What the UK general election means for Northern Ireland | FT

come to Northern Ireland to look at the impacts of
Brexit and the upcoming general election on the region. Behind me is the Peace Wall,
a symbol of the troubles that this part of the
UK has faced for years. Well be talking
to those fighting on both sides of the debate
to see what’s at stake, and what it means for the
future of Northern Ireland. [MUSIC PLAYING] Before 2017, the DUP were
a relatively unknown force in British politics. But all that changed when
Theresa May came back from a general election
without a majority. [MUSIC PLAYING] The DUP’s 10 members
of parliament gave the conservatives
the majority that they needed
to stay in power, through a Confidence and
Supply Agreement that guaranteed this region of
the UK one billion pounds. But Brexit made
that relationship increasingly difficult
over the last two years. And the party voted down
Theresa May’s Brexit deal on three separate occasions. Then Boris Johnson came
in, and he did a deal that Mrs may wouldn’t
have dared to do. It involved putting
a trade barrier down the Irish
Sea, something that is unacceptable to the
DUP, who have consistently argued that Northern Ireland
should leave the European Union on exactly the same
terms as the rest of the UK. It was the DUP’s vote that
made a real difference when Boris Johnson put his
deal to the House of Commons. It failed, meaning
that there was no other course
of action to take but to call a general election. [MUSIC PLAYING] JEFFREY DONALDSON: So this
is back in the early 1990s– mid 1990s, meeting Bill Clinton
when he became interested in the peace process. This was our first meeting with
Tony Blair when he was leader– became leader of the opposition
before the ’97 general election. I was elected in ’97. Here’s the challenge. If the economy is harmed
by Boris Johnson’s deal, that’s going to undermine
political progress in Northern Ireland. It is going to undermine
political stability. And I think the prime minister
should sit back and take note that none of the main
parties in Northern Ireland support his deal. Is that really what
he wants to impose on Northern Ireland, a trade
border in the Irish Sea, when he said there wouldn’t be one. When he said no
conservative prime minister could agree to a border
in the Irish Sea. And yet, his deal
does precisely that. LAURA HUGHES: Is he
risking the Union? JEFFREY DONALDSON:
Well, he’s certainly risking political stability
in Northern Ireland. And I think this
does harm the Union. Anything that creates a
separation between Northern Ireland and Great Britain
has, I think, the potential to undermine the
integrity of the Union. And it’s not just
Northern Ireland. I think if the prime minister
proceeds on this basis, it will probably
enhance the calls in Scotland for a
referendum there. The SMP are going
to, I think, latch onto this deal as an excuse
for having a referendum. So the prime minister
needs to be very careful. [MUSIC PLAYING] LAURA HUGHES: For
the smaller parties in Northern Ireland, the
nationalist ones and also the pro-Europeans, this
election is a chance to get rid of the DUP. And across the region, we’ve
seen an informal alliance spring up between the SDLP,
Sinn Fein, and the Greens to stand against the
DUP and try and get rid of a couple of their
members of parliament. Northern Ireland actually
voted to stay in the EU, and nationalist
groups here argue that the DUP haven’t
represented the best interests of the region. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Brexit deal on
offer has fueled nationalist parties calls for a
reunification poll in Ireland. I’m about to talk to a veteran
Sinn Fein politician who was interred by the
British government twice during the
years of the troubles. ALEX MASKEY: This was 1981. Kieran Doherty was a
personal friend of mine. Was in prison with
him myself, interred. This was a firing party, just
before he was then taken down onto the [INAUDIBLE]. [INAUDIBLE] and, if you like,
the militant republicanism were never comfortable
bedfellows. So that was a major choice
to be taken by Republicans, on the back of the
hunger strikes, to say, well, we’re going to develop
an electoral strategy. Our politics has been polluted,
if you like, because of Brexit. For us here in the north of
Ireland, the majority of people here voted to remain. That means a majority of
nationalists and unionists voted to remain within the EU. This has forced people
from the unionist community to be pondering, where are their
future interests best served? Is it in the union with Europe,
or the union with Britain? LAURA HUGHES: Do you
think also that Brexit has made a reunification
poll more likely? ALEX MASKEY: Well, I
think it has sharpened the focus of a lot
of people’s mind, in terms of what
the future lies. The last number of years here,
certainly sounds Good Friday, has meant there’s been
a number of changes in the mindset of a
lot of people here. Because clearly, when
you have a peace process, you have more or less, and
certainly not exclusively, an end to violence
on the streets and the British military
presence, and so on. When much of that has been
very significantly reduced thankfully, then people
started, and been able to have a way to raise
[INAUDIBLE] and their politics. [MUSIC PLAYING] LAURA HUGHES: But Brexit
that isn’t the only thing on voters’ minds as they head
into this general election. The storm in Assembly, Northern
Ireland’s regional government, has been suspended
since January 2017, after a dispute between
Sinn Fein and the DUP. How has Brexit
impacted this election? ADRIAN GUELKE: Well,
in a curious way, less than you
would think, simply because everybody’s agreed
that this is a horrible deal. So what’s the argument about? The paradox is, if people
elect the Sinn Fein MP, there actually is one
less vote against the deal in the cut of work. So it’s an odd situation. So there are other issues that
are quite important as well, for Northern Ireland electors,
which is the fact that we’ve had no government since January
2017, which is a long time to go without a government. So there are other
questions that will influence how people
vote, other than Brexit. And there is, I think, also
sort of fatalistic attitude amongst people in
Northern Ireland that Brexit is nothing
they can do anything about. And that fatalism has
grown with the sense that the English are not
paying any attention whatsoever to opinions in Northern
Ireland about this any longer. LAURA HUGHES: No major
political party here supports the prime minister’s
Brexit deal in this election. It’s a deal that could
have huge ramifications for the future of the
Union and Northern Ireland. But if Boris Johnson returns to
the House of Commons this month with a majority,
there’s a question over who’s going to
be listening to them. [MUSIC PLAYING]

