"Big Ideas for Conservatives" is the title of a yak-fest to be held in Ottawa, Canada later this week. The sponsor is the Manning Centre for Building Democracy: Presto Manning, Prop. Mr. Manning was the founder and one-time leader of Canada's Reform Party, the conservative movement that later got hijacked by "Call me Steve" Harper.
Walt may just strap on the snowshoes and head for the world's second-coldest capital* for the conference, since the line-up of speakers includes some real conservatives, including Walt's favourite libertarian, Ron Paul.
If the weather forecast looks iffy, Walt may have to be content with rereading the interview given by Dr. Paul to Paul Koring of the Globe and Mail. [That would be a "Paul-to-Paul" interview, eh. Ed.] [That's apauling! Walt.]
Dr. Paul thinks Canada and the USA could learn from each other and do more in concert to free the people from big government. For one thing, he says, the border should be more open, the way it used to be. As one who can recall hassle-free trips across the bridges and tunnels as recently as the `70s, Walt agrees.
Dr. Paul thinks too much is being made of the distinction between liberals and conservatives. Labels, including racial labels, are divisive, he told Mr. Koring. "To me the message of limited government is universal -- that is the message of liberty and why it is beneficial, not only to our personal lives as well as our economic lives."
You won't be surprised to learn that Ron Paul has not time for Canadian approaches to gun control and universal health care. He thinks Obamacare should be scrapped, and that health care should be left to the private sector because government doesn't do a very good job. "Obamacare is in chaos, prices are going up, there are shortages, doctors are quitting, so I don't see that government delivering a service or a good is of any benefit to the people."
Dr. Paul does think America could learn some budgeting prudence from north of the border. And he thinks NAFTA should be scrapped in favour of even freer trade. In all things, he says, let the people – and the market – decide.
Click here to read the Globe and Mail's longer version of the interview.
* Ulan Bataar, Mongolia. You're welcome.