Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rebuilding the Liberal Party

We need to hear from everyone who wants a Liberal Canada in their future. That means everyone from the longest-serving parliamentarian to an individual who hasn’t even joined our Party yet.
-Bob Rae, Interim Leader of the Liberal Party

You wanna hear from everyone, Bob? How about a dead Nobel Prize winner? Or an until recently obscure economist/philosopher? Or better yet, a Texas Congressman. You wanna rebuild the Liberal Party? Then listen up, I've got two words for you:

Ron Paul.

The Liberals need to recognize the grassroots support Ron Paul has and recreate it in Canadian circles. Some may argue that Americans are “more libertarian” than Canadians, but this is akin to saying that Americans prefer more freedom than Canadians. I know many Canadians who would disagree with this ratiocination and claim that Canadians are in fact freer than Americans. So the Liberals ought to play this angle; they should campaign on creating the free society, however unpopular it may seem at first glance. Besides, as the economy deteriorates Canadians are apt to relate to Ron Paul's plan to reduce government spending, even at the expense of public sector jobs. If the Liberals abandon Keynesianism right now, they'll have one up on their opposition.

Speaking of which,

If you can't beat them – join them. A concerted effort to brand themselves as a distinct Canadian flavour of small-government, low taxes and fiscal prudence have propelled the Tories to majority government. Jack Layton's NDP moved to the right and gained prominence across the country. The Liberals need to redefine where the centre of the political spectrum is. By adopting some of the Tories policies, but stopping short of their social conservatism, the Liberals will appeal to a wider base of Canadians weary of the NDP's socialism and the Tories conservatism, but open to the idea of keeping more of their own money.

A quotation: “Economic knowledge necessarily leads to liberalism.”

Ludwig von Mises said this years ago. The Liberals should adopt the “Austrian school” of economics as justification for their seemingly radical deviation from their usual policy platforms. I say 'seemingly' because although the means are different, the ends remain the same: prosperity, a just society, and sustainability. The best way to achieve this is to recognize the Austrian school as not just a body of economic knowledge, but as a way of implementing the philosophy of peace, order and good government.

So let's sum up. In order to be sure that the Party isn't dead and buried, the Liberal Party needs to take their name seriously. A Liberal government needs to be a classical liberal government.

The only task of the strictly Liberal state is to secure life and property against attacks both from external and internal foes.
- Ludwig von Mises

Mr. Bob Rae, get out of the way. Your NDP roots and left-of-centre optimism is embarrassing. What the Liberal Party needs is a set of fresh faces who are educated in the field of human action. Simply, the Party needs Ron Paul or someone just like him.

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