FILDEBRANDT: In the face of tyranny, freedom demands our challenge

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This editorial was co-authored by the Western Standard Editorial Board

Most old mainstream newspapers make a big show of official approval by their editorial board of a candidate or party before election day.

We think it’s doubtful that anyone who cares very much about what an anonymous group of columnists, editors, and editors is telling people how to vote, then we’ll spare you morality. The Western standard does not endorse any leader, party or candidate for this election, although the members of our editorial board certainly have their personal favorites.

Instead, we encourage Western standard readers to vote according to their conscience. It can mean very different things even to like-minded people in an election like this.

So let’s go over the options.

Conservatives

First, none of the major parties deserve the unconditional support of the West. The Conservative Party of Canada has long taken for granted the support of Westerners – particularly in the interior of British Columbia, most of Alberta and Saskatchewan and rural Manitoba – for granted. Without real competition for Western votes, the Conservatives have had little incentive to do anything but pretend to voice their concerns.

This has never been clearer than in this election, where Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rejected the conservative articles of faith of many Westerners in her crusade for Eastern votes. Westerners overwhelmingly oppose a carbon tax, but O’Toole is campaigning for a tax that is in many ways worse than Justin Trudeau’s. It was also a grossly dishonest move after he made a written pledge to scrap the carbon tax – period, no wiggle room – when he ran for Conservative leadership.

O’Toole also did an about-face on another key Conservative and pro-West policy: the removal of Trudeau’s illogical gun seizure. Trying to have both in one of three French debates, O’Toole muddied the lines of his own otherwise reasonable and moderate gun policy, forcing him to adopt the Trudeau policy days later. . The controversy was on his own initiative. But when real leaders are confronted with controversy, they tackle it head on.

Strategic voting

Yet we can well understand that for many voters the priority is to reject Justin Trudeau, no matter how weak his main opponent is. This is the “lesser evils” argument, and it should not be dismissed out of hand. Trudeau has been openly hostile to the West, and it is in the obvious interest of the West to see him step down quickly. The easiest way to do this would be to vote Conservative, because it is the party with the most chances of defeating it in Canada’s century-old “first past the post” electoral system.

People’s Party

The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) impressed even the most skeptical observers in this election. They have fallen from around 2% in the polls at the start of the campaign to 11% in some recent polls. They continued to see their momentum grow despite their leader Maxime Bernier being unfairly excluded from all leaders’ debates.

The PPC still has a few rough edges to sand down before it’s ready for prime time, but they’ve – better than any other party so far – understood that blockages, forced masking, and vaccine passports are a big deal. serious threat to freedom. They were not afraid to take a strong stand in opposition based on the principles of respect, accountability, fairness and freedom to the rapidly pervasive authoritarianism embraced by all major parties and provincial governments. This is not only good policy, but turned out to be good policy as Canadians from all political backgrounds flocked to Bernier’s rallies to voice their dissent.

But we have to be realistic about the odds of PPC. They will not form the government, and Bernier will not be Prime Minister on September 21. Bernier himself has a reasonable chance of reclaiming his seat in Beauce, Quebec, but party support is unlikely to be concentrated enough to elect more than a handful of seats elsewhere.

But that doesn’t make the PPC not worth voting for. Sending a single PPC MP to Ottawa would give voice to millions of Westerners and other Canadians who currently do not have one. Even though good Conservative MPs are muzzled from speaking freely and forcefully, there must be someone in Ottawa who speaks unabashedly for freedom.

Maverick party

The Maverick Party is an idea whose time has come. Westerners have not had a clear and distinct voice in Ottawa for their interests since the Canadian Alliance / Reform Party merged with the Progressive Conservatives in 2003. This union ended Paul Martin’s Liberal government in 2006, but inevitably saw the Center and the East Canadian interests most often trump Western interests when they are in conflict. In order to win seats in the East, the CPC abandoned most of the Reform Party’s major programs, such as a triple E (equal, elected and efficient) Senate.

The Maverick Party was born out of the WEXIT movement, which caught fire in the days immediately following Justin Trudeau’s re-election in 2019. WEXIT received a huge boost in recruiting former Conservative minister Jay Hill as leader by interim. Hill brought discipline and credibility to the party as it moved from WEXIT to Maverick.

