Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Freedom Party to run candidates in Ontario by-elections

Many anarchist libertarians claim it immoral to vote or to engage in political action–the argument being that by participating in this way in State activity, the libertarian places his moral imprimatur upon the State apparatus itself. But a moral decision must be a free decision, and the State has placed individuals in society in an unfree environment, in a general matrix of coercion. The State—unfortunately—exists, and people must necessarily begin with this matrix to try to remedy their condition. As Lysander Spooner pointed out, in an environment of State coercion, voting does not imply voluntary consent. Indeed, if the State allows us a periodic choice of rulers, limited though that choice may be, it surely cannot be considered immoral to make use of that limited choice to try to reduce or get rid of State power.

Murray Rothbard - Chapter 24, The Ethics of Liberty
There are three by-elections coming up in Ontario to replace three provincial MPP's, two successful, who gave up their seats to run federally. Both the Toronto Star and the London Free Press report on the upcoming elections. Conspicuously absent from the articles in question is mention of the Freedom Party, who are running candidates in all three ridings. In the riding of Whitby-Ajax, the leader of the Freedom Party, Paul McKeever, is running. Also confirmed is Franz Cauchi, who will be running in the Toronto-Danforth riding, recently vacated by MPP Marilyn Churley. The Freedom Party will also be running a candidate in the riding of Nepean-Carleton.

Rather than focus on actual policies and how they will effect the breadline, the "mainstream" parties blame the other guy and blissfully spend your money as they promise to wish the problems away. Pravda reports:
Ontario Liberal party president Deb Matthews said the government's candidates will promote a "strong message of continued progress and strong results" on shorter hospital wait times, smaller class sizes and safer streets.

But opposition party leaders hope the byelections will be a referendum on Premier Dalton McGuinty's government.

"There's a litany of broken promises," said Conservative Leader John Tory, specifically noting the health premium McGuinty imposed despite a 2003 campaign promise not to raise taxes.

"We will be taking those issues to the people and making sure Mr. McGuinty's held accountable."

New Democrat Leader Howard Hampton said voters will be able to judge McGuinty on provincial downloading to Toronto, Ottawa and other cities, as well as what he considers to be a failed electricity strategy, which could lead to more expensive nuclear power plants.

"People don't want to see more Liberal apologists who . . . make excuses every time the McGuinty government breaks a promise," Hampton said.
The Freedom Party is the first and so far the only party to release their platform for the 2007 election. They are also the only party actively working to reduce rather than to increase the power of the state.

Some key components of the Freedom Party of Ontario's platform:

* SCRAP ONTARIO’S INCOME TAX
There are many ways for a government to raise revenue. For numerous reasons, the taxation of income is among the worst. An income tax functions as a punishment for doing good: a fine for working and earning. Ontario’s income tax is even worse: in Ontario, when you earn more, you are required to pay a higher percentage of your earnings to the government. It is a tax that punishes you for increasing your productivity and growing the economy. That is not only wrong: it is also bad economics.
* LEGALIZE BETTER HEALTH CARE
The Liberal, Progressive Conservative and NDP parties say that it is morally wrong for you to get faster or better treatment by spending your own earnings. They imply that if the poor are going to suffer or die, it is morally right that everyone suffer or die to the same extent.

Freedom Party takes the opposite view. It is not right for the government to prolong your suffering and subject you to delays that may put your life at risk. It is not right for the government to prevent you from spending your own money on your own health. It is cruel and wrong!
* IMPROVE EDUCATION
By imposing high taxation, the government forces you to pay tuition to public schools even if your child does not attend one. This is a “double tuition penalty”, because you are required to pay one tuition (in the form of taxes) for public education, and another if you enrol your child in a private school. In effect, the double-tuition penalty causes educational segregation: private schools for the very well off, and public schools for everyone else. Only the very wealthy can afford to pay two tuitions per child without undergoing financial hardship.

