
It’s about letting people decide for themselves.
“nothing about the GAYS here i see???? odd that”
Libertarianism is about the role of government. Libertarians can be pro-gay marriage or anti-gay marriage. This issue may be higher on the priorities of other libertarians. I think the ideal is for governments to get out of marriage. And let people believe what they like. Governments shouldn’t have anything to say about it.
“err what about abortion …”
Most libertarians believe that government should not make laws against abortion, and are skeptical of government doing that. Many are pro-choice. I tend to be pro-life philosophically and morally but I don’t favor laws. For sure, we would stop government support and funding of abortion and free up adoption. Libertarians who see the unborn as persons and entitled to legal protection are also welcome in the Party. Both sides. I think it’s not an issue that politics will resolve. We should depoliticize it, and those who oppose abortion would be best using their time to use moral, scientific and philosophical arguments to make their case.
Liberty is not a means to a political end. It is itself the highest political end. – Lord Acton
Restitution, Kyoto, Non-Interventionism (http://www.canadiancontent.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=159116)
“Resitution is a good idea in theory but not one that can be implemented too well.”
There is more info on restitution here: http://www.restorativejustice.org/intro/tutorial/outcomes/restitution
There used to be more of it hundreds of years ago.
A crime is really a violation of a victim’s rights, not a crime against something abstract like the State or Society, which is the current doctrine.
To implement it properly, the justice system would need to be completely focused around the notion of making the criminal restore the harm done to the victim or the victim’s family as much as possible. Non-violent offenders would not usually need to go to prison. Violent offenders could pay for their stay in prison by working. Reward money to witnesses could also be funded this way. And wrongful convictions could be compensated by those responsible in the same way. If it’s done properly and across the board for juveniles also, it could act as a serious deterrent.
“I like a lot of what the Libertarian party stands for, but not the Kyoto stance, …”
As far as Kyoto goes, it should be up to each of us to decide whether we take it seriously or not, and what we do about it. How can suddenly carbon dioxide and methane be put in the same class as a pollutant? Human beings are a part of nature and what we do in terms of fueling our vehicles and heating our homes and running our businesses is totally legitimate as long as we respect the rights of our neighbours.
The greenhouse gas people may be right or wrong about the idea that humans are causing climate change – I have doubts about their interpretation of what’s going on – Greenland used to be green for example.
But for sure they are overreaching in:
(1) they try to get governments to force us to change our lives. This is much more destructive than what they fear.
(2) they think that these policies will make any difference to global warming.
“and not the stance against foreign intervention. If we had followed that theory we might be living under Hitler’s jackboot now.”
As far as non-intervention, individuals go and fight where they like, as they did in the Spanish Civil War – some group of people pick the bad guys and go fight them. Croatian-Canadians went to fight the “evil” Serbs in Yugoslavia. Fine for them, that’s their choice. But it was not right for NATO to bomb Yugoslavia, to add more evil to evil.
The dangerous part is letting your government decide who is good and who is evil, and forcing you into a situation where you’re at war with someone you don’t want to be at war with, and where you don’t want to sacrifice your liberties for the war effort (as happened during WWI even in America) and where the government proceeds to decimate cities in your name – as happened with the Allied bombing of Germany and in Hiroshima. We’re the “good” guys and the other side – they’re the “bad” guys and no longer human. The war propaganda of Western governments is absolutely amazing. The taxes of Russia and the West went to fund these nuclear weapons that were used to terrorize the world for decades. And they still haven’t been disposed of.
The people of Germany and Europe should have been allowed to gradually overthrow Hitler and the Nazis internally. Instead, we had a disaster instead in which millions lost their lives and suffered horrible trauma, and where Eastern Europe was left enslaved.
This is what we’re being set up for again with U.S. foreign policy, except the enemy this time will be Iran or Syria or the whole Muslim world.
Everything should be scaled down.
Everybody agrees: “War is bad, war is bad” but we need the policies to stop repeating these mistakes.
