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June 30, 2015

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monkey

The symbolism of the confederate flag is racist so I believe it is the right idea to remove it. While not quite as extreme, it is somewhat like Bavaria flying the swastika so best to take it down. As for this about caving into the left, I think taking such tactic helps them. If you want to beat the left you have to be strategic and by going too far to the other extreme you push those on the fence over to their side. Rather the proper solution is be more moderate but still distinct and it will make the left look ridiculous.

Finally Canada is and always has been a lot more left wing than the US so I wouldn't worry too much about the US swinging sharply to the left, it will happen here long before it does in the US. If you look at the raw vote percentage that vote for parties on the right in Canada despite generally be more centrists, we are like one of the bluest states not a swing state. Off course the US is also quite a bit more conservative than most industrialized countries and there does seem to be a pattern in both Europe and North America that people in colder climates are more collectivists while more individualistic in warmer climates

Autoguy

"When in death ground, fight."
Sun Tzu

When fighting to the death, being reasonable is the same thing as giving up. Don't doubt that we are fighting to the death here.

Ted Zaharchuk

Drip, drip, drip; the anarchists in our society will continue to wear away our freedoms. They will employ social guilt, legal mechanisms and manipulate our children against us. There is no stopping liberal mania. We will become a third world country, where there is no rule of law, only "feel good" actions, like bread and circuses for the masses.

monkey

Autoguy - The problem with your argument at least in Canada is most Canadians despise the right wing and nothing is going to change that easily. If you want to move the country to the right you have to do it incrementally.

WiseGuy

Monkey- Why do you have a hate on for conservatives?
I think the success of Rob Ford should have dispelled your notion that Canadians hate all conservatives. His example is a proof of the Cincinnatus' theory that the strong man gets the popular vote regardless of his politics. Ford is the strong alpha male in any contest, and he was on the road to victory in spite of his major crack scandal. Who would need more proof?

monkey

WiseGuy - I don't hate Conservatives, but I do think most Canadians dislike ideological groups on both sides but especially the right. Rob Ford won in 2010 as a backlash against David Miller, but would have lost had he stayed on although mostly due to his sideshow. I am not so sure necessarily people want an alpha male, if anything it seems female politicians have done well.

Besides there are many examples in Canada where ideological right wing parties have done poorly. In the last Ontario election, the Liberals were ripe for being defeated yet Hudak ran on an ideological right wing platform and had the third worst showing post WWII for the PCs. In Alberta, the Wildrose lost twice and this is in the supposedly most Conservative province in Canada. Likewise in the 90s the Reform/Alliance never went much beyond the low 20s and few had them as a second choice. Harper only finally got a majority by being fairly moderate when in a minority situation. And despite having not done anything too extreme, the chances of him winning another majority are pretty slim as they appeal to too narrow a group.

I am a former Progressive Conservative, so not on the left, but also a realist and realize Canada is a centre-left country and you cannot win if your policies are off side with the overwhelming majority of people.

WiseGuy

Monkey- You seem to have missed the point of my post. It isn't the ideology that matters. It is the strength of the candidate. Hudak lost because he was too weak a candidate. Same problem with the Wild Rose. Harper is a successful moderate, true, and it may be that reason why he is in trouble now. As to Rob Ford, we will never know if he would have won, but you have to admit that most candidates facing the sort of scandal he did would not have even been in the race, let alone be a serious contender.
Just because you want to follow the main stream media propaganda like many of the sheep in the population doesn't mean there isn't a way to overcome that propaganda.

Autoguy

Monkey, I agree with the incrementalist approach. I applaud Harper in his astute use of the incrementalist approach. However, we are not politicians, and we are the ones who should be doing the fighting in our everyday lives. Screw polite conversation, the left ignores that tenet anyways, so we should as well.
So when we hear about this kind of stuff, we need to fight tooth and nail. DO NOT let the left define and frame the debate.

monkey

WiseGuy - Hudak lost mainly due to his promise of firing 100,000 civil servants. When you consider there are 1.3 million civil servants in Ontario and they all have family and friends, you don't win votes by putting people's jobs in jeopardy. People rarely vote for something that is painful if they don't see any long term benefit. Had Hudak showed the long term dangers of the deficit and why the Liberal plan didn't add up and simply promised to review each program and only cut the one's that are no longer needed he would have not faced this problem. As for Wildrose that is true in 2015, but not 2012. Their social conservative outbursts scared many as most people are tolerant and don't like intolerant types in government. As for Rob Ford if you look at the wards he won, I can easily explain his brother's success. Scarborough voted for him as they wanted the subway while Northern Etobicoke because he actually shows up at community events doesn't ignore the areas. Those areas voted heavily for Wynne and in fact the wards Harper won in 2011 went for John Tory.