The Liberals’ 2017 budget makes life more expensive for you and your family

I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan. The Liberals claim that this budget is all about the middle class and those working hard to join it So let us talk about precisely that subject and examine some of the systematic wealth transfers the government is undertaking to move money from the middle class and those working to join it to the most wealthy and well-connected people in Canada. Let us start with the carbon tax, which will charge $30 a ton at the beginning and rise to $50 a tonne of emitted CO2 by the time it is fully implemented. That will undisputedly increase the cost of almost everything. According to finance department documents, it will increase the cost of gas, home heating, groceries, and create a “cascading effect” of higher prices throughout the economy. Who will that affect? According to Statistics Canada, poorer families spend a third more of their household income on the things that tax applies to than do rich households. That is because many of the costs I just laid out are fixed for families. It does not matter if they are rich or poor, they have to heat their home and turn on the lights, and people have to eat. The more discretionary products that people enjoy, like going on long vacations or a luxurious time with one’s family at a fancy resort, would not consume nearly as much percentage wise of the resources that are taxed under this regime. So the percentage impact on the incomes of poor families is much higher than on the incomes of rich families, the very definition of a regressive tax Who will get the money? We know that in none of the provinces across the country will this tax be revenue neutral. Even British Columbia, which has the least damaging regime, is taking more in taxes than it is giving back in tax relief. Other provinces have convoluted schemes that require lobbyists, consultants, and political influence for anyone to get that money back. For example, in Ontario, people can get some of their carbon tax money back if they apply for a rebate on a $150,000 electric car. Now, that is going to be great for the millionaires and billionaires who drive Teslas, not so great for minimum wage-earning secretaries or hairstylists struggling to pay for their kids’ basic needs. We know that those who are well lobbied for, well organized, well connected, and just plain wealthy will get the lion’s share of the proceeds of this tax. It is a wealth transfer from the middle class and those working to join it to the wealthiest 1%. Then let us move to the national debt. This budget adds $25 billion to the national debt. What does that bring? Interest. Interest to whom? Interest to those who can afford to buy government bonds. Who are those people? Are minimum wage earning people buying governments bonds? Are single mothers struggling to pay for their groceries setting aside money to buy government bonds? No, of course not. In fact, the budget gets rid of the Canada savings bond which used to be a vehicle of savings for Canadians, and that is an acknowledgement that it is not everyday Canadians who lend to the government anymore, it is wealthy institutional investors who like the risk-free return that government bonds offer, because they are backed up by a taxpayer guarantee. The higher income people will necessarily benefit more from the billions of dollars in interest payments taxpayers will fund on this year’s $25 billion deficit. Then there is the infrastructure bank. The Liberals have proposed an infrastructure bank that would offer loan guarantees and subordinated equity to large institutional investors building public infrastructure in Canada. I have no problem with the private sector building public infrastructure. I do not even have a problem with the idea that they might benefit from the value that they add to the economy. But profit cannot come without risk. At the end of the day, the profit-maker must be the risk-taker. However, the infrastructure bank is designed to lift the risk off the balance sheets of the wealthy investors and put it onto the backs of taxpayers. That is what loan guarantees do. If the project fails and it cannot repay its funds, there is a guarantee from the taxpayers to pay it back. A subordinated equity position would ensure that the taxpayers’ contribution to an infrastructure project is the first dollar lost and the last dollar to get a return on. For example, if the infrastructure bank led to the construction of a toll bridge and that toll bridge made money, the private investors would get the profit of that money; but if that bridge lost money by going over budget or coming in under revenue, then the taxpayer would take the loss. That is what subordinate equity means. It means the taxpayer would be subordinate to the wealthy interests that profit from this program. Then there is all this talk about innovative, accelerated, synergistic, super clusters—all the science fiction in the budget. They give as an example of that the $372-million-taxpayer-funded loan to Bombardier that is supposed to be really innovative, create lots of innovative jobs. In fact 4,500 Bombardier’s Canadian employees have lost or will be losing their jobs while six executives are sharing $32 million in current and deferred compensation. If the government had required that the executives only make $200,000 a year, which is the Liberals’ definition of “rich” out of their platform, then there would have been enough money to hire hundreds of additional employees at the median income rate that is defined by the budget to which I am speaking right now. If this corporate welfare were really about jobs and not about lining the pockets of well-organized, well-lobbied-for, well-lawyered, and well-connected insiders, then there would have been guarantees for that public money to translate into real jobs for middle-class workers. There were no such guarantees. In fact, precisely the opposite occurred. The 1% of the 1% of the 1% made off like bandits. The billionaire Bombardier-Beaudoin family got reinforced with the taxpayer dollars funded by middle-class people in this country. These are but four examples of how this big and growing government has created a feeding frenzy with those who have the influence and the money to benefit from all the proceeds that are going out the door. We know that if we want to help the middle class and those working to join it, we do it by lowering taxes, opening up free enterprise, getting rid of all the favours, and allowing people to achieve great things based on their merits.

