The Sweet Spot of Liberty – Bruce Pardy and Salim Mansur


Bruce you wrote an article in the
National Post just recently December and it’s it’s very provocative in that
it says so much and so few words conservatives don’t know who they are or
what they stand for they’re the party of hypocrisy conservatism and progressive
and both need to be ditched liberals aren’t liberal in fact they’re
progressive which is a different thing and something about a sweet spot I’ll
get to that later but how do we reclaim which is the gist of your article how do
we claim that word liberal yes small Bruce won’t you start off its a that is
the question right because when people say liberal today they have a certain
idea in their heads about what that is and I think that that idea is a modern
one that has nothing to do with the original meaning of the word
well the original meaning of the word is really a political philosophy based upon
the idea of Liberty as in being left alone by the state people have in
control of their own lives and not being told what to think or how to behave
which is essentially the opposite of what liberal means now if you talk to
somebody about a modern liberal you’ll think of a lefty progressive who
believes in extensive government programs and censorship and directives
and and and high tax and spend in in so many respects the modern version of
liberal is the opposite of the the classically liberal definition of the
word it’s long been a pejorative in United States indeed indeed if you if
you if you speak about a liberal you know on our Fox News
for example they mean that in a derogatory way yes and so reclaiming the
meaning of that word to be clear means that we’re talking
about the classically defined version of when we suggest her when I suggest that
the Conservatives should be liberals I do not mean that they should be liberals
in the Liberal Party sense of the word I’m Tina I mean the opposite I mean the
Liberal Party I think has abandoned the liberal space and I if you if you asked
a member of the Liberal Party what a liberal was I’m not sure that they would
know he might say progressive they might say progressive and and the modern
version of that words has come to sort of be almost synonymous with progressive
if your progressive then you can be a liberal and those two things are not
contradictory the case I’m making is that those two things are contradictory
if you’re a progressive you are not a liberal no Saleen of course you’ve spent
many years in the Conservative Party of Canada strong supporter of them recently
changed allegiances or should I say that they’ve changed allegiance to you and
and you’ve gone over to the People’s Party of Canada what is a conservative
in your mind what is a small C conservative define that term before we
proceed before I proceed I say clearly to be immigrants it’s wonderful that you
set this up and and Bruce is a National Post piece from a week ago or so was
just a wonderful piece especially for our readers and contemporary people you
know in the universities and colleges in particular and of course general readers
read these things set it out very clearly which is what Bruce is nuts now
said that the world liberalism and liberal do not have any more any
connotation or connection with what liberal and liberalism means in the
historical sense in the classical sense and that’s absolutely right about myself
one thing that I I think we can expand upon we will be talking about
conservative we are talking about an institution there’s a Conservative Party
and not conservatism as an idea so as a set of principle right so what is that
idea and so produces pointed out right now you know in the in the sense
indirectly that the Conservatives are the ones who
in here – were protectable the classical meaning of liberalism that is you know
liberal as people who stand up for freedom and and there can be no meaning
of freedom under this meaning of freedom based upon individual rights it’s an
individual and that’s at the core of the classical meaning and I would say that
understanding this situation you’re not talking about where at the end of 2019
entering 2020 so this discussion is taking place at a particular space in
particular point in time any discussion of this nature of it over historical
event or fidelity becomes historical you know in the sense that had historical
world for instance the election in December a couple of weeks ago in
Britain in more ways than one that we can speak about it as a historical
election you know it was a landslide election is going to be one of the
dividing election 26:16 election on don’t run for the historical election as
we go forward and be looking back for any of such discussion I would suggest
needs to have a perspective at a minimum as I tell my students of 50 years and
the further you go back the deeper becomes the understanding it’s almost I
mean this is this is almost like you know then deeper you look into the space
or your telescope the further you wish back you’re actually coming to
understand the now of the situation so this is not something that is new that
has happened this this whole thing this portion began 50 years ago and you can
stretch it back even back to the early 20th century because it’s not only the
Liberal Party or the left you know in that sense and Canada the New Democrats
the Green now whatever other mutational parties that will emerge on the left or
Center left claiming to be in some ways liberal or actually not liberal get from
West that’s what began in the United States
you know at the turn of the last century 19th 20th century so Woodrow Wilson
claimed himself to be progressive you know and so the question then becomes
what is progressive and that’s I mean if if we are going to restore and as of
course primarily you know universities and colleges of schools where these
discussions take place and all the journalists that come out of there and
what is what they’re learning and now is that the world liberal means
progressivism and they have lost that historical context few will go back and
redesign early and professors don’t talk about it they’re you know the negative
Liberty positive Liberty you know and for principal so all of that has been
lost and if you were to regain it you have to get this bunch of people have
that perspective you know otherwise it’s like the word gay that was lost in our
lifetime you know now to say somebody is a gay person is not about that he’s a
jolly good person I mean Shakespeare would be coming and shaking his head
what does gave me about his article the sweet spot is the space that the
Liberals have long vacated which is this small L liberal smaller government lower
taxes that area of live and let live Leslie knew fair economically and he
said to win the Conservatives must be liberals Maxine Bernier in my estimation
hit that sweet spot perfectly which is why you threw your effort behind him I
threw my effort behind him it’s no surprise that you were in gatineau at
the first conference speaking to candidates and delegates there and why
did he only get one point six percent of the vote if you’re saying that if
somebody hits the sweet spot they’ll win it’s a good question and I and I think
