Saturday, April 29, 2017

Why are there no libertarian countries?

Why are there no libertarian countries? - George J. Dance, Nolan Chart:

April 29, 2017 - "'Libertarians and anarchists often get challenged with an annoying question,' Warren Redlich, the CEO of Independent Political Report and a former Libertarian Party candidate, recently wrote:  'If libertarianism is so great, why hasn’t any country tried it?'

"There is no doubt that the question has been asked often, and that it is meant to be annoying. Consider the source: Michael Lind. Lind, for those who have never heard of him, is a writer for the New America Foundation who has achieved some online notoriety as a professional anti-libertarian. (A google search on 'Lind libertarianism' turns up more than 100,000 hits.)

"Lind first came to my attention when he proclaimed 'the collapse of libertarianism as a political force” back in November 2007 – just in time for the birth of the Ron Paul Revolution. In fact, though, he was heralding “the utter and final defeat of … the libertarian counter-revolution.” before that, and he has continued to do so since: most recently in 2015, when he pontificated that 'the libertarian moment [Rand Paul] symbolized is over.' (To be fair, he also pontificated in his 2015 article that “There was never a libertarian moment in the United States” – which gets one wondering just what keeps collapsing.)

"But constantly heralding the end of something that never existed in the first place must get boring after a while; so in 2013 Lind came up with a new angle: the above question, smugly packaged as 'The Question Libertarians Just Can’t Answer.' That had such a great reception that he followed it up within days with two more articles, with equally-revealing titles, 'Why Libertarians are Basically Cult Members,' and 'Grow Up, Libertarians!'

Given this genesis, there is no wonder that anti-libertarians ask the question often, and that they do so mainly to annoy libertarians. But there is really nothing annoying about the question itself. The absence of libertarian countries is a phenomenon in need of an explanation, and trying to provide one could shed some light on little-explored areas of political theory. So it is worth attempting an answer."

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Bradshaw wants BC voters to have more options (video)

Kamloops-South Thompson candidate profile: Jessica Bradshaw (Libertarian) - Kamloops This Week - Cam Fortems:

April 24, 2017 -"Jessica Bradshaw was looking for something a little different on the ballot for the May 9 provincial election.... 'I want people to have another option,' said the Libertarian candidate in Kamloops-South Thompson. 'I looking for one and couldn’t find it. So I became one'....

"She is joining a long list of Libertarian candidates across B.C. The party is running a candidate in nearly half of B.C.’s 87 ridings. It pledges to repeal the carbon tax, bring in school vouchers to let parents take children to private or public school and allow private medical care — stripping away many of the rules and regulations of living in B.C. The party would allow private competition to agencies including BC Hydro, ICBC and WorksafeBC.

"''It’s not like I don’t like rules,' she said. 'It’s just regulations and rules government sets out have done more damage than benefit. It’s overregulation that causes issues with people.'

"The party also advocates for decriminalization of drug use. 'I think the illegality of it forces a lot of addicts to the point where they’re getting fentanyl. If it were decriminalized or legalized it would bring up the safety factor. It puts them at less risk'.....

"Bradshaw said she is largely a one-woman campaign at this point.... 'I’m going it alone. Other people have campaign teams and I’m just doing it myself.'"

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

O'Leary drops out of Tory race, endorses Bernier

Kevin O'Leary drops out of Conservative leadership race, endorses Maxime Bernier - Politics - CBC News - John Paul Tasker:

April 26, 2017 - "Kevin O'Leary is dropping out of the Conservative leadership race and endorsing Maxime Bernier.

"The businessman and reality TV star is ending his campaign only hours before the last leadership debate in Toronto, and two days before party members can start casting their votes. O'Leary's name will remain on the ballots as they've already been printed and mailed, the party said.

"O'Leary said Wednesday he was confident he could win the Conservative race, but raised doubts he could defeat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next election. He cited his failure to gain traction in Quebec and his poor French-language skills as reasons for dropping out of the leadership race.

"''The Liberals politically own Quebec. Without growing the Conservative base in Quebec, beating Trudeau in 2019 would be a huge challenge,' O'Leary said at press conference with reporters in Toronto.

"'It would seem foolish, even selfish, to win the leadership knowing I don't have the path, a high probability [of winning the next federal election]. The likelihood of me gaining a lot of seats in Quebec was low. I was weak in Quebec, it's a fact, people know this.'

"O'Leary said Bernier was best placed to pick up seats for the party in the province. 'Look at how many times Quebec has determined the federal outcomes. It is the Florida of Canada, it often decides for the country.'

"'Trudeau has to go, and this is the man to replace him,' he said of Bernier. 'We need to take back this country from a very weak manager who's destroying the economy.'"

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NL man arrested for criticizing police shooting
has rights upheld by provincial court

N.L. court defends political dissent in case of man hospitalized involuntarily - Newfoundland & Labrador - CBC News - Candian Press:

April 18, 2017 - "The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal has issued a ringing defence of political dissent, in the case of a man held involuntarily at a psychiatric hospital after he sent a series of angry tweets about a police shooting.

"Andrew Abbass was detained and taken to the psychiatric unit at Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook, N.L., on April 7, 2015, two days after the fatal shooting of Don Dunphy in Mitchells Brook, N.L.

"Abbass had expressed anger about the death on social media, prompting Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers to go to his home....

"Abbass, who has since been released, challenged his detention in provincial Supreme Court, claiming he was not suffering from a mental disorder and that the doctors' certificates of involuntary admission did not cite grounds for his detention. But the judge declined jurisdiction, and dismissed his application....

