Monday, April 09, 2007

More on Nicholls

Below this post is my take on the recent firing of Gerry Nicholls. I don't like it, and I've said so. I also don't like the NCC claiming that Gerry "decided" to go his own way and, when pushed by the Toronto Star, said that Gerry and the NCC will go their separate ways. They should have said that they were making Gerry go his own way from the start, not try to paint this as some sort of mutual decision or, worse, a decision by Gerry himself.

But Gerry is refusing to let the NCC's decision slow him down. I watched him on Mike Duffy, and I just now found out that he was on the radio earlier today (too late for me to listen in). Yesterday, meanwhile, Gerry opined in the Toronto Star on what the Liberals should do to move up in the polls. What's that advice? Check it out:

"To regain their status as the "Natural Governing Party," the Liberals must become less like 21st-century liberals and more like 19th-century liberals.

What does that mean?

Well as any historian will tell you, 19th-century liberals stood for free trade, minimal government, and individual freedom.

Somewhere in the 20th century, however, liberalism got mixed up with socialism ultimately resulting in ... well, in Pierre Trudeau.

Also in the 20th century, anyone opposing big government, the encroaching welfare state and high taxes became known as "fiscal conservatives."

And here in Canada, these fiscal conservatives have never really had a political voice."

Yup, that is what they should do. And they should take Gerry's advice, and become a "Liberal" party like, say, the Australian Liberal Party. Socially liberal, fiscally conservative, or, more to the point, classically liberal (honest-to-goodness liberal, that is) or libertarian lite.

There is no doubt in my mind that moving in a libertarian direction on fiscal and social matters together would be consistent with what a very significant proportion of Canadians would most want anyways. That means legalizing pot, supporting gay marriage (or removing the government from being involved in the whole marriage business), cutting taxes (a lot), eliminating regulations, and slashing bureaucracy. That's a strong brew. A delicious brew. A great brew, like Maudite. Yum!

But this post isn't about why Gerry is right to advise the Liberal Party the
way he does. This is good advice for all political parties (although the Liberals and Conservatives might have the best historic reasons to move in a direction like this). It's about Gerry staying active.

So I have an exciting announcement to make, which I'll make again a month or two from now. The day I heard Gerry was no longer working with the NCC, I thought it would be good to ask Gerry to come to the Liberty Summer Seminar and give a talk to all the kids about liberty (the specific topic will be decided soon). And he agreed.

Gerry has spoken at the LSS before, in 2005 in fact. You can listen to his talk here (MP3), where he discusses the election gag law and the NCC's opposition to it. He calls the LSS an "incredible event" and gives a great talk. It's really worth listening to. It is interesting to hear the sincerity in his voice when he talks about the mission and function of the National Citizens Coalition.

Of course, we will roll out more speakers soon. You can let us know you're coming on our Facebook site, and, soon, we will have registration up on our regular old Institute for Liberal Studies website. (But do sign up via Facebook. It's nice to see all of those faces on there of people who plan on coming out).

(Yes, Gerry will get the Peter M. Jaworski "Medal" of Freedom (TM) at the LSS this year. That's a photo opportunity if ever there was one!)


Anonymous Hoodwinked said...

Peter said: "I thought it would be good to ask Gerry to come to the Liberty Summer Seminar and give a talk to all the kids about liberty..."

Gee whiz, Peter, you've got me blushing...haven't been called a "kid" in decades! Sure hope we can attend the LSS this year - it has been way too long - don't have access to a tent-trailer any longer, so maybe our seniors contingency (of hopefully 4 camping wimps preferring creature comforts overnight) will have to share a nearby motel room, eh? Would love to hear from you, btw! J & K

7:36 a.m.  

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