Their “two-pronged” agenda of attempting to reform Confederation within Canada before considering a push for formal independence may be a bit light for some in the West who are fed up with Ottawa, but it is an idea that should have wide appeal if marketed effectively. Anyone who looks at the platform given to Quebec when the leader of the Bloc even participates in debates in English should be jealous of the voice given to this province. It would serve the West well to have a similar voice in Parliament.

Liberals, NDP, Greens

If you are a regular Western standard reader, there is very little chance that you will consider voting Liberal, NDP, or Green. And for good reason. These three parties make little effort to conceal their hostility towards most of the people living between Vancouver Island and Kenora. So, for the sake of brevity, we’ll just ignore them.

Splitting of votes

As any non-conservative right-wing candidate knows, voters at the gates are worried about the “tie-up”. In other words, by voting for the candidate you most want to support, you risk electing the candidate you are most opposed to.

It is a real phenomenon, but only under certain circumstances. When two or more parties share most of the same policies and principles, a “split vote” can indeed occur. But where these parties have real differences beyond the color of their lawn signs, there is no “vote sharing”.

On many issues – carbon taxes, equalization, gun rights, deficits, corporate welfare, lockdowns, vaccine passports – the Conservatives now have much more in common with the Liberals than with the PPC or the non-conformists.

If the only goal – and we mean the only one – is to defeat Justin Trudeau the man, then voting Conservative is the best option. But if his goal is broader – like defeating Justin Trudeau’s policies and agenda – then Westerners shouldn’t fear a “vote split”.

In fact, in most ridings in the interior of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and rural Manitoba, even a “split” is very unlikely to elect a candidate of left. In most of these ridings, the worst-case scenario would simply be a Tory reelected with a smaller margin of victory, but sent back to Ottawa fearing for his job if he flatters the East and the statists too much. This is not a bad thing.

For their part, the Mavericks themselves have imposed a policy of not running in constituencies where they could “share the votes”. While we appreciate that they never want to see a Liberal or NDP elected in the West, we believe that this undermines their mission to establish themselves as a clear Western alternative. No party is entitled to anyone’s vote, and the Conservatives should not be granted the laissez-passer as the West’s default party, in any constituency. If the Conservatives want Western votes, they should be working for them.

Neither PPC nor Mavericks will form the government in this election; but even if the PPC or the Mavericks elected only a small handful of MPs, their votes would likely outweigh their weight; just think of how the small Green Party caucus has managed to put extreme global warming policies on the national agenda to the point where even the Conservatives have embraced the main supporters of their faith. A handful of PPC or Maverick MPs would also be able to put issues on the agenda that larger parties would find it hard to ignore.

Vote your conscience

If you’ve read this far, we hope you are thinking carefully about where to vote. It is not an easy decision this time around for many.

Our recommendation to Western standard readers, it’s simple: vote for the candidate who best reflects your values ​​and priorities.

If your values ​​match those of Erin O’Toole, his platform, and his candidate in your riding, vote Conservative. Ottawa needs less Justin Trudeau. But we urge you not to vote for them just because you might think someone is eligible to vote. Give it to them if you think they deserve it.

If your values ​​match those of Maxime Bernier, his platform and his candidate in your riding, vote PPC. Ottawa needs a voice for freedom that is not afraid of being insulted by the media and left-wing parties. But we urge you not to vote for them just because you are angry with Erin O’Toole and Justin Trudeau. Give it to them if you think they deserve it.

If your values ​​match those of Jay Hill, his platform, and his candidate in your riding, vote Maverick. Ottawa needs a voice for the West that does not bother to seek votes in the East. But we urge you not to vote for them just because you might think you have no options left.

And if you don’t feel sufficiently informed about the options – and don’t plan to be – then please don’t vote. This could be contrary to the doctrine of civil religion that “voting as a sacred act”, but voting without real research serves no one, including yourself.

Whichever way you choose to vote on September 20, make sure it’s an informed, principled, and well-thought-out choice.

This editorial was co-authored by the Western Standard Editorial Board


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