google-site-verification: google2cfa6877cbf464e2.html The Grand Theory of Libertarianism: October 2015

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Federal Election Day In Canada

What will happen?

Tomorrow is election day in Canada.  It seems likely based on the polls that we will end up with a Liberal minority government.  The only other possibility would be a Conservative minority if enough people have a change of heart.

Does it make any difference?

Yes.  It does.  Assuming that most readers have read the finer points of the various party positions, it comes down to Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair promising balanced budgets and Justin Trudeau wanting to stimulate the economy with infrastructure spending.  Balanced budgets or deficits?  Which do you want?

As a Libertarian I want less government interference in my life which almost by definition means less spending.  This would actually make me favour Harper and Mulcair over Trudeau.  If I actually trusted the NDP balance a budget I might vote for them because they also want to get out of the wars in the middle east which to me a are a waste of life and money.  The only thing we have done in the middle East since the first Gulf War is to help destabilize the region.  This seems especially clear after we supported democracy movements during the Arab Spring which has given us some very clear examples of the "tyranny of the majority".  But getting back to the Canadian election, if I am choosing between the "big three", I still choose Harper because philosophically he wants to leave more money in my pocket.  Where I fear the Conservatives almost as much as the others is in the case of an economic melt down (which I feel is inevitable) where I would expect them to behave just as they did in 2008.  Major bail outs of banks and car companies where I feel that the best thing now would be to say "No!".  Never again.  Then the banks and car companies would be forced to act responsibly and prepare for a worst case scenario.

The Libertarian Perspective.

From my perspective there will be very little difference in terms of tax levels and personal freedom no matter what happens tomorrow.  To me the problem remains in Canada and all Western democracies for that matter, one of  coercion.  I am forced, by the majority, to pay for all kinds of things, by the majority.   A minor technicality is that there is almost never a true majority with our "first-past-the-post" electoral system in Canada (a majority of seats in the house of commons can be obtained with as little as 37 - 40% of the popular vote).  All the services that I now receive from the Federal Government would be better provided privately with lower costs and more innovation, not to mention that if I didn't want a service myself I wouldn't have to pay for someone else to have it.

To Vote or Not to Vote.

Tomorrow I will vote Libertarian even though some might say it is a wasted vote.  But for me it is a relatively new experience to not vote Conservative.  It makes me feel a little giddy because it feels so radical and anti-establishment!

Another alternative for me is to not vote at all.  This may in fact be the more philosophically and ethically consistent position.  Is it not implying a certain amount of consent to participate in a system that I feel is fundamentally immoral?  But I do not consent!  Democratic forms of government force people to do all kinds of things they would never do otherwise.  In a libertarian system, contracts and daily business would be entered by on a voluntary bases the way they mostly are now, but without the phantom menace lurking in the background.  The government nose in almost every business transaction through some form of taxation or regulation.

To vote or not to vote?  For the fist time I feel like not voting is a respectable option but old habits die hard!