The Code of Hammurabi & the Rule of Law: Why Written Law Matters [No. 86]

The Code of Hammurabi tells us an immense amount about Babylonian society. Much of what we have is contract law. Much of what we have is liability law. We have a lot of family law having to do with
divorces, custody of children, and so forth. There’s a certain amount of criminal law that
survives in it, and there are even laws about the responsibility of public officials. So it gives you a picture of the details of
common life on a scale that exceeds what we know about, say, ancient Athens in the fifth
century B.C. There are 282 laws in what survives of this
diorite stela, they call it, and the laws take the form of if/then. If someone does X, then something else will
happen. And so it’s clearly directions for judges
in how they are to dispose of particular cases. Everything that you would find in current
day law is present in that. Equality, impartiality, consistency in law,
damages, retribution, everything’s there. The law code is really very much like a modern
law code, except in one particular. It seems to be case law. Take the family law. The family law items are all grouped together,
and you can see that it is a developed system. So, for example, you begin with the rules
for divorce. The next thing is, who gets what property? Then it gets more complicated. If you have no children, who gets what property? If you do have children, who gets what property?
And what it looks like is you had started off with a single principle to deal with divorce,
and then judges found themselves confronted with situations where the simple application
of the simple principle that they began with would produce injustice, and so what they
did is they complicated it by adding “if this circumstance pertains, then the result will
be this. If that circumstance pertains within a divorce,
the result will be other.” And the same thing is true with all the contract law. They’ve run into circumstances and situations
that they didn’t anticipate, and so what they’ve done is they have taken rather simple prescriptions,
and they’ve made them more complicated to fit the more complex social situations and
contractual situations that they faced. It seems to have evolved very much in the
same way that the common law evolved. I think the odds are that elements in the
Hammurabi Code and the very idea of having a code of laws may go back as much as 800,
900 years before Hammurabi. There are a whole series of law codes. There’s one other though that deserves special
mention, and that is the Old Testament. And if you compare the Book of Deuteronomy
with Hammurabi Code, you realize there’s some continuity. If a man destroys the eye of another man,
they shall destroy his eye. That goes right into the Jewish law. If a man knocks out the tooth of a man of
his own rank, they shall knock out his tooth. Again, that goes right in “an eye for an
eye and a tooth for a tooth.” The Jewish people or the Hebrews drew up their
law code in a context where they were very much under the influence of the Mesopotamians,
and that law code is the inspiration behind not only Jewish law, but all of the law codes
that were established in Christendom, including the first law codes that were established
by the English colonists who came to Massachusetts and to Connecticut. One of the things missing from the Hammurabi
Code is there is no political constitution. There is no notion that there is anyone but
the king who is responsible, but what there is is a responsibility of the king to the
gods, and there is a sense that Hammurabi is binding future kings by laying out a law
code and pronouncing a curse on them if they fail to enforce these laws. You really ought to read the Hammurabi Law
Code. It’s not very long, but it gives you a sense
of what all law codes must do, and you may not agree with the penalties always. The death penalty seems to be very common
in the Hammurabi Law Code, but it addresses almost all of the crimes that we can think
of in our own time.

