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Michael Hardner

The Harper's Letter: The Death of Liberalism?

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32 minutes ago, -1=e^ipi said:

1. Based on some recent videos of him, I suspect that he might be uncomfortable in his current political party under Trudeau. I wouldn't be surprised if he jumps ship (although I doubt he would join the Conservative party). If that happens, it would be interesting to see how that might shake up the political status quo.

 

2. I wonder what happened to Stephane Dion. 

1. He doesn't even live in Canada now.  I doubt he would say anything about our politics.

2. Also not a factor.

Sorry that you don't post anymore.

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22 hours ago, dialamah said:

I was quickly shoved into a "liberal" box, most often sneeringly, and accused of hating Canada and Canadian culture, because I support responsible immigration, I think Canada does a good job of screening immigrants to benefit Canada and I believe strongly in helping those less fortunate.  Perhaps that does make me "Liberal", but being shoved into a box and insulted isn't going to make me a conservative.

When one's belief in immigration is accompanied by angry assertions that everyone who disagrees is a racist, bigot and xenophobe, one should not be surprised that one is subjected to a certain level of disrespect.

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20 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

Words are only soundwaves in the air, they do not themselves cause harm,

That is not the new belief of the radical left. Not only do they cause harm they constitute violence.

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I wouldn't mind if this thread had some new perspectives on the degeneration of the centre.

For my part, I am somewhat alarmed by the warning raised by this collective of great minds but even more concerned with the response.

 

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46 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

I wouldn't mind if this thread had some new perspectives on the degeneration of the centre.

For my part, I am somewhat alarmed by the warning raised by this collective of great minds but even more concerned with the response.

I think there's still a lot of reasonable people, whether centre-left or centre-right, but they're drowned out by the more radical opinions on the left and right.  Uncontroversial centrist opinions about liberalism by Michael Hardner don't attract outrage and therefore don't attract as many eyeballs via news headlines and trending tweets etc.  The centre is now the silent majority IMO.  Most people I know also aren't super political and when they do share views they have pretty reasonable opinions on things, they aren't reading up on the latest woke social theory every day, but they are bullied by the vocal minority to remain ideologically compliant.

The woke crowd IMO have intelligently used most people's fears of being accused of being a racist, homophobe, or sexist etc and weaponized it to further their ideological agenda by using it as a bullying tactic to as I said ensure compliance.  If people are too afraid to stand up to ie: a black female lesbian that's calling someone a racist/sexist/homophobe then the current situation is the result.  I think bullies like this have also always been around (to a lesser degree) but didn't have social media to broadcast their opinions.

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1 hour ago, Moonlight Graham said:

1.Uncontroversial centrist opinions about liberalism by Michael Hardner don't attract outrage and therefore don't attract as many eyeballs via news headlines and trending tweets etc. 

2. The centre is now the silent majority IMO. 

3. The woke crowd IMO have intelligently used most people's fears of being accused...

4.  If people are too afraid to stand up to ie: a black female lesbian ...

5.  I think bullies like this have also always been around (to a lesser degree) but didn't have social media to broadcast their opinions.

1. I'm not sure my opinions are unconventional, unless you think that the liberal tradition has already disappeared.  And, I do believe that there are millions in Canada whose politics are close to mine.

2. Now ?  From your meaning, I think that you are saying 'STILL the silent majority'.

3. 4. 5. At first I disagreed with your entire premise, but then I reread it as referring to public figures and I agree.

...

The woke crowd and the anti-woke crowd seem to be saying that this is about: cancel culture.  I don't think that it is, exactly.  That's part of it, but few of the people here (signatories to the letter) produce cancellable product.

The woke crowd doesn't want to come to terms with the idea that wise minds comprise an actual PUBLIC that disagrees with the direction we are taking... and that they're warning us IN the public interest.

The anti-woke crowd think that their freedoms are somehow threatened.

Neither crowd is exactly right.  What has happened is the last vestiges of a true PUBLIC has emerged from the sarcophagus, undead, to remind us that everything has changed.

We are once again both responsible for what WE say, as well as responsible for allowing our opponents to speak. The public has been reborn.