max is on the right track in terms of the the policy positions that he put
forward he suffers the disadvantage of course of
having his own new party and instead of being in a mainstream party that is
perceived to be one of the main choices hopefully as time goes on he will be
able to become more mainstream and become more of a accepted choice for the
run-of-the-mill voter who believes that he can go somewhere for the time being
and this election just passed the people who vote for a true liberal point of
view or for that matter are conservative point of view seemed to have been
persuaded that to vote for anybody other than the Conservatives was too dangerous
in a vote splitting kind of way to try and keep Justin Trudeau from regaining
office which of course happened anyway so I think it’s just a matter of voting
dynamics rather than content I I don’t I don’t think that the idea of the PPC is
wrong at all I think it’s just a matter of trying to climb the mountain of being
a mainstream choice so that people are not making the choice they don’t want to
make in voting for the Conservatives just out of fear that Justin Trudeau
might win so leave your opinion on the fact that the Conservative Party right
now I’ll say allegedly though it’s it has been stated by people inside of
Warren consolers group that the Conservative Party hired Warren
cancellous group to slander Maxine Bernier and the People’s Party with the
epithet racist what part do you think that played in pushing Salima this
magazine out of this sweet spot and denying him at least his own seat
well to the extent I would say very quickly that the general population the
workers the electorate they draw their information their ideas the views both
in terms of trying to understand the current situation and the discussion
that is going on or to validate their own establish predispositions you know
on whatever issues that you want to take you know gender issues has become so
prominent at the present time the issue of multiculturalism in the Canadian
context or immigration and so on and people have views about this matter and
either they’re looking for validation about these views or they’re searching
for what is the general understanding out there in the media that reflects the
consensus of the country so so to speak what is forgotten is the media the
corporate media reflects the consensus of the lead establishment and as I’ve
been pointing out in in the case of Canada in the case of not a state the
elite is a group of you know interest groups that can clearly be defined
you know the oligarchy the business interest group which is not gone global
is reflected in the elite the academia both of us are academic – an elite you
know they do shape the generations that are going to come forward you know so we
carry an immense responsibility and burden yes as we were shape and in some
sense we are the ones that have walked away from the reservation of that
consensus but but they are really the media and elite you know and of course
the permanent bureaucracy that was the country now we know at least in the case
in another station is the same over here same in Britain the deep state you know
that the permanent bureaucracy does personally and then the establishment
political parties that govern the country and have had their hands on the
lever of governing day so it is a gathering it’s a it’s a it’s a group
maxime stood outside of that he’s over the first hit and just like in the case
of jontron you know he was outside of that consensus so it is a concern so
that that exists at any given moment in time which had its origin making
tres and go into the depths into the wheels and to find out how it evolved
and so but it exists and it is out there so what happened in this instance that
you are referring to it is the lead that Brandon Maxine a racist or
anti-immigrant anti-muslim and and and that thing stuck with the electorate
because that again and Bruce’s point pointed out and very correctly and you
know I was in the in the electoral process I I was a candidate I was with
Maxine twelve months was a very short time to get a party established to one
in the national election campaign right across the country 338 riding a lot of
an energy was invested in that in terms of maximum and the core group of the
party which is small party it wasn’t working progress a lot of energy was
invested to deal with getting the architecture of the party in shape and
then once the lift was dropped it was just four weeks of campaign and that
window was very very narrow the corporate media or media general looked
at PPC with almost a sneer you know in a sense who are you – he’s come up come
along and so they branded and and the electorate yeah and we didn’t have the
time to you know go around this matter deal with it have the debate till
discussion we didn’t have the resources that that thing stuck
and and we went into that election with that branding that happened through that
is what that but that that’s something that you know I I don’t fall down I
don’t despair on that matter I mean this to me
they they they shot their six rounds or whatever is it the call 45 and they’ve
done it we’ve come out of it you know what are they going to throw again you
know the matter now is in the public arena the discussion has to take place
you know and so whether the progress will be by inches of a yard that will
depend upon our capacity to get the message out but the message will get out
in the sense that alternative media is out there we will have more time more
town-hall meeting more public discussion exactly what you and I are doing right
now and people will pause and think about it and you know they’ll take a
second look and I think the more these people brand us and not engage with us
that is a people I’m not simply talking about the People’s Party just take the
issue of immigration which has been a burning issue across Western democracies
there was an issue in the UK election on the top of the agenda apart from brexit
it is the number one issue or one or two issue in the American election in 2016
and will continue to be in 2020 and it was an issue right at the top in our
election and what the if so sweet polling and the ledger polling in the
summer of this year 2019 just a few weeks before the election it was over
60% of canadian polls that the immigration numbers are too high isn’t
it a somewhat classical liberal notion that people should be let alone if they
want to come to this country to be citizens they should be allowed to
complain i’m playing a bit of devil app devil’s advocate here but isn’t that
liberalism come and join us I don’t care if you’re a million or ten
million people coming just like the United States was built by tens of
millions of people coming in why would why would somebody in the sweet spot of
small al liberalism be wanting to well may I jump in yeah you know a
boozer you know any proposition they’re like the one-year meters in can be put
into an equation so there’s an X and a while so one one side of the argument
you make you know you know it’s freedom people should come in you know they
should have the right to come in and so on and so forth the other side of the