The Brexit disruptors: beyond left and right | FT

You disrupted the
leadership campaign. You’re disrupting
the mayoral campaign. You should be the
next prime minister. You’re very sweet. They’ve left the centre. The parties have been captured. They’re not coming back. How can two parties
possibly do justice to what modern Britain is? That sort of sense of
people wanting a disruption is palpable, I think. I’ve seen outsiders
go up in flames because they haven’t
had a clue how the political system and
politics actually work. As an entrepreneur,
when I started out I got nothing but nice
things happen to me. Politics is
completely different. I can’t say anything
nice about it. It is literally a viper’s nest. Political disruptors
are tempting voters away from the UK’s
two big main parties. Competition is fierce with
would-be radical options on the nationalist right and
even on the centre ground. Britain’s politics
is being shaken up. And the result of
December’s general election has never been so uncertain. The 2016 Brexit vote exploded
the usual left-right alignment. There are now at least four
parties battling it out. One of the insurgents,
the Brexit party, is led by Nigel Farage, whose
lifelong dream for the UK to quit the EU may be
about to come true. There will be no Brexit
without the Brexit party. Of that, I’m certain. Brexit’s thrown it all up
in the air because that went beyond left and right. And the political
parties haven’t known how to react to a
major political decision that didn’t fall under party lines. The other challengers
want to stop Brexit. But they also hope to
capitalise on the upheaval. Some form of tumult was probably
inevitable in British politics because whenever you go
through big societal change, you see tumult. Professor Jane Green, of
the British Election Study, maps and measures the UK’s
changing voting patterns. We went to Oxford asked how
Britain went from this to this? From the 1960s through to
today we see more people switching their vote between
general elections over time. So a much more fluid
volatile picture. So does this volatility
mean that it’s kind of fertile territory? That there are
opportunities there for the political disruptors? You’ve got a very
available electorate. You’ve got opportunities
for the political parties. What you’ve also got is
loads of uncertainty. You can see there’s a
disruption going on, and we don’t know where
it’s going to land. Claire Fox, a Libertarian from
the left was elected as an MEP for the Brexit party earlier
this year as voters deserted both Labour and the Tories. Of course, change is always
unpredictable, isn’t it? Makes it scary. So is democracy. But to argue against
disruption on the basis of ‘things worked’ completely
misunderstands that for many people, they didn’t. So we’ve talked a bit about
things being more up for grabs. Yeah. I’m going to try and
ask you to explain where the voters might be. So you think about one dimension
of politics from left to right. And within that
kind of left-right, bread and butter economic kind
of way of seeing the world, lots of people have
left of centre views. Lots people have
right of centre views, but the majority of people
would be in the middle. And therefore, it makes politics
very much about that kind of centre ground, about
competing for the majority of voters. Britain has always been about
understatement, compromise, pragmatism. And I think that’s
where the energy is. I think it resonates deeply. Rory Stewart is
leaving parliament. He’s left the
Conservative party. He wants to reinvent
moderate politics by standing as an independent
candidate for London mayor. I think actually
the UK’s traditions are much more consensual,
much more designed for centre-ground politics than
almost anywhere in the world. That dimension is still very
important to voter choice now. But of course, we’ve all started
seeing the world predominately through the lens of Brexit. And Brexit isn’t about bread
and butter left-right issues on the whole, it’s about
this different dimension that cross cuts the
left-right dimension. It’s divided the party, and
it’s divided the voters. A lot of people who thought
of themselves at centre ground in the old politics, in the new
politics are far from centre ground. Chuka Umunna walked out of
Labour earlier this year, attempted to start a new
anti-Brexit centre party, Change UK, but is now trying
to redefine opposition politics from within the pro-European
Liberal Democrats. Those guys are no
longer centre ground. They are firmly on the liberal,
internationalist, open, anti-authoritarian side
of the new dichotomy. So when people say to me I want
a return to good centre ground policies, I’m kind of like, but
you’re no longer centre ground. You are actually
firmly in one camp. Political scientists
like you are used to thinking about
voters in this rather more complicated way. In the past, we think
about it in terms of people that had more socially
conservative views and more socially liberal views. But also we’re now
thinking much more about people that have
anti-immigration views and also pro-immigration views
and also anti-European or Brexit-supporting, Leave-voting
views or more pro-European, Remain-supporting views. And so we have the
impression that politics has become much more polarised. Both the Brexit party
and the radical Remainers are betting that politics
is now about values. There’s different fault
lines, aren’t there? So what’s happened is rather
than saying the big decision in British politics today
is whether we nationalise the railways it’s
actually our attitude to popular sovereignty. So you asked me the
question, where is the space? Yeah, where’s the opportunity? So on the one hand, we talked
about kind of important. So if this issue
becomes less important, then we might worry
about left-right again. But what if this
issue, dimension, doesn’t become less important? But at the current
time, it feels and looks in terms
of the evidence that people are pretty divided. If you look at some
of the people who’ve been running our country,
some of the decisions we’ve made in the last
decade or so, you go, how is such a brilliant
country in this mess? Simon Franks, once a
committed Labour party backer, is dismayed by
this polarisation. He’s been spending time
and money trying to use his start-up skills to shake
up centre ground politics. The mission was to
scope out initially, is it possible to create a
new political party that could win in one electoral cycle? Can you, in politics, do
something that kind of maps entrepreneurialism
onto party politics? Yes, you can but,
not in the centre. If you’re on the wings
of British politics, or in fact, any politics,
and you have a cause, you can mobilise people
incredibly quickly to bring about a
change because people are so desperate for
that change or believe so strongly in that cause. In the centre it’s much harder
to do because, by definition, you should be more
balanced, more reasonable. You understand that
no one issue is going to make our country
completely better or completely worse. Josef Lentsch believes in
the power of the middle. This Austrian academic helped
start a successful new party and has written a book
on how to make it work. It’s bloody hard. It’s bloody hard
for politicians. These days, the political
itch to be scratched is that many people feel
not represented anymore. And too many of them
then decide to vote for populists and nationalists. But I think many of
them would actually like to have a choice
to vote for something different and constructive. The primary reason why Change
UK didn’t succeed in the way that we would have liked
it to is, as you said, I’m not sure people were looking
for disruption in as much as they were looking
for their politics to be properly represented. But they weren’t necessarily
precious about the vehicle through which you do that. And to try and
create something new in a non-presidential system
is nigh on impossible. In a sense you, can’t just
compete on one dimension. People want to know
where you stand. So if you’re competing
on this dimension, but you’re divided
on this dimension because you’ve got
parties from the left, parties from the right,
then essentially, OK fine. So you’ve got this
bit sorted out. But are you over
here on the left? Or are you here on
the right in terms of where your voters
are likely to be? I think the most important
thing is if you want to build a centrist alternative, that
you’re actually early on are starting to talk to the voters
and start to interlink what I call, ‘islands of discontent.’ Most political
start-ups will fail. I think that’s not a problem. I think actually many, many
need to try for some of them to succeed. Once you’ve broken the
habits of a lifetime – at the European election,
obviously everything got thrown in the air – then
you’re not quite that, we always vote
Labour in our family. We always vote
Tory in our family. Anything can happen. It’s like when MPs rebel
against a whip, right? Once they get the taste for
it, it becomes possible again. Even those people who are
saying: let’s get Brexit done, their argument is,
let’s get Brexit done so we can go back to normal. And I think they underestimate
the appetite for a much more fundamental shift. Nothing’s ever going
to go back, ever. The problem is that the
government of the centre has always seemed terribly sort
of bureaucratic and inert. It doesn’t really
seem to listen. It doesn’t seem to
engage, which gives people the idea that maybe
there’s a silver bullet, maybe there’s some
fantastic thing. And it’s some character. An ideology. Yeah, an ideology. Or a person. Or a person. Like a hand grenade you
can chuck at the system, and the whole thing’s
going to blow up. And suddenly, it’s all
going to be much better. So there’s no messiah coming. No, there can’t be a messiah. I mean, I think I’m also… Not you. No, definitely not me. We’ve had conspicuous
examples of success on both the left and the right. I’m thinking of Nigel
Farage on one side, probably Labour’s
Momentum on the other. But there’s this whole space
in the centre with lots of plotting, lots of activity. But it’s really hard to
make something happen. It’s a much easier message. So Nigel Farage, who I think
is a brilliant communicator and I don’t have this
disregard for him as so many people seem to have. I think he speaks
for a large community of our country about issues
that no one else will talk to. I think the same on the left. Jeremy Corbyn gets on
the stage and says, capitalists are bad people. The reason why your life
isn’t as good as you’d like it is because of that
bunch over there. And some people, they go,
the messiah’s arrived. No one’s got a
monopoly on grievance. In the wake of the crash,
in the wake of austerity, in the wake of
globalisation, taking away the securities that
people took for granted, the question is, what
you do about that? We’ve completely failed to
produce a product that’s really exciting. I mean, none of these
third-party centre party leaders have actually worked out
how to produce something that really makes the public think,
woo, well, OK, all right, actually, I’m not going to vote
the way that my parents voted. This election is not the end. And I think the most
important thing to note is this election’s been called
in very peculiar circumstances. But I personally think that
the genie’s out the bottle. And that what we are likely
to see in the next five years is a very disruptive
political scene. In the first winter
election for decades, established parties are being
buffeted from all sides. There are wide open spaces
in the political landscape and enormous potential
for storms to come. Jane, if you had
to put money on it, would you bet on political
insurgents, either a smaller party or a new party
trying to replace or split one of the two main parties? If the two mainstream parties
adapt their positions, working out kind
of where can they attract the majority of voters,
then it’s very difficult, it’s still very difficult for
minor parties to break through. In normal times, I
would say that it’s impossible to actually get a
new party in the UK parliament. But we are not in normal times. We’re past normal times. And I think, therefore,
don’t give up hope. That there might be
something on the way. We can probably do better
if we think about it, redesign our political system,
reinvigorate our parties, maybe create some
new ones, maybe look at our voting system, look
the way we select MPs, look at the way treat MPs Anyone who believes that
everything goes back to normal is kidding themselves.

