Voting in the 2019 Canadian federal election: A guide for freedom-seeking individualists

September 9, 2019 by  

You’re going to vote in the 2019 federal election. You want a Canada in which you can be you, peacefully, choosing for yourself what to buy, what to like, who to love etc.. You want a Canada in which, if other people want something different than you do: all the power to them. But you want others, likewise, to let you be you. You want the freedom to pursue your own happiness without being punished for achieving it. You want a Canadian government that defends your freedom instead of restricting it. This article is for you.

I am the leader of the Freedom Party of Ontario. Freedom Party is pro-individual-freedom. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for in the coming federal election, because the Freedom Party of Ontario has no alliances with any federal political party, and those who vote for Freedom Party candidates in Ontario’s provincial elections support various federal political parties. So I instead will provide to you the best advice I have about how to decide who to vote for.

1. Don’t forget the differing roles of freedom, democracy, and elections

It’s easy to confuse the natures of freedom, democracy, and elections. Not keeping those differing things clear and distinct can lead to some pretty bad decisions about who to vote for.

Freedom is personal control over your own life, liberty and property. Personal control means that nobody is taking your life, liberty, or property from you without your consent. It is an inescapable fact that, without that personal control, you lack the power to survive and achieve your own happiness. Without freedom, your lot in life is essentially dependent upon the decisions and actions of whoever controls your life, liberty, or property. Personal achievement being impossible without your freedom, the achievement of your own happiness impossible without your freedom.

A government is a number of people who make laws that tell you about how it will use force to prevent anyone from taking your life, liberty, or property without your consent. A number of people who make laws that tell you how they will use force to take your life, liberty, or property without your consent (or how it will assist your neighbour to take your life, liberty, or property without your consent) is not a government but an organized criminal gang.

Democracy is the idea that a government’s powers come from the governed individuals. A government has the power to use force to defend your control over your own life, liberty, and property only because every individual, righteously and virtuously, can use force to defend her own control over her own life, liberty, and property. A government lacks the power to use force to take your neighbour’s property and give it to you because you lack the power to use force in that way. If you use force in that way, you are a criminal, and when a group of individuals do it for you, they are criminals.

Elections are one way in which we try to defend democracy from its tyrannical alternatives. By electing our law-makers, we are demonstrating that the government’s power comes from individuals. We are demonstrating that the government’s power to use force does not extend further than our own righteous and virtuous power to use force. We are rejecting, for example, the idea that the government has unlimited power because its power comes from an omnipotent god (theocracy) or from a king having a “divine right” to do whatever he wants with force (autocracy).

While thinking about who to vote for, remember that you are voting to defend democracy from oppressive alternatives. You are supporting democracy only because it tells the elected and the governed that a government’s uses of force are as limited as your own. Freedom is the goal, democracy serves that goal, and elections help defend democracy from anti-freedom alternatives such as theocracy and autocracy.

2. Understand that we don’t “vote the bums out”

There’s a common misconception that, on election day, you can “vote the bums out” of power. It is a misconception because, as soon as the election starts, the bums are already out of power. The dropping of the electoral writ – which starts the election – dissolves Parliament: there are no Members of Parliament as soon as that election writ drops. There is only a Prime Minister and his cabinet of Ministers until polling day, when people will be elected to be the next crop of Members of Parliament. So, you see, you never vote the bums out. They’re kicked out by the Governor General at the beginning of an election. Your job, as a voter, is not to kick the bums out, but to choose bums to fill those seats in Parliament.

3. Reject “strategic voting

The phrase “strategic voting” refers to voting for one of the two parties believed most likely to form a government because they are believed most likely to form a government.

Usually, strategic voting is done by people who mistakenly think that voting is about “voting the bums out”, or by manipulative partisans in the two “Establishment” (see below) parties who want people to believe that voting is about “voting the bums out”. They ask themselves (and others): “What party stands the greatest chance of knocking the current governing party out of power?”. If their hatred of the party in power is great enough, the stategic voters will vote for just about anyone – socialists, fascists, even Nazis (it’s happened) – who (they hope) will hammer the currently governing party out of power. For that reason, in my circle of politicos, we call such voters “hammer-heads”.

There is another kind of voter that engages in strategic voting: the lesser-of-two-evils voter. This voter never votes for good parties/candidates. He votes for the less hated of the two parties he thinks is most likely to win the election.

