Friday, June 8, 2018

Ontario vote result may be a win for libertarians

Marni Soupcoff: The real winners of Ontario’s election? Libertarians! (Wait, what…?) | National Post:

June 8, 2018 - "Thursday’s election may prove to be a hidden victory for libertarians. I’m not saying that because ... the Ontario Libertarian Party won any seats (I’m sober, and it hasn’t). And I’m not saying that because ... Doug Ford ... is a principled champion of freedom.

"To me, the hope comes from the recoiling I’ve been watching, especially on social media.... Ford has won the hearts of about 10 per cent of the people I follow on Twitter and perhaps even fewer media commentators and columnists. The rest of them are horrified, repelled or at the very least disheartened by the notion of Doug Ford as premier of Ontario, and not without good reason. But having people with influence and prominence horrified, repelled or disheartened by a political leader can be a very healthy thing....

"For every bill that gets tabled that gives government room to overreach, there’s a warning from a cranky libertarian about all the terrible things that could result. Then there’s always a patronizing rejoinder from the bill’s supporters about how no leader or government would ever do those terrible things. It would be unthinkable. They just wouldn’t.

"While Doug Ford is an entirely different man and phenomenon from Donald Trump (operating in an entirely different political system), one virtue Ford shares with the U.S. president is that he evokes such visceral negative reactions in establishment types that they’re forced to rethink their hypotheticals. Suddenly the terrible things no leader would ever do ... have to be revisited with the reviled actual leader in mind. And so, the instinct to limit and balance government power — which so often lies sadly dormant in academics and mainstream policymakers and Toronto Star columnists — is suddenly awakened."

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