Harper is not in trouble now because he is a moderate, quite the contrary. Canadians only support a strong swing to the right if there is a good reason and there isn't now. He is in trouble for three reasons.

1. He has been in power for 9 years and like any leader developed some baggage and the desire for change has grown.

2. His vindictive attitude towards those who don't support him as a huge turnoff

3. Most feel he panders too much to his base and is ignoring the big issues of the day.

Autoguy - I support an incrementalist approach as you don't win over supporters by taking a hardline. Most Canadians are fairly middle of the road and don't respond well to ideological tirades. Most people don't think about whether a policy is left wing or right wing, they think about is it best for them and best for the country. I also am a moderate as I don't think governing blindly by ideology is a good idea. We should look at what works and what doesn't and go from them. I only lean right in the sense if evidence is mixed I will favour ideas on the right, but if evidence overwhelmingly supports a certain policy I will support that.

Finally most people are moderates and want balance. A case in point, most don't support shutting down the oilsands like some on the left want, but most don't support having it completely unregulated like the right wants. The same could be said with taxes. Most realize we need some taxation if we wants roads, schools, hospitals, and other important programs but if too high it can drive away business and stunt economic growth so its about finding the optimal level not taxes are bad or good.

Autoguy

Harper is in trouble due to the unrelenting negative reporting in the media. His overall performance is good to great. I agree with the part about being in power for 9 years.
However, I have a bone to pick with your only lean right statement. Some time ago we had a debate on gun control. The evidence overwhelmingly supports open, responsible gun ownership. You rejected that statement based on personal belief. I'm ok with that, we all do it at times - but own it.

monkey

Autoguy - The media bias is a cop out as most papers have endorsed the Conservatives in recent elections and never mind there are outlets with Conservative viewpoints. If anything the media leaning leftward is more responding to demand rather than creating it, otherwise most want to listen to what their pre-conceived views are and since more Canadians are on the left than right, it's more profitable to have a left of centre view than right of centre.

As for leaning right, yes I am for gun control but so are most politicians on the right outside the US. Margaret Thatcher and John Howard who are both strong Conservatives both supported gun control in their respective countries. It's only in the US where owning a gun is seen as inherent right. While I like all have biases, I also look at the evidence and the fact the US has a murder rate more than double any other highly advanced country (Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand) is pretty strong evidence gun control works. By contrast their property crime rate is about the same as Canada and likewise their murder rate with weapons other than guns is also not much different. For starters the chance of succeeding with a knife murder or any other non-firearm weapon is much lower than a firearm.

Autoguy

OK, I don't want to reprise our previous argument, but I can't let that stand. Other countries have similar laws to the US and similar levels of gun ownership with very low rates of gun violence. THERE IS NO LINK BETWEEN LAWFUL GUN OWNERSHIP AND GUN VIOLENCE. This is fact. Many countries have very restrictive gun laws and relatively high levels of gun violence.
OK - media bias. Really? Are you really saying that there is no bias in the national media? Talk all you want about local coverage, it has no impact on national elections to speak of. Show me the last time a national network supported the Conservatives overall. The media circus around the Duffy trial should tell you everything you need to know. The protection of Trudeau is further evidence.
Your arguments just don't hold water.

monkey

Autoguy - Name me one developed country that has similar gun laws to the US. The answer is the only one that is even somewhat similar is Switzerland and even there one can only own gun after compulsory military service and they are usually kept at the range. Concealed carry weapons are not allowed there. As for those with restrictive gun laws and high murder rates, they are all third world countries so comparing apples to oranges. What you have to do is compare US murder rate to that of Canada, every Western European country, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand and in every single case, the murder rate is substantially higher in the US. So while gun control isn't the only thing, facts show lax gun laws like the US do mean more murders holding all else equal.

