Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I attended another great Fraser Institute event last night. It took place in the heart of darkness, Ottawa. It was interesting to see the crowd in Ottawa. it was full of government relations people. I even met people from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons( I am FRCP(c))
The event was a discussion of what the Tories should do in the first hundred days. The speakers were Gerry Nichols, Stephen Taylor and journalist Joel-Denis Bellavance. I also got to have dinner with the speakers after the event.
It was a great evening of politics. Bellavance talked about the Tory mistakes in the Quebec campaign. He said that the truck denouncing the Bloc, the culture cuts and the young offenders act lost the party many votes. He also said a lot of the BQ strength is ducepee and he says duceppe will be gone in a year. he also said we allowed duceppe to campaign alone. The Tory war room did not get the Quebec campaign right. Bellavance
Gerry Nicholls, who is the conscience of the right, said the party should act more conservative. It should cut spending and increase freedom. He again said that the Tories are behaving as the grits have done. Stephen Taylor defended the pragmatic approach the Tories have taken. He also felt that the GST and other Tax cuts would prevent future goverments from recklessly spending tax dollars.
I asked two questions. I first said that I liked both approaches, but that the Tories should do something for the base. I suggested that Section 13a of the human rights code be abolished. Gerry thought that was a good idea, Stephen wasn't sure that was possible. Other questions centered around what the speakers wanted the Tories to do. They all said spending cuts and a balanced budget.
My second question was about having a more right wing Liberal leader , which would push the Tories to the right. I suggested Gerry Nicholls.
Dinner was great. There were about 15 of us and the political discussion went on late into the evening. Thanks again to Tasha Kheirridin and the Fraser team for another great event.
Update Stephen thinks my post was not altogether accurate and lacked context.
I will post what he said over at Kathy'sThe FI forum was a debate between an idealist's position and a pragmatic one.
It should be mentioned that while I would love to see the HRCs reigned in as Gerry does, my job as the panelist asked to explain why the Conservative government is acting as they are was to offer my best guess and knowledge as to why things are moving along this particular track.
Dr. Roy's recap was overly simplistic and omitted some important context and may lead others to confuse analysis with a values judgement.
It was my explanation that the govt sees the process as self-discrediting. The HRCs, given enough sunlight and publicity are doing enough of a good job at unraveling their legitimacy when it comes to 13a. I suggested that strategically, direct PM or cabinet intervention is an 11th hour or last hand play.
Again, my position isn't different from Gerry's. I was there to explain why things are progressing as they are.