Friday, October 3, 2008

Xtra Magazine Election Forum

Sorry for the delayed post about this, but I was part of an election panel hosted by the Toronto GBLT magazine Xtra.

Four people on the panel were all predictably "GBLT activists" and recipients of taxpayer dollars. Peter Bochove, owner of a bathhouse was the only entrepreneur of the bunch. While a Liberal supporter, I at least agreed with him in his statements about how GBLT people fought for freedoms of government, which I also raised. I find it ironic (hypocritical?) that on the one hand these panelists fight to have the government stay out of their bedrooms, but have are all for government dipping into people's wallets. I was pretty much the token conservative, and sidelined in the debate, because it was all about "how to defeat Harper". It was disturbing at how many people, while professing to support democracy said they should take the streets if they don't get their way. These sounded less like principled people, acting on sound judgement, and more like spoiled children.

My letter to the editor for Xtra is copied here:

"I would like to thank Xtra for inviting me on the panel Sept. 28th at Buddies. However, I was a bit disturbed at the extreme left-wing views espoused by the other panelists. Since when does coming out gay mean that I am also supposed to be a socialist? Zahra Dhanani seems to think that I and any other conservative, while welcome to have coffee with her, should be censored because conservative views should not be heard, since she automatically condemns conservative views as “hateful”. So much for tolerance and freedom of speech in our community!

Queers did not fight to become dependent on taxpayer money. Queers fought for freedom from government, which I think these panelists seemed to miss. If Clare, Zahra and Franco, really care about the queer community, they should not be demanding taxpayer funded handouts. These panelists should think less about how many taxpayer dollars they can grab before doing any work, and think more about serving queer consumers. Queer consumers will reward them with their money if they do.

While no one can claim to speak for everyone in the queer community, these “activists” on the panel are clearly out of touch. The LGBT community, women, and the poor are helped out the most by a free market society, not increased government dependence. People no longer die of hungry in this country, people have a roof over their head, and people easily afford clothing. A free market makes all of these essentials easily available and affordable because of businesses competing to serve them. According to the Frasier Institute, which provides the most objective measurement of poverty, the number of people struggling to afford basic necessities has been reduced from 50% of the population in 1951 to less than 5% today. We have never had it so good. When 98% of poor people have a colour tv, 73% have a microwave, and 73% own a car, panelists’ claims of mass suffering look even more out touch.

Unlike these panelists, I am not worried about a Harper majority. Less government, lower taxes, and safe streets mean more freedom for the average queer person. That is what the Harper government stands for. I think most queers are happy to have a government that stays both out of their bedroom AND their wallets."

1 comment:

Ironman said...

Great blog. I first heard about you on Adler Online - if the conservative party was as open as you I'd have a lot less cognitive dissonance going into this election; specifically the gun control got me - I'm ex-military, and I seriously question the morality of going unarmed out of fear of government reprisal. My fists have interupted gay-bashings before; but if someone pulls a rifle on me, there's not much I can do.

It's a shame that politics have been conflated with identity; you talk about the GLBT/liberal connect, I see the same thing in the general Canadian identification with Liberals.

Keep fighting the good fight.