The double tuition penalty also harms the quality of public education. If a public school allows violence to escalate, you cannot stop paying it. If a public school allows drug use to overtake the school and threaten your child’s future, you are powerless to stop paying the school. If a public school operates with no text books and a miniscule photocopy budget, the school will continue to operate, even if nobody is learning much. A public school can avoid teaching facts altogether, or fail to teach your child how to learn: no matter what the public school teaches, and no matter what it fails to teach, you pay. The public education system has no real incentive to improve: it gets paid and stays in business no matter how poorly it educates your child.
* IMPROVE THE SUPPLY OF ELECTRICITY
Ontario is facing an electricity crisis caused by decades of Progressive Conservative, Liberal, and NDP meddling in the electricity sector of Ontario’s economy. To win votes and avoid being kicked out of office, all three parties have made politically-motivated investment decisions and have “fixed” the price of electricity at a price lower than the cost of generating and delivering it. When in government, they have all borrowed billions of dollars to make up for the short-fall. By “fixing” prices, all three parties have scared away private investment in power generation stations: companies that build and operate power generation plants are afraid that, after investing billions of dollars, the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals or NDP will force prices so low that they will not be able to get a return on their investment.

[..] We will end the Progressive Conservative/Liberal/NDP system of price-fixing so that individuals will pay for the electricity they consume, and only for the electricity that they consume.

[..] We will end the Progressive Conservative/Liberal/NDP system of price-fixing so that individuals will pay for the electricity they consume, and only for the electricity that they consume.
* RESTORE FAIR AUTO INSURANCE
In 1989, the Liberals brought in the “no-fault” system. Under no-fault, a driver who is not at fault for an accident is penalized for the damage caused by the at-fault driver. For example, if you leave your car properly parked in a parking lot and go shopping, you are considered partially at-fault if someone carelessly hits your car. And, if you make a claim, there is an increased likelihood that your premiums will be increased.

Even worse: under the no-fault system, an injured person receives less compensation than she would have were she allowed simply to sue the at-fault driver. For example between 1990 and 1994 (the first four years of no-fault), benefits under no-fault were reduced by 47.7% on average.

Although drivers are getting less compensation, they are not paying less: instead, insurers are reaping higher profits.
* SCRAP PROPERTY TAXES
Have you earned money to purchase a home in Ontario? If so, you paid income-tax on those earnings before you used some of what was left to pay for the house. Yet, an Ontario home buyer who has paid off his mortgage is not the real owner of his house in any practical sense, even though his name is on the deed. The reason? If he does not continue to pay the property tax year after year, the government will evict him and sell the house. In other words, property taxes turn the government into the home owner’s landlord, and they force the home-owner to pay rent (in the form of property taxes) to keep the house he has already paid for with after-tax dollars.
* BUDGETTING BETTER HEALTH CARE AND EDUCATION
According to the 2005 provincial budget, the cost of just two government programs - public health insurance and public education - is expected to represent 54% of total provincial expenditures in 2005-2006: 44.9 billion dollars. Because the purchase of public health insurance and public education is currently mandatory, that $44.9B is collected by way of taxes. In fact, that $44.9B is equal to approximately 78% of total tax revenues.

With a McKeever government, the purchase of public health insurance (see page 3) and public education (see page 5) will no longer be mandatory: you will be able to choose private alternatives instead, if you want to do so. This will involve a welcome change in how you pay for those services. The government will stop taxing that $44.9B out of Ontarians’ earnings: that money will be left in Ontarians’ pockets. The financial concerns of those in demonstrable need will be addressed with explicit and accountable financial assistance rather than by using education and health care as means for unaccountable redistribution of earnings.

3 comments:

Honey Pot said...

I know a few of those Freedom party fellows. I like that Bob Metz guy, pretty bright, even though I don't agree with much of what he says. Jack Plante still kicking around?

You know they don't got a chance in hell of winning a seat, but you got to give them a big E for effort.

Pietr said...

I see that Torstar is waffling on about regulation of the railways with the ancient(and fake) profits/safety dichotomy.
They will no doubt claim that the railways need to be governed with a rod of iron by a public corpse-sorry, body;actually, all the wind could be taken out of that sail if a law was passed which simply made the rail companies responsible for harm caused.
If they polluted, therefore, their profits would be hit by the costs of the cleanup.
Safety would soon improve, but there would not be a Gravy Specials coming down the tracks.

The Brigadier, Red Ensign Brigade said...

Aha! I thought I'd seen a Freedom Party sign on my travels in Whitby the other day . . . thanks for the confirmation.