Friday, August 24, 2007

Political Philosophy Positions

The problem with debating online is that it is so easy for others to misinterpret your views - partially this is intentional on their behalf but I believe it could have something to do with poorly developed comprehensive skills. The following is a list of positions that I sent out to a recent forum to clarify my position on several issues. It is by no means inclusive of all political topics but it is a start.

These are my positions.

1. I am a Classical Liberal in that I believe in free enterprise, private ownership of property, electoral democracy, human rights and civil liberties.

2. I support a strong and often interventionist Foreign Policy by the western nations that does not shy away from confronting and dealing with totalitarian challenges such as Fascism, Communism (in its various incarnations), Islamist Militancy etc. If this makes me a Neo-Con then so be it. I will not apologize for that.

3. I believe that Western Civilization has for the most part been a success – progress in science, medicine, art, human freedoms, the law, quality of life, economic well being emphasize this point – however I do concede that there is still much room for improvement in most of these aspects.
Political writers/journalists that I generally like include: Charles Krauthammer, Jeff Jacoby, John Stossel, Melanie Philips, Mark Steyn, Victor Hanson, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Paul Johnson, Richard Brookhiser, George Will, David Horowitz, Phylis Chesler and La Shawn Barber.

4.I am opposed to the Death Penalty as it is applied in the US and various other nations but do believe that it has some merits in the case of convicted Serial Killers, Mass Murderers and War Criminals. Nevertheless I argue that those facing a death penalty charge – should have available to them via government funding the access to the best legal defense – some lawyers such as Alan Dershowitz often represent such clients Pro Bona.

5. I support a women’s right to choose but believe that various methodologies used in Partial Birth Abortions are immoral and should be banned. I have strong reservations about abortion after the 16 week limit but argue that these should be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

6. I oppose Affirmative Action as I believe it to be discriminatory, ineffective and condescending to the groups that it is intended to help. The fact that all Democrats and many Republicans cannot see through this fa├žade and continue to support such policies is very disappointing to me.
I believe in policies that champion self sufficiency and avoid the victim-victimizer dichotomy that has become too common in the social democracy.

7. I am not an American so I cannot vote in the US elections. If I could I would consider myself neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I vote based on the Overall merit of the Candidate. Looking back (trying to avoid the benefit of hindsight) I would probably have supported: Roosevelt 32-44, Truman in 48, Eisenhower in 52, Stephenson in 56, Kennedy in 60, Johnson in 64, Humphreys in 68, Nixon in 72, Ford in 76, Reagan in 80 and 84, Bush Sr in 88, Clinton in 92 and 96, Gore in 00 and Bush Jr. in 04.

8. In this current election (2008) I am backing Rudy Giuliani but would not be averse to an Al Gore presidency (although his Global Warming Angle has taken on a seemingly hysterical role as of late). This could change between now and 2008 based on new information available.

9. In Canadian politics I have voted PC, Conservative and Liberal at various times. I have never voted NDP – as I see its economic policies as shortsighted - although I have respect for some of their political figures namely Ed Broadbent, and most recently Joe Comartin.

11. I support a Compassionate Conservatism that argues for the maintenance of the Traditions and Foundations of Western Civilization whilst working to improve the overall human condition.

12. I am strongly opposed to Leftism. This is not to be confused with liberalism. Leftism is a term that describes the various philosophies that seek to radically alter the structures of Civilization to create a proposed utopia. History has shown that movements toward Utopia often have the inverse effect of creating a Dystopia devoid of toleration. Typical leftist philosophies include (but are not inclusive of): Anarchism, Collectivization, Fascism, Forced Atheism, International Socialism, Islamism, Maoism, Marxism, National Socialism, Nihilism, Pacifism, Primitivism, Radical Feminism, Religious Fundamentalism (of any kind), Rigid Environmentalism, Scientism, Stalinism, Strict Socialism, Trotskyism. All of these are anathema to the spirit of human reasoning and are deleterious to the overall progress of our species.

13. I am not a Libertarian (nor an Anarcho-Capitalist) as I believe that taxes are necessary and that there is a need for welfare programs within society. I do not accept the ‘survival of the fittest’ maxim as a guideline for our civilization. In my opinion this encourages a philosophy of self-centeredness that is ultimately damaging.

14. I see the necessity of corporations for large projects that require economies of scale but I believe that it is the duty of government to prevent the rise of oligarchies that restrict the openness of an economic system based on true competition. In short I tend to favour small business Free Enterprise over large organization Capitalism.

15. Government should minimize its interference in people’s personal lives as much as possible but not to the level where such pertinent issues as child and elder abuse, domestic violence are ignored.

16. Liberal Democracy (LD) while not a perfect system is still the best form of practical government that exists. I support LD as it provides a fair balance between the right of the individual and that of the State. All the Leftisms outlined in 12, fail in the long run as they are extremely biased to one side of the individual/state duality.

17. Liberal Democracies have the right and must defend themselves against internal and external threats. If not they risk extinction.

18. I am a supporter of soft multi-culturalism- encouraging various groups to appreciate their own cultures within the context of the LD. I oppose hard multi-culturalism that favours state supported cultural institutions. It is for this reason that I oppose hiring based on ethnicity and funding of cultural and religious schools. The latter should be driven by the community concerned although I do support government funding of the secular aspect of the cultural and religious schools curriculum.

19. I believe that Global Warming is a reality for in the current context but I am not convinced that it is largely driven by humanity. Nevertheless I do support the realistic efforts to reduce our carbon foot print. I am however opposed to the Kyoto Plan – which punishes Western Industry while ignoring the environmental harm caused by the growing Chinese industrial complex. I see Kyoto as more of a Western Liberal ‘feel good plan’ that is inconsistent with the global reality of pollution.

20. I support the use of Nuclear Power but would like to see more government initiatives – through tax incentives – that encourage wind and solar power facilities. I am also encouraged by the progress made by properly using clean coal and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

21. I am heartened to see government support for national Parks and ecological havens (I would like to see even more) and I believe that these should remain off limits to corporate or any other type of exploitation.

23. I do not agree with the radicalism of various environmental groups that spike trees and engage in various forms of eco-terrorism.

24. I am opposed to the Paleo-Conservative (Old Right) movement. It is too geared toward isolationism, social conservatism and the politics of division.

25. I support Gay Marriage as I see it as a logical extension of a vital institution that will grow stronger through inclusiveness.

26. I favour a monetarist approach to economic regulation over Keynesian fiscal initiatives however I believe that there is still room for the latter (up to a reasonable point) in a well run economy.
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