argument Y sided a real nation state away another nation state I will
backtrack up on this matter and put it again in a larger perspective you know
freedom is not simply the meaning of licentiousness or chaos I mean it was
Edmund Burke who talked about it ordered liberty you know it there has to be you
know a guardrail you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater there’s a
guardrail and and you let me go back to this not only your question to answer
you guys can go back to the very opening issue that we talked about which we
haven’t gotten into which we need to get into progressivism because liberalism
liberal liberal is also the French word Libre you know freedom and we are
talking about that and it means nothing if it it is not individual freedom and
that’s what it goes back to it was Russell Kirk you know the great american
thinker a writer his most famous book at the conservative mind and the bulk of
the book is on Edmund Burke he made an observation which was remarkable
he said Burke was a conservative because he was a liberal birth was observing he
lived through the French Revolution his great book is reflection on the French
Revolution right and it in all of it comes out of that so if you if you parse
be the observation Burke was a conservative because he was a liberal in
other world Burke was trying to conserve freedom not let freedom be dissipated
what he was observing in the context of the French Revolution which is what
became chaos became Jacob in Ozone became tyranny became
authoritarian became guillotine all of that you know and he observed the whole
process which began with the rights of man the same as the American Revolution
the Bill of Rights you know and the famous statement the declaration of
independence by Jefferson you know God has endowed us was unalienable rights
the right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness in the in the Jeffersonian
term you know the Creator has endowed us it is that unalienable right it is not
something that a state gives it is the V the people who make the state that is
our order Liberty we bring these rights from whatever source you know whether
you are in guess the tears or you’re not it doesn’t matter it comes from outside
it comes from within it us and it is to conserve that that’s the conserving what
is ours and nobody can take it away that’s my dear principle we don’t
necessarily opposed to open immigration you just say we create an audit so we
create a state you saying you’re gonna control I control you control who comes
into your house and that’s our consensus we are a free people the other thing is
freedom does not an ordered liberty does not exist in a universe as a given it
has to be constructed it is to be the process a labor an effort so a liberal
state distinctively a liberal conservative state now that mean you
know in that sense of the term distinctly is different from a state
that is of some other denomination or characteristic you know a monarchy you
know I may need any famous classification of Aristotle you know you
had the three categories the the oligarchy the aristocracy the democracy
the water you know the different stage so a very precise meaning there is an
ordered Liberty and this is where it comes down to Constitution we write the
Constitution and so we accept the rules of who yes so so let’s put it this way
liberalism is not a rejection of the state this is not anarchy in fact
liberals embrace the nation-state for the purpose of keeping order in other
words you need the state to preserve your freedom to prevent people from
imposing on your property or taking at you with a club progressivism on the
other hand essentially rejects the idea of the nation-states and thinks of the
world is one globe and in that world it is easier to think of an open border as
something that’s sensible in a liberal worldview the nation-state is is a
necessity and in order to have a nation-state you have to have borders
and it is a completely legitimate thing because the state has been produced by
the people and elected by the people that state should be acting for the
benefit of those people not all people those people in other words if you’re in
Canada the Canadian government should act in the interests of Canadians not
the interests of the globe the interests of Canadians that means you have a
border and that means you have immigration because immigration is good
but you have immigration that serves the purposes of the country not the purposes
of the globe so this is this is an entirely different political
philosophies and then sort of an extreme an acoustic one or a supreme progressive
one that says no everybody can come in anybody can go anywhere all right sorrow
to all people know the rights owned by the Canadian government are owed to the
Canadian people and to no other people until unless those people are admitted
in a proper process and become part of the inside and not part of the outside
so there’s nothing inconsistent at all with the idea of a border and the idea
of liberalism and in my view furthermore I mean you know to what proof second
cross the stake and an open border world which is what the struggle of the 21st
century but it again had a big you can go back and trace it back to its root
every marks you know the people were that the working class has no country or
something of that classic but that’s interesting right
but that’s no you know I mean just so you that’s very interesting because that
that that’s quite true yeah but it’s interesting that in this era yeah it is
the working people inside these nation states who are the ones who are saying
not so fast I mean this is our country we don’t want to be globalist we we want
our own place we want our own culture we want we want immigration but we don’t
want to be overwhelmed so sorry to interrupt but I just wanted to it’s very
interesting because because the original Marxist position has laid out by Marx
and angle and Communist Manifesto the working class of the world has no state
of their own of that nature you know and and again it comes out of the French
Revolution and you know people are in Chains social contract whose so and so
on and so that was the debate of the first international des marks an angle
you know so that’s the globalists oregon you might trace it back to a mid 19th
century you know when Communist Manifesto came
out and then you have the immense struggle just limit myself to this
particular point any minstrel within that Socialist Movement the first
International which splits up after World War one because one side was
arguing for that International Revolution which is may affect
borderless world and then the other side and they split up argued for socialism
in one country we can’t ventually became you know Stalinism and so on so but they
it was the argument that no it has to have borders it has to have state it has
have concrete and the working class will defend the state’s not about revolution
and you see the cycle has no in terms of the progressive is the cycle is not
turned back to the first Internet it’s a borderless world and go and tell that to
the Chinese communist right and and so on so these paradoxes