Like the teenager who babysits their sibling for the first time, it's nerve-wracking.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. I'm not sure my opinions are unconventional, unless you think that the liberal tradition has already disappeared.  And, I do believe that there are millions in Canada whose politics are close to mine.[/quote]

What i mean is, Michael and other centrists aren't going around accusing everyone of being a racist white supremacist or telling immigrants to go back to their "sh!thole countries" etc., which is the type of rhetoric that gets headlines and reactions on twitter.  Centrists with reasonable but not inflammatory arguments don't get the eyeballs these days in the current media landscape.  It was a compliment towards you.

1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

The woke crowd doesn't want to come to terms with the idea that wise minds comprise an actual PUBLIC that disagrees with the direction we are taking... and that they're warning us IN the public interest.

Some people just don't believe in free speech unless they agree with that speech.  The whole point of free speech is to put up with opinions you don't agree with.  Preventing people from speaking their minds is a political act, it's about power and controlling the message.  As I said, many of these woke types are mini tyrants in sheep's clothing.

We're in a culture war, but always have been, it's just changing and in certain areas more conflict is arising.  Demographics have and are changing dramatically as has technology, which is resulting in the current environment.  IMO this is the new normal unless demographics and/or technology changes significantly again.

When I say demographics, I largely mean a shrinking white population and a growing non-white non-western population.  Conflict is inevitable, especially when whites (and straight cis white men especially) have dominated the pulleys of power for centuries in the west.  The growing non-white population logically is fighting for their space and representation and wants to dismantle the white male historic power structure, sometimes in constructive and egalitarian ways I support, and other times in ways that shift the balance of power too far to their side which isn't equality but turns into another form of inequality.  This is why the rise in white nationalism, and the opposite on the left.  Since demographic trends aren't changing any time soon I expect this will continue for decades to come.  I think it will be like a pendulum that keeps swinging, when real equality means the pendulum should stop in the middle, which is the centrist position.  People on the far left and far right are at war with each other, culturally, & fighting for their own interests while often not empathizing with each other.

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7 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

I wouldn't mind if this thread had some new perspectives on the degeneration of the centre.

I think that one important factor is random drift of the first-past-the-post system.

The first-past-the-post system encourages only 2 parties having power and representation, which creates polarization and feeds into tribalism. Also, by reducing representation of many political perspectives to zero, which is what occurs in a first-past-the-post system, bad ideas often go unchallenged and unchecked.

If, let's say, the conservative party were to elect a hyper religious candidate, then this would encourage more hyper religious people to join the party and alienate non hyper religious people. This means that more of the party membership consists of hyper religious people, which increases the chance that the next candidate will be hyper religious. The same would be true if the conservative party elected a libertarian candidate, a crony-capitalism candidate, an anti-immigrant candidate, etc. It would be similar if the democratic party were to elect a centrist candidate, an environmentalist candidate, a socialist candidate, or a woke candidate. This mechanism allows mainstream political parties to drift significantly from the will of the electorate for decades. Because there is little competition between parties in a first-past-the-post system, this means that there is little electoral choice to keep random drift in check.

In Canada and the US, we have randomly drifted to a place where there is essentially zero political centre. Also, in Canada's case there is zero political diversity within the parties in the house of commons. This is a result of having leaders such as Harper, Trudeau, and Trump and the direction they have taken things in. A slight change in luck could have resulted in a very different political landscape today. If you look at Australia or the UK, there is more of a political centre and more political diversity within parties, so what we are seeing in North America is in part bad luck and political drift.

While this doesn`t explain all that we are seeing, any solution must involve the abolition of the first-past-the-post system.

 

Edited by -1=e^ipi
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1 hour ago, Moonlight Graham said:

1.Centrists with reasonable but not inflammatory arguments don't get the eyeballs these days in the current media landscape.  It was a compliment towards you.

2.IMO this is the new normal unless demographics and/or technology changes significantly again.

3.  The growing non-white population logically is fighting for their space and representation and wants to dismantle the white male historic power structure, 

1. Ok, well thanks but I don't think cancel culture is really the issue, since you are talking about headlines.  Culture producers serve their markets, so there's not much to be said about changing mores.  Those who are in the spotlight will learn to walk the walk, I think.

2. No, it's not normal to have constant moralizing and reactionary finger pointing.  It will be the culture that settles down.

3. All the woke people I know are younger white people with university experience who descended from Puritans or pious Rabbis.

Again, I am more concerned with the aforementioned nascent public mummies than, for example, team mascot names.  I'm starting to think that even the Trump supporters don't know what is coming.  Liberal tradition serves them also, and actual Marxists ( not Democrats ) are in the wings.

