Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Event Blogging: Tristan Emmanuel on "Running Right - Lessons from the Hillier Campaign"
Starting around 9:00, Joseph Ben-Ami gives opening remarks before introducing the first speaker Tristan Emmanuel. Emmanuel is President of Freedom Press Inc. A publishing company which specializes in conservative Canadian authors who write from a Canadian perspective. He was also the campaign manager for Randy Hillier, who ran for the Conservative leadership in Ontario.
Emmanuel is speaking about the Hillier campaign and it's mission. He advances two main points 1) Conservatives must advance real ideas and 2) Ideas are useless without real people.
· In the world of political spin there is nothing more damaging than the old perception that liberals are full of new ideas about justice and compassion while conservativism is just plain boring old. He suggests that liberal “new ideas” are like snake oil salesmen who comes into town with new ideas. There are too many “shills” in Canada for liberalism. Even many religious conservatives are shilling for liberal-socialism. The argument that something (like communism) has some kind of validity if it sounds “good on paper” is obviously ridiculous.
The difference between conservatives and liberals is that conservativism is rooted in reality. Hillier ran because he believed that people deserved a clear choice between conservativism and liberalism.. He opposed amalgamation because it wasn't practical. He believed in elective Senators and opposed a government monopoly on liquor. His most courageous stand was against the HRC. Principled dissent is fundamental to democracy, even if that dissent is politically incorrect. Such principled but politically incorrect speech defeated slavery and supported suffrage. Although Hillier wasn't most people's first choice, he was most people's second choice.
Randy was a real person. He was an unpolished, folksy, charismatic person. Honest to a fault. He was not interested in being handled by backroom political advisors He was very authentic and principled. His aim was to bring the PC party back to it's conservative roots, freedom, and democracy. While Hillier may not have won, his involvement was beneficial in influencing Hudak to oppose the OHRC.
The main point of Hillier was that Conservatives have to come back to conservativism.
The Q and A session
Q: Will Hillier have a portfolio in a PC government?
Q: How do we know that Hillier was most people's second choice?
A: Emmanuel was his manager and saw the results. He was a safe second choice for many people because he wouldn't win. The vote was also divided because the socons and libertarians were divided between pro-life and anti-HRC.
Q: Did they have policies on property tax, government raising taxes without people permission?
A: They didn't although they did have policies related to cities.. Ben-Ami adds, they did have a position that property tax regulations go back to the municipalities.
Q: What did they learn?
A: They announced too many policies.
Q: As campaign manager, who would you advise the candidate to speak to and how?
A: Speak to people depending on who they are. Candidates should be learned and yet ideas are not real unless they are communicated in ways that people can understand.
Q: Should the geographical value system be changed because it is not balanced. Some ridings have a larger proportion of voters voting than others?
A: All ridings are weighted equally unless they have less than a hundred votes.
Q: Should they have gone pro-life?
A: Hillier had to be real and if he wasn't pro-life they couldn't pretend that he was. Pro-life is really mostly a federal matter. This is the first time that politicians addressed HRC and that is important even for pro-life people because unless we have freedom of speech they might not be able talk about pro-life. His position on pro-life is libertarian. The state shouldn't say anything but it shouldn't fund it either.
Q: Hillier was a very rural person, did he learn anything about bridging the gap between rural and city people?
A: They did attract urban people with tax cuts and real conservative ideas that are attractive no matter where you live.
Q: What kind of leader is Tim Hudak, is he more of a social conservative?
A: Hudak is not a libertarian. Conservatives believe in limited government. It should be strong in what it does and leave the rest alone. Libertarians believe that people are intrinsically good and should be mostly left alone. This is naive because of the problem of evil. People left alone tend to go to anarchy not cohesion. Emmanuel doesn't know if he is libertarian or conservative. He promised to do something about the HRC however.