The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Our long election campaigns

People have been pointing out that Canada, for example, has much shorter campaigns than the United States; for example, the most recent election campaign that made Justin Trudeau Prime Minister was 11 weeks long, and people complained that this was too long! But they are comparing apples and oranges. In countries like Canada, with parliamentary systems, everyone knows who the candidates for Prime Minister will be — a party has a recognized leader. Our long campaigns are a result of the fact that we first have to choose the candidates who will run for President. Yes, Ted Cruz filed over a year and a half before the election, but this was as a candidate for the Republican nomination, not for the actual election this coming November. Justin Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party on April 14, 2013, winning on the first ballot with nearly 80% of the vote. So in effect he has been able to define himself as the Liberal candidate since that time. The Republican and Democratic candidates for the presidency will be officially chosen this summer. This makes a difference. One can really say that Trudeau's campaign for the Prime Ministership began in 2013 and lasted until October 19, 2015, when Trudeau's Liberals defeated Stephen Harper's Conservatives — about 2½ years. This compares with about three months that our candidates for the Presidency (whoever they will be; Hillary Clinton probably for the Democrats, but who knows for the Republicans?) will have after the conventions. Now whose campaigns are longer?

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