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28 minutes ago, -1=e^ipi said:

While this doesn`t explain all that we are seeing, any solution must involve the abolition of the first-past-the-post system.

 

I have advocated for a different kind of reorganization because PR in Canada would mean a permanent NDP Liberal coalition, at least short term.

But ok.

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51 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

I have advocated for a different kind of reorganization because PR in Canada would mean a permanent NDP Liberal coalition, at least short term.

But ok.

What matters is the long term battle of ideas.

Also, I disagree that a PR system would benefit the NDP the most. A PR system would benefit most those without current representation, such as the libertarians. Unless of course the political parties in the house of commons collude to create a form of PR system that disincentivises new-comers to the political arena.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

3. All the woke people I know are younger white people with university experience who descended from Puritans or pious Rabbis.

White young people who feel guilty about being white because of the bad things white people have done.  I know young woke university folks like that, I also know woke non-white university folks.  The whites ones are their allies.

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Apparently a colleague believing in free speech can make you feel unsafe if you're transgender.

A transgender Vox writer wrote to the site’s editors complaining that a colleague’s signature on a letter arguing against ideological conformity made the writer feel unsafe. Emily VanDerWerff, Vox’s critic at large, tweeted Tuesday that co-worker Matt Yglesias’ signature on the letter made it harder to work at the media company.

“His signature being on the letter makes me feel less safe at Vox and believe slightly less in its stated goals of building a more diverse and more thoughtful workplace,” VanDerWerff said. “The presence of Matt’s tweets and his signature to a letter like this do make my job slightly more difficult.”

https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/07/08/transgender-vox-writer-colleagues-signature-on-freedom-of-expression-letter-makes-me-feel-less-safe/

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3 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

What i mean is, Michael and other centrists aren't going around accusing everyone of being a racist white supremacist or telling immigrants to go back to their "sh!thole countries"

No, he's simply saying that the transgender argument is done and no one is allowed to discuss it any further. He and the others of the Left have decided that transgendered women are 100% the same as women and should be allowed to compete against them in sports and go anywhere women are, including shower and change rooms. And anyone who disagrees is a bigot.

Not sure how centrist that is...

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1 hour ago, -1=e^ipi said:

1. What matters is the long term battle of ideas.

2. A PR system would benefit most those without current representation, such as the libertarians. Unless of course the political parties in the house of commons collude to create a form of PR system that disincentivises new-comers to the political arena.

1. That's why the letter matters more than the Washington Redskins' moniker.

2. The Commons would absolutely do that to keep fringe parties like the Islamic Party, White Heritage etc. out of parliament.  So your Libertarian party would face some hurdle, like 10%, support, to get seats.

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52 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

2. The Commons would absolutely do that to keep fringe parties like the Islamic Party, White Heritage etc. out of parliament.  So your Libertarian party would face some hurdle, like 10%, support, to get seats.

Any threshold would be arbitrary and undemocratic, which is why I suspect the so-called New Democratic Party might support it...

 

It would be better if parties like the Islamic Party had representation, as they do in the Netherlands. It is better for fringe groups to have their ideas represented, so that bad ideas can be more easily defeated, and so that good ideas can challenge the status quo.

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1 minute ago, -1=e^ipi said:

1. Any threshold would be arbitrary and undemocratic...

2. It would be better if parties like the Islamic Party had representation, as they do in the Netherlands. It is better for fringe groups to have their ideas represented, so that bad ideas can be more easily defeated, and so that good ideas can challenge the status quo.

1. Ok, sure.

2. I don't agree that any configuration of MPs would be responsible for the generation of new ideas, but thread drift.

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12 hours ago, Argus said:

No, he's simply saying that the transgender argument is done and no one is allowed to discuss it any further. He and the others of the Left have decided that transgendered women are 100% the same as women and should be allowed to compete against them in sports and go anywhere women are, including shower and change rooms. And anyone who disagrees is a bigot.

I've been going back and forth with him on this issue and he's certainly not saying that.  The sports argument is one he's made clear he thinks is open for debate.  

I do disagree with many of his assessments on what is or isn't discriminatory or demeaning, and what is or isn't closed for debate, but he's not throwing around cancel culture slogans.

  

 

 

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13 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. That's why the letter matters more than the Washington Redskins' moniker.

2. The Commons would absolutely do that to keep fringe parties like the Islamic Party, White Heritage etc. out of parliament.  So your Libertarian party would face some hurdle, like 10%, support, to get seats.