Ben Shapiro Kills It!!!!

you’re like a word ballerina right you are elegant and graceful and not never heard that one before that you yeah so I think that disarms people makes it tough for them to get their point across when you are so much better I mean I hope not I hope that they can get their point across and then I can savage them I’m somebody who doesn’t care about Donald Trump as a human being he’s the President of the United States to me that’s a glorified DMV work my goal is not to be inflammatory my goal is to say things that I think are flatly true and then if they inflame people their emotional responses on that people watch politics like being sport it’s not a team sport I mean there’s no question with the polarized political climate business is booming

Revenue Minister says it’s ridiculous we’re asking questions about tax haven allegations

After the paradise papers revealed the top Liberal fundraiser’s connection to a Cayman Islands tax evasion scheme, he said “Stephen Bronfman had no other direct or indirect involvement whatsoever in the Kolber Trust”, that trust being located in the Cayman Islands. We now know that connection came in the form of a $7 million loan that was still in place as of 2005. Does the Prime Minister still believe Mr. Bronfman has no connection to this trust? Our government understands that this is a multi-billion-dollar issue, and we have invested nearly $1 billion over the past two years to tackle it. The CRA uses the information it receives through lists shared by its international partners as part of the BEPS project. We have over 37 partners. That is why, as of September 30, 2017, the CRA was conducting more than 990 audits and 42 criminal investigations related to offshore financial structures. We are reviewing links to Canadian entities and will take appropriate action. When the original revelations about Stephen Bronfman’s connections to a Cayman Islands tax haven came to light earlier this month, the Prime Minister said, “We have received assurances that all rules were followed…and we are satisfied with those assurances.” Is the Prime Minister still satisfied with the assurances that his top fundraiser followed all the rules? Mr. Speaker, I repeat, these accusations are utterly ridiculous. No one is above the law, no one is interfering with the CRA’s audits, and the law applies to everyone. No one is above the law. Mr. Speaker, I think I just heard the minister say that the allegations were completely ridiculous. Her job is to ensure that her department conducts these investigations totally objectively, but she has now predetermined the outcome by declaring that the allegations are ridiculous. How can Canadians have any assurance that there will be an honest investigation into Mr. Bronfman when both the Prime Minister and the minister have declared him not guilty? Mr. Speaker, former national revenue minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn publicly said that this was not a priority for the former Conservative government. It is a priority for us, however. We have invested nearly $1 billion. I said this before, and I cannot be more clear: no one is interfering with the CRA’s audits. Mr. Speaker, the minister has not retracted her comment. She seemed to suggest in her earlier answer that the allegations were completely ridiculous. Well, those allegations have not even been investigated yet by her department. We have new revelations from the paradise papers, suggesting a link between Mr. Bronfman and this potentially illegal tax haven. How can the minister possibly think it appropriate for her to stand and exonerate him before her department has even had a chance to conduct its investigation? Mr. Speaker, no one is above the law, and my colleague opposite knows perfectly well that I cannot comment on any case involving the 30 million people and companies that file tax returns. We understand that this is a touchy subject for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, given that fighting tax evasion was not a priority for their government, whereas we have made it a priority by investing $1 billion. We are targeting four jurisdictions a year and carrying out criminal investigations. Mr. Speaker, I am looking for assurance here. Will the minister assure Canadians that neither she nor the Prime Minister will stand in the way of an investigation by her department into Mr. Bronfman? Mr. Speaker, I am happy to assure my colleague across the way by reiterating that no one is above the law and no one, and I mean no one, will interfere with the audits and investigations carried out by the CRA. I trust that my colleague is reassured.

