Friday, May 6, 2011

Election Day Autopsy Part 3 - A hidden agenda suggestion

There in the chart you see the preliminary results of Monday's election (click to enlarge). The Libertarian Party had candidates in only 23 of 308 ridings across the country. If the Libertarian vote count in the chart were projected for the all 308 ridings, it would amount to about 0.5% of voters, about the same as I achieved in Markham-Unionville. Among so-called minor parties we did well, especially compared to the Marxist-Leninist/Communist Parties with a total of 93 candidates but only twice our vote count.
Most of the polls in this election got the party order of finish correct (first to fourth) but they really missed on the important outcome. Gerry Nicholls, who calls himself one of the top five political minds in Canada, actually made some fairly accurate predictions, including the timing, the Harper majority, and the Liberal Party's demise (he thinks they are done for good).
Advance polls in this election were busy, giving the Statist media (CBC etc.) hope that a major change like a Harper defeat was imminent. No such luck, polls are run by fairly inexperienced temporary employees so it doesn't take much incompetence to create a long lineup and the illusion of a crowd. The actual voter turnout (61.4% of eligible voters) is not significantly different from 2008 (59.1%), and my theory that BIG government causes small turnouts still holds.
Of course the most important thing that happened in this election was the Harper majority. It has been a while since a majority government  (Chretien 2003)  ran the country, one that does not have to pander to the other parties. Mr. Harper has a Master's degree in Economics, he is not a fan of J. M. Keynes, at least that was the conclusion in his 1991 Master's thesis:
So we can hope that Mr. Harper, now unleashed with a majority, will actually encourage free markets in Canada. We can hope. 
The National Post in their editorial May 4th outlined what should be on Harper's agenda, I think it represents a good start for a freer Canada. Here it is in italics with my added commentary:

1. Balance the books within three years. Good, but don't stop at that, phase out entire government departments and portfolios as well.

2. Enact income splitting. Yes, it cuts taxes for families but also revenue for government, so see #1.

3. Offer all Canadians full freedom of choice in health care. Starting immediately, the government should suspend the application of the Canada Health Act for the duration of its mandate, to allow provinces freedom to experiment with alternate financing and delivery models, including private insurance and hospitals. Excellent, and allow universities to open up medical schools to more students, and encourage competing medical licensing organizations like the OMA or CMA.  

4. Pass new crime legislation - but strike a better balance between punishment and the protection of society. Certain provisions, such as those prohibiting prisoner contact with visitors, for example, serve no discernible purpose and come across as merely mean-spirited; they should be scrapped. Likewise, mandatory minimum sentences for Canadians who own a few marijuana plants (a substance that should be legal anyway) make no sense. Moreover, the law should be reformed to ensure that Canadians engaged in legitimate acts of self-defence are not treated like criminals by our justice system. Rather than just this, move to decriminalize marijuana altogether, and look for ways to provide restitution for victims of crime possibly instead of incarceration for non-violent criminals.

5. Abolish the gun registry (finally). Good start in first mandate.

6. Increase funding to the Canadian Armed Forces and veterans. If Canada is to play a serious role on the international stage, assert our sovereignty in the Arctic, and take care of our veterans after they have served their country. I disagree, maintain or reduce funding and remove our troops from their role on the international stage, period. But take care of the veterans that have suffered in those ill-advised international adventures.

7. Stop distorting internal markets through corporate welfare, regional handouts and protectionism. In this category, we would also put the Canadian Wheat Board, which should be put out of its misery at the earliest possible opportunity. Good start for the first mandate.

8. Reform the Senate to make it equal, elected and effective - and subject to term limits. A worthy goal.

9. Scrap political-party welfare, otherwise known as the public per-vote subsidy. While Quebec voters have mercifully defunded the Bloc Québécois on their own, by slashing their support and the dollars that accompany it, the government should now make good on its pledge to cut the cord for all parties. Absolutely.

10. Reinstate a culture of openness, transparency and accountability on Parliament Hill. Now that the Conservatives have a majority, there is no excuse (not that there ever was) for the paranoia, secrecy, rule-bending, shirking of due process and committee bullying that rightly has become the subject of opposition ire in recent years. I would also like to see constraints put on lobbying, but done in a such a way that political benefits cannot be given to companies (see # 7 above) and regions of the country (like Quebec) with the goal to eliminate government influence from economic issues eventually.

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