To see what’s wrong with strategic voting, imagine a country – say, an imaginary version of Germany – in which the Communist Party is in power, and in which the polls indicate that the National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazis) are running a close second in the polls. Imagine that there is also a pro-freedom party running third in the polls. In that situation, the strategic voter – who would like to throw the bums out – would say “I have to vote for one of the two parties that are polling highest because, otherwise, my vote is a wasted vote”. He would look at the election platforms of the Communists and of the Nazis, and – seeing that the Communists are promising to nationalize his factory, but that the Nazis will only tell him exactly how and when and for whose benefit to use his factory – he would say to himself “For me, the Nazis are the lesser of two evils. I don’t want to throw my vote away on a third party, so I’m voting for my Nazi candidate”. If you think that’s a ridiculous example, read some history books, visit a Holocaust museum, and take a second to reflect on the growing leftist choruses of pro-socialist, anti-Semitic, and racially-collectivist (i.e., racist) sentiments now found daily, in Canadian and American political circles, including the Establishment media.

4. Ignore the polls and the editorials

Key to the trap of strategic voting are political polls and editorials. Without surveys and opinions stating that people are going to vote this way or that, the voter would have no reason to believe that a vote for this party or for that party is a “wasted vote”. The whole purpose of polling and editorials is to corral the general public into viewing an election as a choice between only two parties.

Which two? To understand that, one need merely observe that the polls you read about are typically conducted for news media that are owned by people who are doing quite well; by people who are benefitting from the system being set up the way it is; by people who don’t want that system to change; by the so-called “Establishment”.

Why don’t you ever see pro-change parties like the Freedom Party of Ontario in the poll results? Because the pollsters do not allow those who are polled to indicate that they are voting for such parties. Those who are polled are asked questions like: “Which of the three main parties are you most likely to vote for? Liberal, Conservative, or NDP?”. The reason is: If you give people the option of answering “Freedom Party”, they will learn that Freedom Party – a party for change – exists; they will learn that they can vote for a party other than “the big three”; and, implicitly, they will feel that a vote for Freedom Party is every bit as acceptable and legitimate as a vote for the “big three”. The same is true at the federal level, where you will never be asked, by a pollster, whether you are voting for, say, the Libertarian Party, or the Communist Party, etc..

By ensuring that, at all times, there exist two well-funded, almost-exclusively-written-about parties, neither of which will upset the political applecart, the Establishment convinces the public that a vote for any other party is a “wasted vote”. The voter is left believing that she must choose between two parties, both of which serve only to ensure that there is no serious change to the status quo; between two parties funded, promoted, and serving the interests of The Establishment, to the detriment of everyone else. She is told that an Establishment party (typically, whichever party is currently the opposition party in the House of Commons) is fighting to change the status quo. It isn’t. It never has. It’s all just pretense that is as old as the Family Compact and the Château Clique.

With this two-party belief being constantly reinforced, elections are turned into opportunities to give the little people (i.e., those who are not part of the Establishment) a chance to feel like they run the show; a chance to believe that they have the power to “throw the bums out”. But, even when the governing Establishment party falls in an election, the electoral result is a distinction without a difference. The anti-change Establishment party in the driver’s seat simply switches seats with the anti-change Establishment party in the passenger seat. The voter gets a false sense of revenge, power and change, but the car keeps travelling in the same direction. The Establishment carries on its merry way, its government-imposed privileges, entitlements, protections, and lucrative government contracts intact.

That is why, in almost every election, there is little difference to be found between the election platforms of the two Establishment parties (if they even bother to put one out). Instead, the media – most of which is now owned by only four Establishment companies in Canada (Bell, Rogers, Telus and Shaw) — focus on gaffes (like awkwardly fumbling a football, or calling an opponent a kitten-eater from Mars) and personalities (“How handsome!”, or “He’s a sexist/racist/fascist”, etc.) during an election. The leaders of those parties, then, focus not on promoting changes/policies, but on kissing babies and avoiding gaffes.

If you are basing your voting decision on polls, or on opinions written by the four companies that own most of the TV, radio, and newspaper media organizations, you’re being played. You are being corralled into believing that you must vote for one of the two Establishment parties that are polling highest. You are being corralled into “strategic voting”. You are being corralled into helping ensure that nothing changes; that the winners remain the winners and the losers remain the losers; that the makers remain the makers, and the takers remain the takers.