yes I will need as you have and and and the big and and the people who are
pushing the most you might say on the globalist argument in the Western would
world today for instance Angela Merkel and Europe where she says all the state
all the European state member states do you have to hand it over to the European
Union this is the globalist argument you know and there is no nation state that’s
obsolete she’d use the word out there that’s obsolete there’s another point I
want to draw it out and unlike Bruce’s or thoughts on this matter
since he’s bought the lawyer and a constitutional lawyer on this issue
excuse me progressive is in cross in contrast to the liberal the classical
liberal and the berkians the conservative are distinctly
different in the following sense Bert as clerk points out was a conservative
because it was a liberal you want to conserve something you want to conserve
your freedom you want to conserve protect conserve you say it’s not an
ideology it is it’s an instinct it’s human to conserve what you find sacred
or you want to treasure what you find beautiful so you want to conserve that
so the belt of mind of the classical liberal or the conservative is to
respect if not revere tradition and the past and in the very particular sense
the Constitution the constitutional order you see that was that what is the
sacred script in American a secular America what is the sacred skin’ is the
Constitution the battle is all the Constitution you know how you read it
how you interpret it how you implement it how we netted etcetera etcetera
etcetera but there has to be a document and the document is the Constitution
that was by the founding fathers two hundred and
thirty plus years ago they were all or what today’s a lexicon would be the bad
white man the old white man they were all slave owner etc etc they doesn’t
matter that was a sacred literature in that sense secular and that’s laid down
and that comes to the nation-state and it’s that’s how you defend your the
country we the people and and that’s also the ordered Liberty the progressive
said anything to do with the past instinctively is abhorrent is an
abomination it’s a stain because by the definition of progressivism it isn’t now
the present and what the present lead on to the future in the hands of the Pro is
the improved product of what was the past the stain the the product that was
you know not properly dysfunction etc etcetera
so the effort to over at the Constitution I mean in the American
elected politics get rid of the electoral college you know and and so on
and so forth so you you the Constitution is not revealed that’s not protected and
a whole sort of different languages emerge and how you deal with the
situation in the in the Canadian case that is the same argument in in the
sense we now have charter rights and freedom it’s Oregon there’s only now
what how many years thirty years no 82 32 it’s three three three
no forty years yesterday it’ll be twenty eight yeah yes so today but in the
debate that happened in the patrician of the Constitution the people who opposed
it and and the previous were posed clearly Trudeau at that time I think one
of the key voices was that of Sterling line of Manitoba who argued that in the
British tradition of which we are upon there is no written constitution but
there is what is common law and presidents that’s the tradition you know
the supremacy of the Parliament you know revered institutions back to work you
know and that’s what you defend that’s what you protect that’s what you bring
the point and people who don’t share those traditional who haven’t had the
opportunity of being schooled in that tradition of grown up in that tradition
either they have to learn that tradition when they come to Canada we talk about
the immigrants or we have to wait them whether they are people who are willing
to live by our tradition we all have a tradition this is our tradition you know
with the progressive will rubbish that and that’s where the problem lies
and so this is going getting back to the Conservative Party this is one reason
that they become schizophrenic if I can put it that way
they suck a blow at the same time because they are consumed because they
are part of the establishment yes and the establishment is become progressive
yes and so all of those globalist illiberal welfare states the policies so
on and so forth are part of the of the worldview that the Conservative Party
has because that’s the way it’s done within the establishment on the other
hand they have a few left overs of wanting to preserve traditional ideas
and traditional institutions and traditional beliefs and so they’re both
progressive and conservative simultaneously and there is there are a
few things that make less sense than a progressive conservative it’s insane yes
he’s right and and in this in the spot that they’re missing is the liberal one
in between those two extremes that sweet spot you cannot be progressive and
conservative at the same time and in fact I would say that you can’t be
either progressive and win as a conservative because there are other
more progressive parties you will you will always win I’ll offer you will
always lose that contest to the parties that are really progressive more
progressive than you and they don’t really mean their conservatism anymore
because they’re part of these progressive
establishment so every once in a while you know there’s some utterance that
that that suggests the shadow of their former selves as a real conservative
group of people but it’s it’s either hushed hushed or it’s not genuine so it
just causes them a whole lot of trouble as it did in the last election right so
the thesis going back to the thesis is look you got to claim this territory
that no other political party other than Max and the PPC is is claiming but to do
that you have to reject what the establishment now stands for and that is
one reason why it’s going to be very difficult for the Conservative Party to
do that because it’s against all their instincts you want to be part of the
establishment it’s against their very name exactly it’s against their name and
it’s against it’s against their interests in the sense that in between
your interests to be part of the establishment well then the route to the
establishment is not to adopt a truly classically liberal point of view
because it’s a sign this is a sign of how far we’ve come that classically
liberal point of view is now an extreme outlier in our political spectrum when I
was running for the Canadian Alliance as at the same time that you were Salim in
2001 I remember in the door mm mm I remember at the door people were afraid
quite literally afraid that if the Canadian Alliance became the governing
power they would lose their OHIP they would lose their CPP their OAS and all
the social safety net programs they’ve come to rely on overnight like it would
be an abrupt change from the statist state that we have now to one of Liberty
where you’re responsible for your own actions shall I say the word progressive
when it should when it talks about the PPC reaching that sweet spot it’s not an
abrupt overnight thing is you know we created this huge monolithic