Take a look at WWI. It was caused by alliances. And after it was over, people agreed it was a horrible mistake that modern democratic governments sent their men to their deaths in such large numbers for nothing worthwhile. But what was so moral about those governments? Each of them had their own empire. What’s the difference now with the attitudes of governments? We have the same kind of doctrine of “collective security” which will escalate every conflict.
And the same kind of paternalistic attitude towards the rest of the world.
And everybody moralizes about how the other side is “evil” and their government is not democratic, and how it’s all for “freedom”. Iraqis are not their government, but governments assure us there is some kind of justification for sanctions (blockades are an act of war too) and warfare that hurts ordinary Iraqis.
That’s why the only legitimate reason for a military response is if we are attacked – in self-defence. And the response needs to be proportional and limited and within the limits of morality.
And I should also add that there is no way Hitler could have got very far when meeting all the resistance he would naturally meet in Europe.
Note: I’m skeptical about the safety of nuclear power, especially in the current non-libertarian system. A libertarian system might be able to contain it and move it in a safer direction.
Please consider the libertarian solution of strengthening property rights, so that different kinds of pollutants, whether radiation or otherwise are not allowed on someone’s property. The problem with these issues is that we look to a central government to make decisions and pass legislation that fail to satisfy all of us, but which can only please one group or another. Individuals should be making choices concerning what goes into their own bodies and what goes onto their own property.
We need to start with property rights first, we need to make them absolute so that the courts are protecting these. The government should not be deciding these things for everybody.
If you look at the issue of nuclear waste, property rights would force those who run a nuclear reactor to find a solution which respected the rights of other people. They would have to pay the cost of the dumping and the cost of any leaks or contaminants into the water supply which affects the neighbouring properties. They would start to consider ways to use the waste in new processes – or find a safer way to get rid of it.
Please let me know if you have any other questions about these ideas.
“Most of your platform is very similar to the CPC’s. Just vote conservative. We won’t tell.”
But maybe conservatives like to think their party is more libertarian than it is.
This is the Libertarian Party of Canada Statement of Objectives:
Just as an example:
“Right to Self-Protection
We hold that the individual has the right to own and bear arms. Consequently we oppose restrictions on the ownership or use of guns or any other arms. General arms restrictions deprive the individual of his/her right to self-defense in an emergency situation while leaving the criminal fully armed. We propose, as an alternative to general arms restriction, the imposition of severe penalties for the criminal abuse of this right, thus placing the blame for armed crime where it properly belongs – on the criminal.”
I don’t see these types of policies in the founding principles of the Conservative Party http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1141/ (http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1141/) or its platform: http://media.conservative.ca/video/20060113-Platform.pdf . I’ll just put the links here for reference.
The Conservatives even want to prevent the decriminalization of marijuana.
The Conservatives and Liberals are big-government parties. Of course libertarians are going to seem like extremists, but that’s because we have an opposite premise to the Conservative idea of governing peoples’ lives and telling people what to do.
Even when they talk about property rights as an amendment to the Charter, and I give them credit for doing that, it’s hedged in just the same way as the U.S. Constitution. It has the same flaw which allows for expropriation / ’eminent domain’. So, even if it was passed we would just face the same old danger of government confiscation of property whenever the government decided it was ok, with taxpayers having to compensate the owner.
I believe in the old saying that a man’s home is his castle.
There’s a quirky Australian movie called “The Castle” which is all about the subject of how he resists the government trying to expropriate his property to expand an airport.
Re: “*End foreign interventionism. Strengthen the military, but only for defence.”
“How about leaving the British Commonwealth and replacing our head of state with a President? If you don’t support a Republic then you don’t support ending foreign intervention. On the other point yes and no, Canada needs a good offensive force. What about countries such as China that pose a threat to democracy?”
Re: “*Canada should be militarily and politically independent.”
“So throw away our alliances? I can not support this, politically it’s acceptable but economically we should be looking towards economic union with the United States and Mexico. Saying no to open borders is not very Libertarian.”
