Note from the Editor: with Maxime Bernier’s recent decision to leave the Conservative Party of Canada, many libertarians and freedom-loving Canadians have come under fire for refusing to side with the established order of politics in Canada as well as the potential to split the vote.
When I was in high school I took an automotive class. It taught us how to do basic vehicle repair, but it was taught by a very simple man. A man who represents the mentality of the majority of voters in this country.
Standing in front of a classroom trying to teach the finesse of using a socket set, our teacher spoke: “If 18mm is too small, you go to 19mm.” This is basic logic and, should go without saying. “If 19mm is too big…” And he hesitated. He stood in front of the class without an answer.
At the time I thought this was funny, but now as an adult using it as an analogy for voting, I see a serious problem.
I have voted in every election that I was eligible to vote in since I turned 18. It wasn’t until only a few years ago that I realized my vote wasn’t being cast for who I wanted to win, but rather, against who I didn’t want to win. That is not what democracy was intended for. I resent it to this day.
The fact that something doesn’t work certainly means we should try something else.
The idea that we should switch back and forth between two things we know don’t work is crazy, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” is the literal definition of insanity.
My shop teacher was confused at that moment. He didn’t consider the idea that the solution was a socket somewhere between an 18mm and a 19mm. That is the mindset of the average voter. If someone suggests that we try a socket size between 18 and 19mm, they say we’ll split the vote. That’s not a bad thing. Let’s split the vote. We already know 18 and 19 don’t work. Why would we alternate between the two? Let’s use logic and try a size that might actually make a difference.
I am a libertarian. I know 18 and 19 don’t work. It’s entirely possible that the size I choose won’t fit properly either, but at the very least there’s a chance that it will. Under my vision of a government, things may go wrong – But at least if they do, it will be my own fault. Slashing government overreach can be a frightening concept to those who fear being in control of their own lives, but it is necessary. Libertarianism is the psychological equivalent of immersion therapy. It’s scary at first, but it ultimately works.
In the end, we need to split the vote. It’s certainly better than the pointless endeavor of switching between an 18mm and 19mm socket even though neither fits.
You can read more by James Wendler on Think Liberty here.