state that would require some sort of gradual of course progress yes two words
yes well can we just raised that the issue with the word progressive first I
mean that is the label but it’s and it’s it’s true that originally it was because
this was the group that was open to progress as opposed to trying to
preserve what came before there I think progressivism is now as much of a
misnomer for that constituency as as liberalism is for the the Liberals I
mean progressives are illiberal they’re authoritarian their status I mean any
one of those labels would be a better fit than progressivism president sounds
like a great thing it sounds like you’re making progress yes right so I just
wanted to raise the my my issue with giving them that label the one that they
they want to use but but to the to your question about the transition from a
heavily statist welfare state situation you’re absolutely right
is this not this is not the kind of thing you do overnight at all it would
be not in the interests of your own people to to try to get them to adjust
from one situation to the next in an abrupt kind of way that’s that’s not the
way you do it what you do is you establish you identify and establish the
principles upon which the state is supposed to function and then over a
reasonable amount of time you you transition from what you have to what
you ought to have so that people are people people get what they deserve
people get what they’re Kent what they’ve been camping on they they get
what they have been planning on let’s say you’re talking about a person who’s
retirement age or close to it thinking well I’m gonna get CPP okay well that
person is function for the past thirty years of his life thinking well I’m
gonna have CPP it wouldn’t do to suddenly overnight
say oh by the way you know that that that benefit you were gonna get no sorry
you can’t have that anymore that that number one it’s not smart politics and
number two it’s not it’s not right well right well you see the yeah exactly it
is now contracts can’t be broken by governments legally are and some some
I’ve made the case before that some kinds of contracts should be broken by
government but this is not this is not one of them on the other hand you don’t
want to leave all of these systems in place it’s it’s no good to be a surface
liberal to say well these are them these are the the the principles upon which we
really ought to function but you know to actually put those principles into place
would actually require us to change the way we do business in the country so we
can’t really do that that would be well that would be a that would be a
progressive that’s right yes but before get we get lost in the wheel of these
policy discussion conceptually I think we can frame it as follow conservative
or status in one sense but status in the sense that they want to break the state
down we’re now in the 21st century the arguments of the elite that in in
Western democracies and in Canada pretty much you know the elite is fully in
in-depth frame of mind is globalism that is a higher entity in a borderless world
from where you derive your legitimacy of governing legitimacy of policy
legitimacy because you know there has to be some principle upon which your
legitimacy rests you know it doesn’t rest on an empty space on a vacuum you
know so for the progressive as the the legitimacy is that global entity from
where they’re looking after the planet you know the conservative in the
classical sense of classical liberal whether you know jeffersonian whether
your Birkin within who are you know Johnny McDonald and wilfred laurier
it is the steak it is we the people as the American Constitution began so your
legitimacy that is the legitimacy in the state doesn’t rest upon any elite in so
to speak it rest upon we the people and it is the institutions to which we the
people speak about what we want and what we want is not something that is gifted
to us by some entity standing up there like Santa Claus gifting it to us the
elite the monarch the United Nation it’s a great separates we we want this and we
are going to achieve it by our savings by our investment by our revenue that is
my our work see so your the point your people just know that you know but what
I’m driving at but is it’s very critical in our context where they are aired in
the last 50 or they can go further back what had happened in Canada I just
happened in the United States I just happened in Britain and much of
the Western European democracies it is a phenomenal cross with the Western world
where is the cradle of conservative liberal state you know john locke social
contract etcetera etcetera is that the state has become removed and the
institution of the state has become removed from the people that mean there
is a disconnect between a take the clear example the 2016 referendum brexit was
in june the referendum was the people made the choice it was not election it
is a clear question given to the people you want to stay or you want to live and
by a majority of people say we want to leave now all the parties are there for
I would say conservative labor liberal you know
every single party in the British Parliament where in a sense
establishment they work for the next three and a half almost four years to
nullify the people’s referendum til again to the long discussion we can come
to a new leader emerge Boris Johnson who pushed this issue
embraces an election happened and the people ratified that election that mean
they offer a referendum by voting for a leader and a party that said we are
going to deliver you what you want right so this is the thing that was the great
disruption and the United State doesn’t happen I was saying that one quick way
to handle it might not be in a sweet spot it isn’t it might be a difficult
thing but conceptually the 20th 21st century politics what we are now seeing
and Canada cannot remain an exception for too long or an anomaly an aberration
it is a politics of counter-revolution the Conservatives and the Liberal
counterrevolutionary in other words we want to restore the constitutional
government we want to restore we the people we want to make the Parliament
once again the voice of the people which it is not the Parliament has become
almost the voice of the PMO and the Prime Minister the the 328 members that
you can elect the lampposts and send it there makes no difference what happens
when you have a fair and open election and we the people decide that we want
the elites we want to be ruled yes some people have made the case that the the
the populist phenomenon that has happened in the States and in Britain
may not happen here because the history of the country is different the
divisions are different there are their regional divisions as opposed to Canada
exact time but Canada yes and I don’t know if they’re right I don’t know if if
Canada is fertile ground for a for a populist revolution or not I mean you
make a good point that in the last election 65% of
Canadians voted for the Liberals the NDP and the Greens combined and indeed if
you include the Conservatives it’s in that lot as a Progressive Party I mean