"The appeal court said the lower-court judge should not have declined jurisdiction.... 'The courts must always be there for the vindication of the citizen with what he or she views as the wrongful exercise of authority. Mr. Abbass was denied his day in court. He should have had it.'

"In its ruling, the appeal court said the first psychiatric assessment of Abbass took 19 minutes. before a doctor certified a certificate of involuntary admission.... The second certificate was completed five minutes later, and noted Abbass had expressed anger about the shooting.... The appeal court said both certificates appeared to rely on second-hand facts and made no attempt to identify the mental disorder in question.....

"'If anger about political events and words of defiance to authorities are dealt with as signs of mental illness … warranting involuntary committal, then our society is in a dangerous place,' it said.... 'As the history of authoritarian societies has taught us, confinement in a mental institution is a particularly insidious way of stifling dissent, directly and through intimidation'...

An RNC constable shot Dunphy on Easter Sunday 2015. Const. Joe Smyth, a member of then-premier Paul Davis's security detail, has testified he shot Dunphy, 58, once in the left chest and twice in the head in self defence.... Smyth has said he went to Dunphy's home to check out political comments Dunphy had made on Twitter."

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Second libertarian elected in Frostproof, Florida

Florida town now has two elected Libertarian officials | Libertarian Party:

Apil 21, 2017 - "The town of Frostproof, located in Polk County, Florida, now has two elected Libertarian officials, as Austin Gravley was elected to the city council on April 4.

"Even though the election was non-partisan, Mr. Gravley switched his voter registration to Libertarian the day before the election.

"Mr. Gravley won the one-on-one race with almost 62% of the vote. He ran for the city council back in 2015, losing by only 20 votes. The seat carries a three-year term.

"Martin Sullivan was elected to the Frostproof City Council in 2015, and is in the second year of his term. He was recently chosen by the city council as the Vice-Mayor."
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Monday, April 24, 2017

Innisfil, Ontario, uses Uber to meet transit needs

How a small town is using Uber to fill its public transit void | Toronto Star - Alicja Siekierska:

April 3, 2017 - "While many cities across the country have waged fierce battles against ride-sharing services, the town of Innisfil has found an ally in Uber. Innisfil is partnering with the global company to help bring subsidized, on-demand transit service to its residents, the first partnership of its kind in Canada.

"Innisfil’s council, which serves a community of about 36,000, south of Barrie, approved a partnership with Uber last month in which the ride-sharing service will offer discounted trips to certain destinations in the town.

"Mayor Gord Wauchope hailed the agreement as an innovative way to provide transit to Innisfil, which he noted is spread across an area nearly the size of Mississauga. 'Council was really being pressured to bring transit to the town of Innisfil,' Wauchope said. 'You can’t have taxpayers pay for a transit system which they cannot use. And this was a transit system that people can get from anywhere in the town of Innisfil, and use it for a reasonable price.'

"The town conducted a transit feasibility study in 2015 and found that a fixed-route bus service would cost about $270,000 for one bus per year. Council decided that was too steep a price for the limited service a single bus could provide. The town will instead provide $100,000 this year for the partnership, and a further $125,000 in 2018. The service will officially launch on May 1.

"Residents will pay base fees for trips to key locations in Innisfil, and the town will pay Uber the balance. For example, Innisfil residents will pay $3 per person for any trip to or from the Innisfil Recreational Complex and Town Hall area, and the town will cover the remainder of the fare, from $6 to $9. Trips to and from the Barrie South GO station, Innisfil Heights Employment Area and Hwy. 400 carpool lot will cost $5, and any trip to or from the closest GO bus stop on Yonge St. will be $4.

"Residents will also be able to book a trip from Innisfil to anywhere they wish and receive $5 off their fare....

"Paul Pentikainen, a senior policy planner with Innisfil, said the partnership will also provide data that can help assess ridership patterns and potential locations for fixed routes.

"'The feasibility study was great, but with Uber it’s going to show us exactly where people want to go,' he said."

"The town may also explore partnerships with local businesses, which could chip in to subsidize rides to various areas of town.... For those who don’t have smartphones, Uber will provide iPads in locations across town, including the town hall, recreation centre, library and high school."

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cannabis activists foresee further struggles

Canada’s largest 4/20 rally a ‘protestival’ despite coming legalization | Vancouver Sun - Dan Fumano & Nick England:

April 20, 2017 "Last week, the federal government tabled long-awaited legislation to legalize recreational cannabis ... starting July 2018.  But after decades of protesting to legalize it, B.C. cannabis advocates argue the framework proposed will give rise to yet more dissent.

"Neil Magnuson, a [4/20] rally organizer and longtime cannabis activist, called the legislation a 'false promise' that would see U.S.-funded, federally-authorized licensed producers snuff out small, local cannabis firms.... Magnuson said 4/20 will remain a 'protestival' until cannabis users can grow and share as much of the plant as they want....

"Dana Larsen, director for Sensible B.C. ... believes the 4/20 rally will grow as people become more comfortable with public cannabis use after legalization..... Larsen slammed the federal government for allowing ongoing dispensary raids and possession arrests.... He said when legalization is finally, fully realized — and prohibition is ended — 4/20 might stop being called a protest, at which point he would expect even more public events and perhaps even political support.

"Jodie Emery, one of the most recognized figures at 4/20 celebrations ... said that while she’s glad Canada is moving to be the first G20 country to federally legalize cannabis, she believes what the government plans isn’t 'real' legalization.... '[T]his legislation is going to keep us criminalized and marginalized,' she said. 'We still have a lot to protest against as long as people are arrested.'"

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