As for media bias, last election the vast majority of papers endorsed the Conservatives while national networks still neutral but on the most part try to be fair. The idea of a liberal media bias is just a cop out many on the right use because the public isn't buying their views. Instead of figuring out why their views aren't selling they just blame the media. As for the media attention on the Duffy trial, it was no greater than the sponsorship scandal if not less so reporting on what has happened in the government is not a form of bias. The media should report on what the government does even if it makes them look bad. We are not China or Russia where the media acts as cheerleaders for the government. As for Trudeau initially he got off easy, but recently criticism has gone up never mind every stupid statement he made got reported. The job of the media is to report the facts as they are and let individuals decide for themselves.

Autoguy

Countries with similar gun laws - Switzerland. New Zealand. Finland. Israel.
Are you saying now that lax concealed carry laws lead to gun violence? Where is the logic there? Furthermore, the 'will-carry' revolution dropped violent crime significantly everywhere it was implemented in the U.S. By your logic, the reverse should have happened. So why did violence drop, Monkey? Because lawful gun ownership does not equal gun violence.
Now talking about media bias, your argument it a talking point straight out of the liberal playbook. I don't know about local papers supporting conservatives and I frankly don't care. There is little impact there. But for example, the Toronto Start supported the Wynn Liberals in the last provincial election in the middle of one of the worst scandals in the last 20 years - power plant boondoggle. After the liberals had taken a have province and turned it into a have not province. Where oh where is the reasoning behind that? BIAS. The views of the liberals correspond with the views of the majority of journalists, so those journalists close ranks around the liberals.
I don't believe for a second that Conservative views don't sell. History agrees with me. Harris in Ontario. The rise of the current day Conservatives - from Opposition to minority to majority, they have gotten more successful over the years, not less. The national media is in a panic over this and so ramps up the negative coverage. National columnists like Andrew Coyne are embarrassing to read because week after week they do their best to put a negative spin on Harper, regardless of results.
People that tell Conservatives to soften their message are simply interested in getting them ousted. Your message just doesn't do them any justice. Incrementalism is one thing - your message is going backwards.

Autoguy

http://www.bloggingtories.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?p=104290

Please follow the link and read more about liberal bias in our media.
Actual examples, monkey.

monkey

Autoguy - As for gun laws, see my comments above on Switzerland, while Finland and New Zealand do not allow concealed carry weapons. They don't have a gun registry which we used to have but one can be against the gun registry like myself without going as far as favouring concealed carry weapons. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Finland and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_New_Zealand

Israel does allow concealed carry weapons but only after compulsory military service and you have 100 bullets that can be used during one's entire lifetime. More importantly unlike Canada or the US, Israel is surrounded by hostile states who want to wipe them off the map. Otherwise gun ownership is to defend their territory not protection against common crimes. As for US crime rates falling due to this, Australia's fell even faster after bringing in stricter gun laws http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/opinion/australia-banned-assault-weapons-america-can-too.html?_r=0 and note this is written by John Howard who is a Conservative. In fact if you compare the fall in murder rates in the US compared to other developed countries, they have not fallen faster thus suggesting change in demographics i.e. aging population is the main reason. Likewise if you use control variables most academic studies asides from those from John Lott who is a gun supporter show that while tougher gun laws don't automatically lower murder rates on their own, if everything is held constant it will be less. Finally you suggest we should have it constitutionally entrenched despite the fact the overwhelming majority of Canadians don't want that. Should we ignore the majority of Canadians who to varying degrees support some gun control?

As for media, it's true the Toronto Star endorsed the Liberals last provincial election, but the Globe and Mail as well as National Post endorsed the PCs and in fact relative to how the public voted in appears the proportion of papers who endorsed the Tories was on the high side. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2011 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_general_election,_2014#Endorsements so that hardly sounds anti-Conservative. Yes the Toronto Star definitely tilts to the left, but the National Post tilts to the right while the Globe and Mail is in the centre. As for the topic, in fact there was media reporting on Canada being top ranked. The real problem is many Tories think Sun News is unbiased and anything that shows their party in a bad light is proof of bias when in fact it is the media's job to report what the government does and if it looks bad it is the government (whatever political stripe they are) not the media's fault.