Did minister Morneau have permission?

The minister just said that now that he has sold all of his shares in Morneau Shepell he can now “work on behalf of Canadians”. What does that say about the last two years while he held those shares? During that time, he introduced a bill creating the very targeted benefit pension plans that his company designs and profits from. His whole defence has been that he has always asked the Ethics Commissioner for her permission. Did he have her permission to introduce this bill? Mr. Speaker, as I have said, I will continue to work on behalf of Canadians. That is the important work that we are doing Working with the Ethics Commissioner, as I have done from day one, allows us to ensure that we do not have conflicts of interest. We know that what we can do now is continue on the work as I have talked about, the work that has, for example, lowered the rate of unemployment to the lowest it has been since the great recession so that Canadians and Canadian families can actually do well and see the fruits of the advantages for them and their families. Targeted benefit pensions are highly specialized as a financial product. Not only is Morneau Shepell one of the only companies that provide it, it is the company that designed the very unique model in New Brunswick that inspired the bill that the minister introduced in the House of Commons, which means it is uniquely positioned to profit from it. The minister keeps hiding behind the Ethics Commissioner. Yes or no, did the minister have permission from the Ethics Commissioner to introduce a bill that would profit his company? Mr. Speaker, I really do care deeply about retirement dignity in this country. I want to make sure that Canadians have the ability to retire with the opportunity to continue their life in dignity after they retire. That means assuring that they have good pension plans and that they have more options than just defined-contribution pension plans. We will continue to work on behalf of Canadians because we know that is what they want us to do.

In what century will the Liberals balance the budget?

How about a riddle? According to Finance Canada, the federal government had a balanced budget in 2015 Now, Finance Canada says we will have deficits until 2055 In just one Liberal budget, we added four decades of deficits After a second Liberal budget, in approximately what century will we be projected to balance? Thank you very much Mr. Speaker, for far too long, middle class Canadians have had a hard time getting ahead with the decisions that were made by the previous government We have a plan to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class. Our plan is working If we look at the numbers that came out just two weeks ago, we see that we have created over 220,000 full-time jobs and part-time jobs We can also see that our unemployment rate has gone down from 7.1% to 6.6%. Our plan is working and it is good news for Canadians. Speaking of news, Bloomberg News quoted the following: “Feelings are worth spending for, finance minister on the eve of budget” The Prime Minister would agree. He was feeling pretty good when he spent 127,000 tax dollars on his visit to billionaire island. That was a real middle class adventure by his definition You know who is not feeling good, though? The tomato farmer in my riding, who had to pay $6,200 in one month for a carbon tax. When will the government realize that its feelings are not worth hammering taxpayers with more costs? Thank you Mr. Speaker, we are committed to taking action that will grow the middle class and create good jobs. Action on climate change is estimated to grow the world economy by $19 trillion through investments in renewable power and energy efficiency. We understand the need to trade good jobs to protect our environment, to grow the middle class, and ensure a more sustainable future for our kids.