Re: “*Peace and genuine free trade with the world.”
“Genuine free market means integration, if you don’t support it then it’s not Libertarian.”
[I totally disagree with the idea that “genuine free market means integration.”]
Note: I’ve added more to my responses here to improve them.
Thanks very much, I appreciate your comments, Sir.
I just want to focus on a couple of the responses concerning foreign policy.
Re: monarchy vs. republic, if republics didn’t turn into empires, then I’d say great, but since it’s not the case, it’s neither here nor there to me.
I have a different point of view about the meaning you attach to the word libertarian. I think people (meaning other nations) are more likely to be free if they are left to work out their own freedom on their own. I think people (everybody including Canadians) should fight only to defend their homes and lives when they are attacked, not to install abstract ideals and systems of government in other peoples’ countries. Nobody is qualified or capable of doing this for others.
I don’t believe China is a threat to us. I think China is not an enemy of Canada unless it is attacking Canada. I think we should be more concerned about respecting life and property than enforcing systems of government, which is up to China. I think force should only be used to defend our lives and homes.
I think “integration” implies forcing other nations to behave our way and means extra levels of more and more global governance. Real free trade is focused on letting individuals trade globally.
And removing borders still implies that some government is going to be ruling over us, and probably further out of reach – whether it be the U.S., or the U.N.
And I think you can measure threats to liberty in North American society by observing the U.S. government rationalize and implement its policies regarding torture.
I think that the principle of respect for national sovereignty is a better way to defend the rights of individuals – life and property – than internationalism and globalism. Because in that case, nations can compete with each other for how civilized they are. If we are all to be governed by the same global entitites, then these are very unlikely to be libertarian.
What I mean by “genuine” free trade is the federal government just letting their citizens trade – without international agreements. These agreements are really layers of international government that interfere with sovereignty. How can we talk about people determining their government’s policies if we are locked in to all these international agreements?
It’s hard to compete with another big government party like the Conservative Party and a “great leader” like Stephen Harper who would keep following along with America’s war on drugs and America’s war on other nations’ sovereignty. All I have to offer are great ideas grounded in respect for individual rights and personal responsibility.
Re: “*End foreign interventionism. Strengthen the military, but only for defence.”
“Hypothetically how would this policy deal with a new Hitler?”
Note: Edited my response to improve it.
First of all, the idea with justifying war only under certain situations is to restrain the activities of governments. Governments historically have made war whenever they liked for whatever reason they liked. If someone is actually going to attack your country, then only then are you justified in going to war – to defend it. War propaganda and lies cover over the details in reality.
The consequences of war need to be considered in terms of lives lost, wounded and homes destroyed on both sides. Those are basic individual rights. Governments shouldn’t just be able to take those away whenever they feel they need a war, democratic or otherwise.
As far as dictators, it really is best to let people sort out their own nations and defend their own freedoms. The U.N. wants to take the right of self-defense away from people, but this is how Europe would have really become free from both Hitler and Stalin, if people had been allowed to fight for their own freedoms and defend their own countries. Instead afterwards, we had a world where the mass nuclear bombing of civilians was threatened by both sides, and the precedent was set in WWII for mass bombing of civilians.
Canada was part of the British Empire, and along with other empires, Britain pushed its weight around and told other nations what to do. For example, the Canadian government removed Aboriginal children from their families. While pretending to be holier than thou, we ignore the fact that our allies helped install dictators in different parts of the world, such as the Shah in Iran, and we ignore how this enraged them. And the U.S. helped Saddam to make war on Iran, causing huge numbers of casualties. And we make-believe that our governments are a pure force for goodness and democracy in the world.
Take a look at which power is the most dangerous in the world – which power has the most nuclear weapons and the most military bases – and supposedly all these wonderful good intentions. And think about the U.S.A Patriot Act and think about its government’s torture policies. And then try comparing some tinpot dictator to Hitler.