5. Understand the purpose of the “leaders’ debate”

In every election, a “consortium” of television companies (typically, the pro-Establishment CBC plus some of the aforementioned privately-owned Establishment media companies) get together to televise a debate of the leaders of some political parties. The purpose of the event is not – as some would have you believe – to inform you about the parties’ election platforms. The purpose is to tell you which parties are legitimate and which are not. The central message of the leaders’ debate is: “A vote for any party other than the one’s included in this debate is a wasted vote for a scary, fringy, weird, or simply not-well-known party…but mostly: scary, fringy, and weird, so beware!”. Why does the Establishment think you will believe that message? Because for as long as there have been newspapers, radios, and television sets, the public has trusted those media outlets, every day, to bring them the news. The Establishment, with their newspapers, radio programs, and television news, have cultivated in you a trust, and a reliance, upon their reportage and opinion. They’ve told you who won the game, that you’d better wear a raincoat tomorrow, and that someone was shot in Toronto last night. So, when it comes to politics – which is the reason that the Establishment invested in newspapers, radio, and TV – the Establishment is reasonably confident that you’ll trust them when they tell you which parties are real electoral options and which parties should be ignored.

This is The Establishment pretending to help the voter; pretending to save the voter from misguidedly voting for a party that would harm Canada. However, in reality, with the leaders’ debate, The Establishment is discouraging you from voting for a party that might change things. It is defending itself against any change of who has money and power, and who does not. It does not want outsiders coming in and forming a new Establishment. It does not want to switch places with you. Change terrifies the Establishment because it knows that change will almost certainly involve un-rigging a game that works in its favour.

You can see that fear, incidentally, in all of the various ways that Establishment media smear “outsider” or “populist” politicians or parties as sexists, racists, fascists etc.. Donald Trump was – and remains – an outsider; he’s a “populist” because he appeals to people who are not part of The Establishment. So, for that matter, was Doug Ford. In each case, the man in question had the resources to hijack an Establishment political party…a party that the Establishment could not justify ignoring or excluding from polling and reportage. The Establishment has never forgotten it, and they continue to fight to regain tighter control of those parties (in which parties they continue to have many elected allies – see, for example, Republican Mitt Romney’s attacks on Donald Trump – who, in their own ways, try to undermine or oust their own party’s new outsider leader/candidate).

6. Recognize that the only defence is a good offence

It is a major error to vote against tyranny. You’ve seen this many times. It is usually done by the aforementioned “lesser of two evils” strategic voter.

This voter may be genuinely upset that the elected Members of Parliament are taking away his freedom bit by bit. He usually will know full well that the two Establishment parties topping the polls are both anti-freedom. He fully expects that both parties will pass more anti-freedom laws than pro-freedom ones. However, he believes that one of the parties will pass more anti-freedom laws than the other. He sees one party as driving full speed into Hell, and sees the other party as one travelling into Hell a bit more slowly.

There are two main varieties of the “lesser of two evils” voter. One is characterized by depression, pessimism, and cowardess. The other one is characterized by fear, or even panic. Both varieties just want to get through what’s left of their lives (in some cases, they have given up on this world and have pinned all of their hopes on a blissful after-life).

The first variety of “lesser of two evils” voter has little fight left in him. He has surrendered. He is pessimistic. Not unusually, this variety of voter will be a bit of a coward: he doesn’t want his friends, family, or co-workers to laugh at him for “throwing his vote away”. “Besides”, he may tell himself, “my vote’s not really going to change anything, and neither is the election”. This voter votes for one of the two “main” parties (as the Establishment likes to call them) – whichever party makes him less sick to his stomach – to avoid criticism, and to feel that his admittedly pointless gesture was “at least doing something”.

The other variety of “lesser of two evils” voter is terrified at the speed with which the country is rushing along the rails into a collectivist Hell. Panicked, his every urge is bent toward somehow – anyhow – hitting the brakes. He’s absolutely positive that this election is the country’s last chance to buy some time. In his heart of hearts, he doesn’t really believe that the ride into Hell can be stopped. He thinks the train has too much momentum; that the collectivists are too powerful; that the war is almost over; that the defeat of individual freedom is inevitable. This variety of voter, therefore, decides that it’s foolish even to try to reverse course. He thinks that the only viable option is to vote for the Establishment party that will ride the country more slowly into Hell. Perhaps the party that is promising to put a nickel back in his pocket while it is stealing his wallet; something like a tax credit for childrens’ sports involvement, combined with carbon-fighting rise in the price of everything.

To vote against tyranny, instead of voting for individual freedom, is to give up altogether. It’s not merely a loser’s practice, it’s a quitter’s practice. Worse: it’s not merely an act of surrender. It’s an act of putting one’s ballot in the service of the enemies of individual freedom. To vote like that is to add one’s rifle to the regiment of wrongdoers, and to fire on the forces of freedom.