This Shouldn’t Be a Political Statement

I had a conversation recently in which this hat came up in regards to empathy and respecting people you disagree with. It got me thinking about a lot of things. This is a very profane and definitive political statement, and I don’t deny that. In fact, I embrace that. That’s definitely what that is. Now, I am a non-confrontational worm and I don’t enjoy fighting, especially at parties and things that are supposed to be celebratory and fun. So typically what I try to do is find middle ground immediately, diffuse whatever animosity and tension is in the air, and try to find common ground. That’s what I try to do always. That’s the kind of person I am. My mom has taught me a lot of things in my life. I’m very grateful for that. One of the most fundamental things that I believe I inherited from her is that I care very deeply about people. That obviously informs my politics. I do believe in many cases, even if you disagree with people, that desire to make the world better informs your politics. That’s where it starts. However, recently I’ve felt like this is a political statement, and I don’t want this to be a political statement. I don’t think it should be a political statement, but I want my world to reflect that. I want to live in a world where people care about each other on a fundamental level. I want a world where people look at another person and they see another human being and they think, “Wow! That is another human being over there. They’re allowed to be a human being in whatever way they see fit.” That’s something I want the world to be. I want people to be able to live as they want, to love as they want, to exist as they want, to make decisions over their own lives, to have the freedom and control to do that. I think all of that comes from my desire to just care about people. I want people to be happy. I want people to be living good lives, building things up rather than tearing them down. I think that’s a fundamental very simplistic human being thing and not a political thing. Something incredibly important that I witnessed growing up. Again, I’m gonna talk about my mom because she’s the best person in the world and I will fight anyone who disagrees. She showed me how to keep the door open for people who have either hurt you or for people who you don’t agree with. She showed me that very well. I’m not always perfect at this, but I want to be the kind of person who, even if I disagree with someone, even if someone has hurt me in the past, I always want to leave the door open for them, so if they take the steps necessary and show me that they care and that their intentions are good and that they want to get better, I want to be open to that. I want to hold their hand and be like “yes! I’m here! I’m here for you!” Disagreement does not have to mean hatred. However, sometimes it does. I reference the hat again. There are some ideologies and belief systems out there that reject peoples’ autonomy and ability to be full, loving, complete human beings. They disrespect their identity as human beings. I don’t think you can really engage with them. That’s not really an okay place to say “agree to disagree.” That’s when you can get really political and fine. But I truly believe this. I fundamentally believe this. I really want to believe this. I don’t think most people are like that. I definitely come from an extreme place of privilege being a white, assigned male at birth human being. Most people look at me and just see a person. Not everybody has that luxury, so that does inform my opinions here. But I really do believe that most people want to make this a better world. Sometimes, their ways of getting there are clouded in bias, ignorance, and fear, but people do want a better world, and I have to believe that in order to be a sane person that can wake up every morning and still find some contentment in my life. But here’s my main thought, and I guess the main point of this video. I don’t want empathy to be a political statement. I don’t want that. I don’t want to live in that world. I don’t want compassion and listening to be seen as some bleeding heart, agenda-lead, policy position. That’s not what it is to me. Caring about things obviously informs politics. I’m not denying that. However, on an individual human level, the relationships you have in your day to day life, the conversations you have, caring is not political. Or rather, it shouldn’t be political because again, sometimes in the world that I live in right now, it does feel political. I want to be able to look at someone, anyone, from whatever country, background, religion, sexual orientation, gender, all that stuff and see a person. See a person who’s able to define their own identity and live that truth fully. Because I believe that if everybody has the ability, the access to live their truth to the best of their ability, we all win. I do believe that. But I also believe that someone’s humanity is not contingent on what it can do for me. I think people should just be able to be people, not just for any kind of greater purpose for my life or the world that I live in, but just because that’s the right thing to do. And I notice that a lot with people is that they want to feel superior. They want to feel right all the time. They want to feel that they are the ones that are correct. They’re gonna win in the end. They get some sense of pride and satisfaction out of that. But I think we should care, we should be good to people, we should listen to people, simply because it’s the right thing to do. And that’s it. That’s all I’ve got to say on that. I don’t know if I made sense at all. This video is 100% not a “agree to disagree let’s give him a chance” because like I said, there are some ideologies that reject that fully. I stand by this political statement. Definitely. Fully. But something that I stand by that I don’t think should be a political statement is that I care about every human being. I do. That’s all I’ve got to say on that. I would love to hear what you have to think in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts, if you have any stories to share, love reading stories. I love participating with you on this platform. It just makes me very very happy. I love you a lot. I’m gonna go. I’ll see you on Friday! A very happy Valentine’s Day out there to the world. Even if you’re not in a I’m putting my face on someone’s face situation. Or you’re single and feel very alone. You can tweet me! on Valentine’s Day. I’m here to send love your way. I’m all about it. I love you guys a lot. I’m trying to fall in love with every aspect of my creative life again. It’s difficult, but it’s something I’m trying to do. You guys are a big part of that. That’s enough of that. I’m gonna go. Byeeeee