While I am sympathetic its not democratic or how Parliament works. Parliament does not prohibit any political parties. Laws limit hateful content of what we all say but not the right to form political parties based on religious or specific views that you and I consider extremist and often undemocratic or bigoted.

I may not agree with many things the Christian Heritage Party stands for but I absolutely defend their right to exist as a political party in Canada. Same goes with the NDP who to me are today a fringe party. We can't prohibit ideologies we don't like. Its more complex than that.

I think the problem is not so much fringe parties as it would be proportional representation with voting if you had many parties given seats by virtue of percentage of votes. The current system manages it pretty well. I mean the Bloc Quebecois is as fringe as it gets. Only in Canada would we pay people to be against Canada and break it up. (well Israel too). Its a fringe group but other than be monumentally a two faced joke what has it achieved for its separatists living off of fat federal pensions.

 

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18 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

I've been going back and forth with him on this issue and he's certainly not saying that.  The sports argument is one he's made clear he thinks is open for debate.  

I do disagree with many of his assessments on what is or isn't discriminatory or demeaning, and what is or isn't closed for debate, but he's not throwing around cancel culture slogans.

  

 

 

Men with big breasts are not uncommon.  We have many elected to office. The key is to wear larger suits and shirt sizes  not restrict them so we can see when they are cold. That is the concept of democracy. Accommodate individual characteristics if possible and it causes no harm to society. On the other hand can we get real and not have people using their altered chemistry for unfair advantage.

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On 7/8/2020 at 1:15 PM, eyeball said:

The condescending tone, pats on the head, and tut-tutting about left-wing sensibilities that accompanies most conservative attitudes in discussions involving the economy.  The economy is drenched with the moral certitude of conservatism, notwithstanding the most important ingredient of our economy...the natural capital our planet provides.  I'm a conservative who still can't understand what it is about conserving that fellow conservatives don't get.

There are certainly a lot of outright deniers and folks with head in their sands, but I'll put myself out there and say that even I disagree with most of the climate change initiatives we see proposed.  Most of them are policy catastrophes waiting to happen with a lot of moral back-patting and lacking entirely in efficacy.  I've probably argued with you about this in the past, but what you see as "conservatism", I often see as thinly-disguised income redistribution and hollow appeals to Toronto yuppies.  I just look at Ontario's Green Energy plan as an example.  It was an unmitigated disaster and probably set environmentalism back in Ontario by 10-15 years...and for nothing.  

Smart energy and environmental spending is one thing, but the politicians need to listen to the economic and engineering experts as well as the climate scientists too.  

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24 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

I've probably argued with you about this in the past, but what you see as "conservatism", I often see as thinly-disguised income redistribution and hollow appeals to Toronto yuppies.  I just look at Ontario's Green Energy plan as an example.  It was an unmitigated disaster and probably set environmentalism back in Ontario by 10-15 years...and for nothing.  

Smart energy and environmental spending is one thing, but the politicians need to listen to the economic and engineering experts as well as the climate scientists too.  

My reply to these sorts of criticisms is that we need far more transparency in our governance starting with the outlawing of in-camera lobbying.  Further to this members of political party members should also be demanding the same of their party caucuses with the express purpose of making it difficult to thinly disguise things.

If there's anything I can't stand it's when a political party's poobahs betray my investment of money and time supporting them by committing the party to some stupidity they've crafted out of sight behind a closed door.  Like the time we finally had a premier who was prepared to wrest control of our fisheries management away from Ottawa and bring it closer to the people who depend the most on honest accountable management.  He got embroiled in some stupid shenanigan dashing his own aspirations along with those of his parties supporters.  This is what sets things back farthest in addition to cultivating the deep mistrust that has developed between the governed and their governments.

Edited by eyeball

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51 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

...he's not throwing around cancel culture slogans.

People who want to debate transgender issues, or pro sports team names should find another thread.

This is about a letter which warns against the death of liberalism.  Given the signatories, everyone should notice even if they don't agree.

If you can't get your mind around a meta discussion, and want to argue that same old stuff then find another thread.

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3 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

This is about a letter which warns against the death of liberalism.  Given the signatories, everyone should notice even if they don't agree.

 

The list of signatories is not significant or necessary to notice and understand the underlying concept.

A similar list and argument could be assembled to advocate for limiting free speech/expression rights for the greater social good.

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