It’s time to stop helping our allies interfere in the world, to stop helping them set up their own dictators.
Canada has enough resources to defend itself if our government would get off our backs with its taxes and regulations. We should try to set the example of being a truly free and independent nation.
“…I would rather live in a fair society than an equal one.”
Libertarians emphasize liberty and justice, and equality under the law, but these are concepts based on individual rights. Socialists and conservative/liberal statists talk about equality, or egalitarianism, in the totalitarian sense that Plato meant it. Which means cancelling out liberty and forcing people to hand over what justly belongs to them, so that they can redistribute the wealth to special interests such as government employees, subsidies to big business and labor and childcare and agriculture etc; and also a little bit of money is doled out to the poor to keep them dependent on the government.
Libertarians argue that everything in society should be organized on a voluntary basis – through private charity, private institutions such as the family, the church, and the free market – except that individual rights should be protected. Many in our current society in Canada believe that the government should organize everything in society, from broadcasting to agriculture, from arts to trade.
The Libertarian Party of Canada, for one reason or another, has not been active for a few years. I’m not an expert on the history of the LPC, but part of the explanation for things breaking down may have been the Party was not decentralized enough, and it tried to be like a conservative party rather than a libertarian party.
I joined recently and a group of us are serious about helping to build a new national Party.
I would encourage you to find other libertarians locally, think about running as a candidate for the next election (or someone else you know) and create a riding association eventually. I think it’s important for people to act locally and be as independent-minded as possible, and not be discouraged by obstacles. Get the message out there to other Canadians.
The issue here is that some libertarians believe the unborn is a person with rights and some (maybe the majority) don’t. Some therefore believe that the law should be used to protect the unborn. I think we’re generally skeptical about the use of government power to decide moral, philosophical and religious issues that people don’t agree about, so the majority view of most Libertarians would be to not interfere. I tend to be pro-life, but I think this cause should be depoliticized. In any case Libertarians would definitely stop government funding of abortion and free up adoption. So we welcome different points of view in the LPC on this issue. This reflects the position of the U.S. Libertarian Party also which is mostly against abortion laws but acknowledges the other viewpoint in its membership.
Re: smoking (mostly a provincial issue) in “public places”. You’re on the right track in your answer because you’re trying to look at libertarian principles. The fact is that libertarianism says that a person owns their own body and they have the right to put whatever they want into it. Also a person owns their own property and they have the right to set the rules for what goes on in their own property as long as the people on the premises are not defrauded. In the Charter, it even mentions “freedom of association”.
“Harm” is not decided by the government – it’s from the point of view of the person affected. Smoking is something to be decided by a group of people whether they want to accept it or not. For one person, smoking is what they want to do with others, and even non-smokers may accept smoke from others. If they reject it, it’s still an issue of what the property owner decides is allowed on his or her property. And the person doesn’t have to be there – he can try asking the other people to not smoke or complain to the property owner, or if it’s a waitress, she can say “I don’t want to work here.” And this may influence the owner, but it doesn’t force the owner to change what is allowed on his property. If he was holding a person there against their will and forcing them to breathe smoke, then that’s a violation of their rights.
This is the nature of individual rights, which include self-ownership and property rights. And this is why things used to be different. People used to respect these types of boundaries, but now they want the government to legislate.
The catch is this word “public property”. If a government controls actual public property, ok, it’s up to the voters or the government to decide the rules. Smoking still might be something people would decide to tolerate however, so even in this case it could be very well a major intrusion on peoples’ freedom if they’re smoking with others who accept it. Can you imagine them banning smoking outdoors ?
But the most important case is where governments are using this term “public” or “public spaces” to refer to businesses, bars, restaurants and even private clubs in Ontario! All of these things are private property. It’s just that the government a long time ago started treating them in a special way. They’re not “public” actually. They’re private. It’s just that governments are robbing the owners of their rights.
Libertarians look at environmental issues the same way.
Authorized by the Official Agent for the Alan Mercer Campaign