Politics

REGULATORS VS. MARKETS
Solving Canada’s housing crisis shouldn’t require more than a single lesson in economics. When prices are high, a free market always responds and supplies more. Yet amidst Canada’s severe problems of housing affordability, this foolproof mechanism is continually frustrated by governments that are either ignorant of how markets work, fixated on preserving the status quo or display naked contempt for the profit motive. Peter Shawn Taylor looks at the scorn heaped on land developers, landlords and the rest of the housing supply industry and wonders how they became the villains of this story.
THE INNER CONSERVATIVE
How should the conservative mind respond to the coronavirus pandemic? Panic and despair are in ample supply, and the urge to succumb appears widespread. Others have steered, via deliberate ignorance, to fatalism, though the walls are closing in on such rebels. Both extremes are beneath thoughtful conservatives. C2C Editor-in-Chief George Koch counsels that however dark today might appear, the eternal search for objective truth – the foundation for all conservative thought – is the first necessary step along the path to seeing humankind through to brighter days.
The International Scene
As Canada’s Conservatives evaluate leadership hopefuls and ponder what their party is about and which path might lead to electoral victory, it’s easy to ignore international politics. They should take a look, for the world holds dozens of established centre-right democratic parties, and many are tackling challenges of relevance and adaptation at least as steep as those burdening Canada’s Conservatives. John Weissenberger travelled to Washington, D.C. for the annual conference of the International Democrat Union (IDU) and provides his assessment in this essay. Later this year, once international travel is restored, Weissenberger heads to Vienna to deepen his understanding at the IDU’s 2020 Forum.
Leadership
In the past month’s anti-pipeline protests and blockades, Andrew Scheer seemed to find his voice at last. But for him it is too late. The Conservative Party of Canada is choosing a new leader. Much advice has been received, often urging the party to slide to the left. But perhaps its future hinges on a leadership candidate who brings a fresh set of clothes to the spring season: intelligence and courage. Maybe the key is to ignore the left-wing pundits and activists, ditch the focus groups and spurn the consultants. How about picking a leader who displays a keen mind guided by conservative principles and steadied by political bravery? That would be a new ensemble indeed. Grant A. Brown has something to say on the subject.
Freedom of Speech
Secret video recordings. Former counter-terrorism policemen interrogating a lone journalist over his recent book and promotional lawn signs. Insults and accusations of bullying. Potentially draconian fines and even jail time over spending $501 or more on a perfectly legal service that thousands of businesses use daily. Grant A. Brown chronicles Act I of the tragicomic battle between free speech warrior Ezra Levant of Rebel News and the Commissioner of Canada Elections – and warns that free speech rights for all of us are again under threat.
Climate Change
If climate catastrophe doesn’t get us in the long run, it seems our own prime minister is fixin’ to do so right now. Gone are even lip service to jobs and development; now it’s all about getting Canada to “net-zero emissions” at literally any cost. Thousands of jobs going up in smoke is just a typical day’s work. Grant A. Brown sifts through the 17 “top priorities” in Justin Trudeau’s grandiloquent “mandate letter” to his new environment minister and unearths the utopian scheme shrouded under the unfocused haze. Brown also shows that the “gender-based” employment impacts our woke prime minister is so eager for are already happening – and the results ain’t pretty.
WEXIT
There has been no shortage of advocates, naysayers, analysts and putative leaders circling the great question of Alberta and Saskatchewan’s future place inside or perhaps outside Canada. As in any functioning democracy, however, the outcome will be driven by the great mass of people in the middle. What they think and how they feel matters most. In this thorough piece of original reporting, Doug Firby gives voice to overlooked Albertans who are considering the issue deeply. While their opinions vary widely, they are united in their determination that their beloved province get it right this time.
Elitism
The causes and state of relations between Western and Central Canada are usually viewed through a political, economic, fiscal, geographic or at times demographic lens. Less common is looking at who rules, why, what they have done and what they are like. That would be the “Laurentian Elite”. Despite its profound role in shaping Canada, discussing it still seems mainly to interest political junkies. As a proud and concerned Westerner who grew up and was educated amidst the Laurentian Elite only to escape its clutches, John Weissenberger rips away the veil and deconstructs what he regards as this decaying class.
Western Alienation
What’s old is new again, and that extends well beyond aviator shades and flat-billed caps into the political realm. New again and, sometimes, even more urgent than the first time. The federal votes had barely been counted last month before calls erupted to dust off the Alberta Agenda, aka, the “Firewall Letter” of 2001. Some see its measures as forming Alberta’s first big step towards independence; others hope the same policies would help douse separatist flames. Just as quickly, opponents confidently pronounced all of the Agenda’s items unworkable. Tom Flanagan, co-author of the original Alberta Agenda, reviews its five policy recommendations and evaluates their merits in the light of current circumstances.
Debt
History, as they say, repeats – first as tragedy, then farce. Justin Trudeau’s insistence on replicating just about every wrong-headed policy of his father’s, and then some, seems to roll both into one. It’s farcical as spectacle, but tragic for the victims – us. After just four years with junior at the wheel, Canada’s formerly robust public finances, a bequest of Conservative predecessor Stephen Harper and ironically of an earlier Liberal, are already circling the drain. Gwyn Morgan tracks the sad descent of Canada’s financial position and the burden to be borne by “Generation Screwed”.

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