As for Canada being Conservative, as I've mentioned I follow polling and provincial elections quite closely and ever since the Occupy Wall Street in late 2011 started, there has been a very strong shift to the left amongst Canadians as we saw in the last Ontario and Alberta elections. It may very well be a temporary blip but the point is if Conservatives bury their hand in the sands they will pay for it. I don't agree with the message of Occupy Wall Street but I realize most Canadians do and the Conservatives need to do a much better job of countering the arguments on income inequality. As for Mike Harris that was 20 years ago and as one Liberal pointed out to me, the reason the Ontario PCs keep losing is they still behave like it is the 90s. If you want to be successful you must adjust with the times. That doesn't mean being left wing but rather shifting in the direction the median voter is and being roughly the same distance to the right of the median voter. As for Andrew Coyne, he is a small c conservative and is anti-Harper, not anti-Conservative. He has been quite critical of the Wynne government and their big spending.

As for going backwards, I would say holding the line is more what I advocate which is difficult enough to do. Otherwise don't cut government right now, but don't grow it (which most Canadians want) and once public opinion is more favourable to smaller government than cut it. Otherwise don't put the cart before the horse. It's not just those on the left asking the Tories to moderate, I know in my family many who voted for Robert Stanfield, Brian Mulroney, and generally vote Conservative provincially are saying this too so if you are losing people who have voted for centre-right parties in the past you have a problem.

Autoguy

Monkey, we've been around and around on this stuff. If gun ownership equals gun violence, then increased gun ownership should lead to more gun violence, not less. I don't care if other countries saw a greater decline with other actions. You basic premise is refuted by the basic facts. Furthermore, the nature of your argument has morphed; you started with guns are bad and have moved to conceal carry is bad - probably because you couldn't defend the first position. The data on concealed carry in the U.S. is even clearer and you more or less ignore it. Once again, if you believe that gun ownership causes gun violence, or that concealed carry gun ownership causes gun violence, you need to prove your case. Now you say that "the violence went down due to other factors". Do me a favour and check the stats - Florida is a good start - and then come back and tell me that your case of demographic changes holds water. It is illogical in the extreme, the argument of someone who just wants to hold onto their belief in the face of the truth.
Lastly, I am highly sceptical of people who tell me what Canadians want. Strangely enough, they're usually left wing. Anyways, I'm not saying that Canadians are Conservative OR Liberal. Following the cause celebre du jour is a recipe for failure. Canadians want a strong LEADER. Trudeau. Chretien. Mulroney - at least in the beginning. And now Harper.
Softening the brand ISN'T what Canadians want, and it will have the effect of making Harper seem wishy-washy, which will lose him seats quicker than anything else he could do. Your argument benefits the left only. Why? Because, like him or not, Mulcair is a fairly strong leader.
Our arguments about bias - and I do mean both of ours - are based on anecdotal evidence, so I think we agree to disagree here. I will say that the minimal coverage of Jack Layton at a rub and tug is another 'anecdotal' piece of evidence.

monkey

As for gun control, I think the point many gun advocates fail to point out is why the US murder rate is significantly higher than Canada, any country in Western Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand yet their property crime rates and assault rates are similar. Likewise in Britain 95% of murders are with knives, in Canada 70% are with weapons other than in a firearm while in the US 70% are with a firearm and the reality is the chances of surviving a knife attack are much higher than being shot.

As for Canadians on ideology, it's true ideology isn't the only thing that matters but it does in the sense you drift too far from the median voter in either direction you won't win no matter how much people like the person. That is part of the reason the NDP has historically had trouble winning is they are seen as too left wing while the Wildrose in 2012, PCs in Ontario in 2014, and Reform Party in the 90s faced the problem of being too far to the right.

As for media bias I guess its in the eye of the beholder. The rub and tug did get some coverage although ironically overnight polling ironically showed the NDP going up that day suggesting it it didn't really hurt Layton.

Autoguy

Why is the US murder rate higher? Good question. Sociological factors would be my answer, which really means "I don't know". But everywhere law abiding citizens have legally armed themselves, that murder rate has dropped. That actually implies that something is driving a high murder rate that is suppressed by lawful gun ownership. The question is, what is the cause?

Cincinnatus

Hey Monkey:

Read this article:

http://canadiancincinnatus.typepad.com/my_weblog/2013/02/an-idaho-resident-is-glad-that-his-state-doesnt-have-canadian-style-murder-rates.html

It will provide some clues about the driving force of murder rates. I have set out the dots for you but beware. Make sure you are near the fainting couch when you try to connect them.

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