The Left is No Longer Liberal | DIRECT MESSAGE | Rubin Report

You’re not gonna believe this, but we
have to talk about the Regressive Left today. Believe it or not, I’ve been trying to get
away from discussing the regressive left on The Rubin Report, instead talking about the
ideas of classical liberalism which I believe in, but current events keeping dragging me
back. I see on social media people are using the
phrase regressive left a bit less lately, and replacing it with terms like Bigoteer,
the Control Left or the Illiberal Left. Whatever name you use for these well meaning,
yet painfully misguided set of ideas is largely irrelevant. We needed to identify this backwards idea
which puts groups before people — sometimes you need a label to get people to understand
an idea. The portion of the left who was no longer
progressive, meaning for progress, but regressive, meaning going backwards, has been identified
and now we are clearly bringing people to the side of reason. All of you who talked to friends and family
about this, used the #RegressiveLeft hashtag, and shared these videos are part of the political
awakening that is happening. Yes, it seems like these leftists ideas are
getting stronger in some circles, but at the same time, finally, for the first time in
a long time, those who are liberal and open to new ideas are coming together and being
heard. Whether you like Trump or not, his win was
a huge rejection the identity politics of the Left, so loved by these regressives. But don’t take my word for it, Bernie Sanders
said that himself. The only thing which can replace the regressive
descent the Left is on a return to true liberalism. A liberalism which defends free speech and
expression, a liberalism that is for liberty and rights of the individual, and most importantly
a liberalism that is one for human liberty. I truly believe the regressive ideology is
the biggest threat to freedom and western civilization that exists today. With the rise of Trump and the constant comparisons
they make of him to Hitler, the Left now has the perfect boogeyman to use to excuse anything. If your opponent is a vile racist, then you
can use violence and any means necessary to stop him. The regressive left has already begun using
violence as a tactic and I fear that it’s just getting start. If you’re only now getting up to speed on
what the regressive left is, allow me to recap quickly: The regresssive/control/illiberal left, is
a group of people who place identity, usually based on immutable characteristics, in a pecking
order of social importance, such as race, gender and religion where victimhood is the
highest virtue to be had. This oppression olympics allows groups to
compete for who is the most oppressed, thus the most virtuous. And if someone isn’t as oppressed as you,
then you have full authority to oppress them accordingly. So Black Lives Matter can protest a gay rights
march in Toronto, white gay men can be banned from leading LGBT organizations, pro-life
women can be kicked out of women’s rights march and so on. This backwards ideology, which demands we
judge each other not on the content of our character but on the color of our skin, or
some other baked in trait, puts the collective ahead of the individual. It loves all of its minority groups to behave
as monoliths, so if you’re a true individual, meaning you don’t subscribe to the ideas that
the groupthink has attributed to you based on those immutable characteristics, you must
be cast out. Many of my guests have suffered from this
backwards backlash. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Maajid Nawaz, Sarah Haider
and Ali Rivzi, all have felt abandoned by the Left because they speak out about the
problems within Islam. They dare to fight for a more tolerant, more
truly progressive Islam in tune with a modern society and basic liberal values, and they
are labeled bigots, or worse. The Southern Poverty Law Center even labeled
Maajid an anti-Muslim extremist. In reality, Maajid is a former Islamist who
has devoted his life to trying to reform Islam from the inside, to try to reconcile his faith
with the modern world, fighting for gays and athiests and women and any other free thinkers
living under theocratic rule. For this he is called a porch monkey and other
vile names by supposed progressives, while he is admired by many on the right for being
outspoken. This the height of absurdity. But it all makes sense when you value groups
over individuals. The individual must be sacrafied at the alter
of the collective. So when any of these people dare speak out
and call for true tolerance, they find their tolerance met with intolerance. The Left loves diversity in skin color, just
not diversity in thought. Of course, this regressive ideology isn’t
just tied to Islam at all. My guest this week is Larry Elder, a black
conservative, who has had every label and smear thrown at him. Again, like with the previous guests I just
mentioned, these slurs come from people on the Left, who would rather silence and dismiss
their opponents that actually engage them in an honest way. People often ask me which interview I’ve done
that’s changed my views the most and I always say it was the first time I sat down with
Larry Elder. He challenged my views on systemic racism,
as well as the need for a strong family, was one of the people that helped sell my on smaller
government. If you haven’t seen the video, we’ll post
the link right down below. Larry challenged me and I wasn’t ready, so
I can’t say it was my best moment on camera, but I listened and learned and just as importantly
we didn’t edit any of it out. I’m looking forward to picking up where we
left off. And as for where we left off, this is where
I feel there might be nothing left for me on modern American Left. You all know most of my positions on important
issues, I’m for free speech, even for white supremacist Richard Spencer to speak and not
get punched in the face as happened just a few days ago. And I’m still am a card carrying liberal….I’m
for gay marriage, I’m pro choice, I’m pro legalization of marijuana, I’m against the
death penalty and the list goes on. At the same time I’m against this oppression
olympics, I’m against safe spaces and trigger warnings, I’m against labeling all my opponents
bigots and racists and I’m against deplatforming speakers, especially at colleges, where ideas
are meant to be challenged and debated. I’m also for states rights, for following
the constitution, and most importantly for having the government to get out of the way
for you to live your life to the fullest. I’ve said a few times on the show that defending
my liberal principles has become a conservative position. Interestingly I’ve also heard conservatives
like Andrew Klavan and Dennis Prager say that they are conservatives because they are liberals. This is where we might get lost in the definition
of liberal in the modern sense versus classical liberal, so if you’re still confused about
that check out the video I did ‘Why I’m a Liberal’ from a few weeks back. The point is, that the issues I care about
most, free speech, rights of the individual, and limited government designed to maximize
liberty have almost nothing to do with the modern Left. My positions basically haven’t changed but
I’ve watched as my team has gone off the deep end. The battle of ideas always gets to a tipping
point and I sense we’re closing in on one right now. If we can’t reign in this madness on the Left
then Trump will show him his authoritarian side. Both sides are ramping up for a showdown. It seems pretty obvious to me. So while I absolutely believe that the new
center, filled with liberals, conservatives, libertarians and others is rapidly growing,
maybe I have lost the Left. And maybe that’s OK. But to end this Direct Message I now kick
this back to you. If you’re liberal is there anything Left for
you on the Left or are you Left Out? Is it now the conservative position to truly
be liberal? Let me know in the comments right down below
and we’ll see if there’s anything Left to discuss.