all the parties who have seats in the House of Commons are progressive that’s
the case that I would make and and though and the one not progressive party
the PPC didn’t elect anybody and if you’re gonna go with the will of the
people well the will of the people in the last round was pretty clear that
they want to be progressive now I hope that will change I hope I hope there
will be another you know as time goes on a scene to be by the rank-and-file voter
a more viable choice than they seem to have perceived it to be this time around
this is that point to us a fundamental problem either with democracy or the
makeup of this country because Saleem and I just got through a series of talks
about the checks and balances of the United States preventing the Nancy
Pelosi’s of the world from having their way with the people while in Canada we
don’t have those same checks and balances and you get a Justin Trudeau or
a Christian Freeland or whoever in power a junk meat sing and they have
dictatorial powers more or less well yes there’s there’s there’s things to be
said for and against both both structures the the the the plus side of
the American structure is that there are more checks and balances and and neither
branch has control on the other hand and the parliamentary democracy system you
actually have somebody in charge who’s responsible yes right and if you
actually need to get something done you’re much more likely to be able to do
it in that system then you are in the US that’s why Justin Trudeau likes China
that’s what you can turn around on a dime that’s right that’s right and of
course as time goes on the case I would make is unfortunately as time goes on
the way we govern ourselves is is converging with China instead of
diverging from it I mean we still of a democracy but in terms of the way we
manage our economy and then our people and center our speech and
watch over what’s happening I think we’re getting to be more and more and
more and more like China than China is getting to be like us yeah that’s that
that’s all very true but you know in in our situation what do you say that you
know we can go on and we can do more and we can get things done because of the
parliamentary system of government the executive and the legislature is in one
house and and then a member a cabinet and so on so we’re not getting too
technical about certain but but the Prime Minister is both the legislature
and we’re wearing different hats at different times but yes yes in the
American Constitution which is very deliberately enacted going again not
getting too technical based on the notion of separation of powers
distinctly a much more rigorous separation of powers in the States than
we have here yes correct but both of them have the same problem
the problem is if the elite agree among themselves that you know we will make
and work as such as one then the people can be excluded you know both the
American situation and our situation in Canadian situation that have that that
the principle work and in ours is much more effective in the sense as you just
pointed out if you take the conservative the Progressive Conservative as part of
all the other left-wing party that means 99 percent if 1.6 percent water for PPC
99 almost percent people voted for the authoritarian
a compact that that existed in becoming more and more so but where lies the
remedy realized the situation and I would argue that to to argument is over
here one is that in the case of PPC which was basically we were non-existent
you know we came to too little time and also put that thing out there was no
effective over a period of time there had been no effective at least for the
last fifty years a political party that clearly stands out defending the
principle that you’re talking about where the people can cast a vote and say
you know we stand for freedom we stand for conserving our tradition concerning
value we are open in fact we want to have a discussion of immigration I would
argue that immigration is not a natural situation in the world and and the thing
that you know people who argue he is naturally good there it is the book onus
upon them to make the case why it is naturally good because there’s the other
argument which for all sorts of reasons people don’t get into one is being
branded and they the culture that is involved over the last 50 70 years like
post 1945 that the Western world nobody talks about immigration in Japan or
India or China so it is a Western world given the history of two world wars all
of course and so on so forth then anyone who will talk about closed borders
against immigration without any further discussion will be branded as a bigot
you know and said this is the scarlet letter let nobody wants to carry only on
you rights but can we go from there to the question of electoral success for
the PPC and for the Conservatives for that matter
so yes the overwhelming majority of people voted for a progressive party
that’s what I mean Obama put them to work but exactly so I’m so the thesis is
this that a whole lot of people who voted for the conservative party yeah
are not progressive voters and they voted for the Conservatives because they
perceived that there was really no other choice and if that’s the way
things continue for the Conservatives they’re gonna keep losing because the
people voting for them don’t really want to vote for them because the
Conservatives are not really something that they believe in they’re just voting
for the Conservatives because they don’t want to vote for the Liberals or the NDP
right so home that’s artists right well one-third of the people of absolutely
yeah you know a number is increasing exactly so so the case I want to make to
the Conservatives is if you want to win you know then you better change your
stripes if my conservative you’re talking small see I’m talking no I’m
talking to the CPC if the CPC wants to win they better stop being Progressive
Party yeah yeah and they better also stop being a Conservative Party in the
in the retrograde sense because you know if you watch the the media and I don’t
know to what degree the media was was accurate but let’s let’s assume that
they were that the references in the in the CPC goings-on about you know Andrew
sheers anti-gay stance from the past was toxic negated gay gay marriage Cameron’s
right so that all that you know the that that that pure conservatives strain
doesn’t work either you mean imagine this imagine the
conservative party said right we’re not being progressive anymore let’s just be
full-blown conservative we are Berger Brigance gay marriage were were against
assisted suicide were against marijuana or against all these things social
conservatives we’re gonna we’re gonna be a full-blown socially conservative party
okay that’s not gonna work that’ll never work right so the only
place you got left is this genuine liberal maybe conservative in the sense
that you’re talking about in the Indian sense of preserving the Western
tradition of the way we do things I just hold it there yes I would like to
qualify that okay when you say let’s be wholly conservative or you know fully
conservative see where we stand talking about you know marriage what
else I say gay marriage I said marijuana I said it’s a suicide