It’s not that the best defence is a good offence. It’s that the only defence is a good offence. Vote not for hitting the brakes on a train ride to collectivist Hell, but for putting the train in reverse and heading in the opposite direction as quickly as is practical, and in every way practical.

7. Vote for the party, not for the candidate

In our system of elections, we of course vote for an individual human being. However, those individual candidates normally will have the endorsement of one political party. That endorsement is the reason that you normally will see a party name on the candidate’s election signs. That endorsement is also why you should pay little attention to the candidate, and base your electoral decision on the candidate’s party.

In our system of Parliament, the Governor General appoints, as Prime Minister, the leader of the political party that has endorsed the greatest number of elected Members of Parliament. She does this because of the dependence of MPs on political party endorsements. Candidates lacking a party endorsement rarely get elected, so endorsements are highly valuable to candidates. Members of Parliament believe that they would not have gotten elected – and that they won’t get re-elected – without the endorsement of their political party. If they are disloyal to the party, they will probably find themselves out of a job after the next election. For this reason, the Governor General anticipates that Members of Parliament will vote as they are told to by the leader of the political party that endorsed them. She knows that the MP she appoints Prime Minister will have the “confidence” of a majority of Members of Parliament. The Governor General knows that, with that confidence, the Prime Minister is likely to be able to get legislation passed. In short: appointing the Prime Minister in this way helps ensure that Canada has a government that can plan and get things done without a lot of unprincipled horse-trading and dysfunctional infighting. For that reason, this means of choosing a Prime Minister is a part of Canada’s unwritten constitutional law: a Governor General follows this procedure because it has become the law of the land.

Because a candidate is going to vote as his or her party tells him to vote, the candidate’s own opinions or preferences will not matter much, in practice. Therefore, as a voter, your eye should be on the party, not the candidate. Find out what the party promises to do. Consider whether the party can be trusted to do what it says it will do. Vote for the candidate endorsed by the party that you believe will best defend your freedom.

8. Don’t mistake “less government” for “more freedom”

We’ve all witnessed gross misuses of law and force by the people who have been elected. They’ve passed laws that interfere with free trade, they’ve taxed the productive and subsidized the unproductive, they’ve criminalized numerous peaceful personal decisions and actions, etc.. And, because the elected are the law-makers, they have the greatest power to abuse force.

However, it is a mistake to conclude that the problem is the “size” of government. Size matters, but size is not the problem. A government, defending your freedom, can only defend your freedom if it is of sufficient size to deal with those of your neighbours who are trying to take your life, liberty, or property from you without your consent. One cop, one judge, and one warden in a country of 13 million people is not going to defend anyone’s freedom. Nor need all 13 million people be cops, judges, or wardens. A government, if it is to be effective must have sufficient size to do the job. But the right number of people will be immaterial if they do not limit their use of power to the right task: the task of defending your freedom.

The abuses of force by our elected Members of Parliament are not abuses by a government. They are abuses by individuals who are making laws that will give them legal protection from fines and imprisonment when they abuse you; when they – for themselves and for their supporters – use force, in the name of “government”, to take your life, liberty or property without your consent. When the elected use laws not to defend your freedom but to restrict it, you no longer have a government. You have a state of anarchy. You are being held hostage by a gang of people – including those of your neighbours who contributed to or voted for the elected gang – who would be sent to prison for doing what they are doing to you, had they not passed laws legalizing/excusing their forcible taking of your life, liberty, or property.

The call for “less government” is exactly the wrong call. It falsely implies that the less government one has, the more freedom one ends up with. That message is entirely upside down and backwards. “No government” means “no law-makers”. Without objective laws prohibiting the taking of your life, liberty, or property without your consent – without law-makers to write them, and police to enforce them, and judge’s to weigh evidence and apply the law, and sheriffs and wardens to ensure that retaliatory justice is served – there is little prospect for individual freedom.

It is not that you need “less government” when elected gangsters are passing laws to take your life, liberty, or property. It’s that you lack a government altogether when the elected are abusing law-making power to commit what would otherwise be crimes against you. Under those circumstances what you need is a government. You need to elect a group of people who will use force to defend you against those who are trying to take your life, liberty, or property without your consent. If truly pro-freedom individuals are elected and form a government, that government will – as quickly as is practical – repeal the laws that excused the non-consensual taking of your life, liberty, or property.

If you want to be free, demand not “less government” but “a government” because, right now, you don’t have one.


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