Not Left and Not Right
Question: Am I more right or more left?
Conclusion: How Canadian, eh?
I suggested two weeks ago that we look at the characteristics of left and right then continue the discussion in the coming weeks and in light of the up-coming election. Last week I discussed the difference between constituency (the voters) and constituency (the masters). I said that the differences among the major parties in the developed world are not obvious – on purpose. I said that the successful party will have figured out where the voters are.
Where are we? In my opinion, most of the Canadian electorate is in the middle. If you want my vote – if you want our votes – you will have to slice and dice within a narrow range. The result could go either way and, often, it does. Sure, if you sit at the left of the spectrum then everything else looks like it’s on the right and if you sit at the right of the spectrum then everything else looks like it’s on the left. In Canada, these terms are relative and not absolute.
To truly understand, read what follows in conjunction with the left-right post of two weeks ago.
I look to the past to not repeat mistakes and look to the future to prepare myself. I am egalitarian in the sense that I believe all must be treated equally but that includes the recognition of merit – you don’t get selected or promoted for any other reason than you have earned it. Same for vendors, retailers, and service companies – you need to earn my repeat business. I believe that life is not fair if there is a different set of rules for different groups of people – one set of rules for all.
I am pro free trade. Fair trade generates too many regulations with too many unintended consequences. I support employers who take care of their workers.
I value personal freedom. While ethics are a guide, I encourage morality. It’s just one more way in which I believe government should get out of the lives of people who are not criminal. I believe that parents have a responsibility to parent their children and our educational institutions have a responsibility to educate. If both are done well, we will have fulfilled, self-reliant adults.
Within the context of a level playing field (equality), everyone has the opportunity to succeed or to fail (freedom). I support positive role models and those who help themselves.
My government will not tax and spend. My government will return balanced budgets. My government will be the best ally of friends and the worst enemy of foes. My government will be small and unobtrusive and helpful. My government will stay out of my shorts.
I support diplomacy until it fails and for that eventuality I believe that a strong military is mandatory – including a significantly increased and dispersed reserve like the militia that we once had. I support national service that is a combination of the Dutch and Swiss models.
To whom do we give our vote? Each of us has to find a party or a candidate for whom to vote. We are mostly ‘centrists’ and therefore so are the choices offered to us. How does this work in context?
It means that the differences among and between parties are subtle, hard to generalize, and unlikely to satisfy. It means that we can change from party to party from election to election. It means that we can vote in and vote out in a wholesale fashion.
I am committed to voting my conscience and I seek a worthy candidate. Appeal to me not just by what you say but – most importantly – by what you do. I’m still looking.