yes I would say that the conflation the data strands urbanism I would say that
that would be in some way erroneous that’s reactionary right okay
okay I don’t think I mean if if if Edmund Burke was sitting here yes
well Jefferson was sitting here what what was it one works classic statement
of being a conservative that is a relationship with the past
holding the present for the future uh-huh it is not what wash wiping out
the past so the decisions that have been made and and and and the decision that
have worked a conservator is not ideological in that sense a decision
that have worked there was no no income tax before World War one right income
taxes now establish source of revenue for the state I don’t think any
conservative in the 21st century will come around and say in this income tax
should be now abolished you know and so on and so forth you know
medical sciences having gone forward and so big debatable of skin implantation or whatever then it was you
know stem research that we should stop it and so on no so it is not a
conservative reactionary the conservative is a position who wants to
say half the people agree to this have they been advised and they’ve been
taught to let me through the representation through this discussion
that has been short-circuited that’s the disconnect a conservative is rope
insensitive and leans forward to say okay your honor traditional values these
are our institutional values if you want to change it there are formulas to
change it in the constitutional formula does the amending formula I mean if you
guys want to change the Electoral College then have the guts to come out
and make the proposition go through the process yes yet and do it you know okay
so what is that you’re not we are not into an RT will not it right right so
that’s fair enough let’s let’s call those other policy
inclinations reactionary conservative yeah but my point is but my point is
that that’s really all that’s left over from the conservative you know in the in
the party sense from the conservative point of view they the kind of Burkean
conservatism they’re talking about is is pretty much absent in the take the
Harper’s tenure yes yes okay we have talked about it that if you bracket in
Canadian history over say ninety years we had twenty twenty go back to 1930
you know 1930 was RB Bennett’s government right that was the last
Conservative government before World War two and then you have almost nothing you
know in the sense there are only three majority governments in a period of
almost 90 years John Diefenbaker mmm-hmm Ranmaru early conservative yep
John Diefenbaker too was a progressive in or the party was progressive
conservative you know and that’s why diefenbaker
finally was kicked out of the party or you know that
for that I’m skippering against them you know yeah oh you are Bravo
with a completely liberal who ran for the conservative you think that when you
say liberal what do you mean I mean progressive all right you know I mean yo
clock you can you say whack him off you know so people the latest iteration of
Harper what was it that he did in his decade that one can say was a bird came
conservative thing you know there was not one legislation not one talk not one
principle dick in the case of marriage it was during his term it came on I
don’t know way you stood on that ground Bruce but but beached I just went along
and changed the whole thing second and adopter same-sex marriage right we see
same-sex marriage is a very good example to distinguish between the progressives
liberal and conservative view of the world I think right so so the
progressive view is well you know you can do you you can you should have we
should not only have gay marriage but we should promote gay marriage it may
become mainstream you must accept this you must embrace it if you don’t embrace
it then there’s something wrong with you the conservative point of view is gay
marriage is not a good idea because it’s not we should defend the traditional
notion of merits it is the state’s job to defend the traditional version of
marriage the traditional notion of family the liberal version of this is
the pure one is the state shouldn’t be involved in marriage if you want to
marry somebody in a church go ahead do it by your own rules marry thing you
want it’s a man and woman that’s fine there’s a man and a man that’s fine it’s
got nothing to do with us then let them do it the state it’s got nothing to do
with other people go and do what you want but don’t require us to participate
in it because it’s nothing to do with us it’s your life it’s not ours okay you
have three distinct approaches to that same question and the middle one the one
I just described is nowhere to be seen on the political landscape in Canada
there are still leftovers of the conservative view that marriage should
be between a man and that’s that is dead clinically dead that
that you go nowhere with that I think Andrew shoes experience shows that the
progressive view is if you’re not in favor of this then you are a bad person
you’re required essentially to endorse the idea I mean you know that’s not
acceptable either you for forcing ministers and priests exactly one of
these marriage that’s right that’s not a free country the free country is is this
place in the middle that says do whatever you want but don’t ask me to
take part see philosophically the liberal position as you have defined it
is very eminently defensible you know and and there’s no problem with it I
will say that what you have defined as conservative is actually the reaction
lupins you would say right now I understand
then there is the progressive right okay right look in in the 1990s this issue
erupted in American a big vase yes yes and so the people were involved in the
discussion and so the Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act yes correct
right and and the progressive presidents they signed on to it that’s Bill Clinton
nominated right and then all right but here’s the one thing that the
progressives and the Conservatives do have in common they think these
decisions should be collective decisions in other words as long as what I mean
but I’m including institutions when I say collective I mean either
democratically or institutionally in other words it is a decision for the
group to make together in some kind of deliberative way and if that is done
then the decision is OK and that is not the liberal view the liberal view is I
don’t care what the group thinks go and deliberate and decide whether you like
it or not I don’t care but death leave me alone go into the paradox of the
conundrum rules right that is where is the state because as we already talked
about the ordered Liberty but you see what I see over here yeah now know
the discussion but needed to be had what implication in the case of one of the
most quote unquote progressive countries in the world in the West in the Bronx
yes okay right in front of the debate happen in the nineteen eighties and
nineties and to defense assembly the National Assembly this was settled the
traditional marriage is traditional marriage and then there is the Union
they they gave a clear distinction between marriage and a union between us
right you know two women two men whatever you wanted that’s your choice
right the once you’ve done that I think the
implication in this way on your needle expertise come and the reason that this
had to be discussed and and the people have to comment that is the state had to
come in yes to the institution of the state because we are not living in a
situation of what we will buy ourselves individually ah use it as a pension
right there a job right there employment right there are your welfare rights and
etcetera which date comes in place you know sure what we’re getting at what
we’re getting at now is the nub of the difference the actual difference between
liberals and conservatives okay at bottom conservatives are still a philosophy that believes in the
collective believes in collective decision-making believes in collective
institutions whether it’s state or family or church or insurance it’s a
collective idea the individual this is the individual be damned
so if you if you’re in France the decision has been resolved liberal says
what are you talking about that I don’t agree and it’s my life I will do what I
like because it’s none of your business whereas this and this may be the one
thing that the progressives and the Conservatives have in common
they are both about the collective now they have very different views about
what the collective should decide damn was an activist collectivist right so so
so so there are men there are many ways in which small kisi
conservatives and small DC liberals today see eye to eye I mean they’re
they’re the they’re both in opposition to this a liberal authoritarian thing
that’s happening but when you when you really get to the bottom of the
difference there is this fundamental difference in worldview about what we’re
legitimists that comes from and legitimacy I think for a conservative
comes from a collective understanding and legitimacy for for a liberal
although they believe in the state to protect that individual liberty it is
the individual who is the ultimate decision-maker in the liberal worldview
and the collective the collective be damned
III don’t come in the difference or the distinction that you’re making between
the individual and the collective on the conservative side the progressive side I
would say the progressive are collectivist right ok yep
as you said you don’t go back to Marx and Engels or the modern you know
yes progressive a way no way and for them it is the dicta they know best the
definition of collectivism is that there is somebody who knows best you know and
he will impose them to say yeah and for the freezer verde no it is it is not
collective it is institution which has been freely rained just like a marriage
between two individual you’re not getting it agender years no no right
it’s not course like freely arranged but you know there are marriage that a
coercive I mean you go back collectivist society that’s the world yes we’re
talking about modern and pre-modern world right more than and pre-modern
culture right you know so marriage can is a course act you know the individuals
have no choice in the matter who they marry and and so on so forth it’s the
most important decision any individual can make you know your partnership fall
in life right and and aprender and that is I take the Middle East in the Arab
world and so on support I mean the whole problem misogyny and women this is just
a collectivist culture right but conservatives I mean the birkin sense is
not collectivist it is individual we freely gather together and we become
people’s party and we elected to the Parliament and
then we speak remember the working principle you elect
me yes but I am NOT your echo right I my burden is to give you the fullness of my
you know knowledge wisdom and so on and so forth
right whereas we are electing people in a counterman this is the collectivism of
both the progressive and the liberal progressive you’re electing members of
the Parliament who are denuded of their individual voice a great a great right
sure so IIIi would say on the issue of marriage it became such a hot-button
issue and you know or whatever is our personal choice you know we can put it
on the table but setting it aside for the discussion the debate the
conservative and this is where we come to may be began with what did Harper do
there was no discussion there was no reaching out to the public
that this is an issue you know in where they put in 2006 election 2008 election
this is a conservative platform we are going to defend the marriage or we’re
not going to defend the marriage though we’re going to go in different daily ago
to create a dog’s breakfast out of it but I don’t think that conservatives
small C conservative yeah would like the idea let’s let’s say let’s say a
classically liberal government isn’t elected and they say we’re going to take
the state out of the business of marriage there’ll be no such thing as
legal marriage anymore you go and do what you like you want to go to a church
that you belong to voluntarily and you want to get married according to that
church’s rules then great you know go ahead and do what you like but as far as
the law is concerned there will be no such thing as marriage my suspicion is
that a lot of small C conservatives would be appalled at that idea because
they think the institution is worth defending because it is a thing that has
carried us a long way over a long period of time as a civilization and on that
basis alone is it’s the kind of thing the conservatives wish to defend I don’t
have any problem with defending it as long as you do it voluntarily
early but I think their inclination is to look to the states to defend the
strength of the institution of the family and America what you’re saying
there is a spectrum of small C conservatism Summa which might tend to
believe that some might tend towards the smaller liberal okay fair enough
yes sir people are people the politics is messy but the state a democratic
state is not an alien state it is a state of the people by the people for
the people in this classic sense right so asking the state all leaning upon the
state when you have phrased it I would say it the other way it is true in the
parliament it is the Parliament getting the responses that’s our institution and
a small C conservative whatever the numbers are it’s a segment of our
population from what conserves there’s a bird can conservative point of view so
basically liberal in that classic sense yep would respect that view because
again that is an articulation of a legitimate interest value culture
tradition of the people you know and and and and it’s a job of a of a democracy
is to bring together all these various fuels and find the sweet spot the
harmony you know the economic sense is that the price equilibrium right you
come to you I think we’ve come to the sweet spot in this particular discussion
know what if I have to end it here because Oh time prohibits maybe next time
we can continue on about liberalism conservatism and the sweet spot of
Liberty thank you both Salim Bruce thank you very much thanks Robert thank you

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