A Libertarian Take On The Capitol Siege

January 6th, 2021 will be a day that will live in infamy. Pictures and video from the siege on the Capitol resemble scenes from developing countries such as Colombia and Egypt, but these scenes were from the United States of America, the beacon of freedom and democracy. And yet those who stormed the Capitol called themselves by the liberal title of Libertarian.

As a Libertarian, those that stormed the Capitol haven’t the slightest clue what a libertarian is and what their actions resemble. Political violence is to not be tolerated and is to be shunned by all those that have any form of intelligence in a society. When becoming a Libertarian, I took an oath to not use violence for political gains. Those that laid siege to the Capitol – built on the ideas of liberty, reason, and the rule of law – did not care nor understand any of those ideals.

The insurrectionists who desecrated the most important building in the United States fought not to depose a dictator, oppose a new authoritarian decree, or revolt against a new war – no, they went to the Capitol to oppose an election certified by every state and to support a President that has become increasingly against the rule of law. While the putsch failed, it will have long-lasting effects that we have yet to fully understand. The Bier Hall putsch among many other similar failed attempts in history did not extinguish a movement or idea, often it was the mere beginning of something bigger.

The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has condemned the activities that took place on the 6th and I stand with the party on this even before they put out a message. I have yet to see the RNC, DNC, nor LNC put out a press release yet. I realize these things take time to craft and put out politically, but time is of the essence and a strong handed message is imperative.

I did not vote for Trump nor Biden, I voted for Jo Jorgensen, but because she lost does not mean I go to the Capitol and cry my heart out with blood and lead. To mature is to not accept authority and the way things are, but is to use reason and logic when no one else is. To devolve to the situation seen on the 6th is a backstab to the reason why this country exists thematically.

The only path forward is pragmatism and unity. Biden certainly has his work cut out for him.

SGA Welcomes New Members

Amongst the confusion and chaos of adjusting to a new reality on campus, a select few students decided to become leaders of their respective class. The 2020 Class Council Elections were supposed to happen in March of 2020 with an info session already having taken place back in February. Despite the chaotic timeline of events, on September 2nd, the representatives of the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 took the stage and were inaugurated. 

The process for these candidates was fairly simple: first, they attended an info session and asked questions where necessary; second, they had their classmates sign their petition for candidacy (fifteen signatures were required this semester); third, they signed a waiver recognizing the rules of the race; finally they began their campaign. The last course of action for any candidate are the speeches which are held traditionally the night before the first day of the election. This year, speeches were  held in The Melucci Theater while onlookers and potential voters watched from Zoom. Broadcast Club was brought in to assist as well. 

As for interest in the Class Council elections, it’s been average. The Senior class kept their elected members from last year, Juniors have an entirely new council made up of all males (all races went uncontested), and the Sophomores had the one contested race out of all classes for Senators with six people running for four spots. In past elections, there have been times when some ballots have empty positions with no one running which leads to a special election some time later – luckily this didn’t happen in this election. Voting interest has been sporadic to say the least. With the upperclassmen elections concluded, the senior class cast less than 30 votes, the Juniors cast around 60 votes, and the Sophomores cast over 80 votes. This is, unfortunately, average for Class Council elections excluding Freshmen. 

When it comes to the SGA and its responsibilities, the average student would say “But Spencer, SGA doesn’t do [insert whatever you want here]”. This statement is incorrect by all means. It is this statement that may cause the low levels of turnout that is seen every Class Council Election. The Class Councils and the Student Government Association as a whole do a great deal. For example, members of the SGA not only sit on SGA committees such as Room and Board, Academic, and Welfare, but also sit on SAC administrative committees such as the Traffic Committee which oversees appeals for tickets, and even in the very near future the Board of Trustees. These two examples are not alone and represent two extremes. In terms of what originates from the SGA, the class presidents represent the class to the Administration whenever necessary, the SGA Appropriations Committee controls the money flow to clubs and organizations, SGA Club Affairs approve of clubs and control the process of creating clubs, and SGA officially speak on behalf of the student body on all issues and projects. In the end, the SGA does do much and those 30 to 60 members of your class are deciding who represents you for these decisions. 

The Freshmen seem to take this memo well and have sent their best to the election. With all positions contested they are bound to have much interest with the voters (not to mention the fact that one of the Senate candidates got endorsed by Mr. Mosby). They will follow the same election procedures, just with a later timeline.. Voters will be able to cast their ballot today and tomorrow from 12p – 6p. The location for voting is Davison Hall’s entrance. If you have any issues, comments, or questions, feel free to email sgaip@anselm.edu 

Canada Goes to the Polls

With Trudeau’s Liberals leaving the General Election with a minority government, the Conservatives with a dim future, and the Bloc Quebecois back in action with more than double the number of seats than previously held, Canada’s next parliamentary term will be a large unknown.

The Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, Bloc Québécois, Greens, and the People’s Party of Canada – all parties that have ballot access that sought seats in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital. With only forty days to campaign, the beginning and the end of this period are very different. 170 seats are required to form a majority government. Don’t worry if you have no clue about Canadian Federal politics; all will be explained.

Justin Trudeau, of the Papineau Riding in Montreal, is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. As a centre-left/ centre party, they enjoy policies that are similar to that of the Democrats here in the US. Since the 2015 General Election, the Liberals have had sweeping successes with a reformed Party Platform. However, one major setback for the party is not coming through with Electoral Reform. One of the major 2015 promises the Liberals made was reforming the electoral system to make it more proportional. Unfortunately, nothing came of this and the 2019 Election paid the price with a nonrepresentational outlook of seats in Parliament. 157 Seats Acquired

Andrew Scheer, of the Regina-Qu’Appelle riding in Saskatchewan, is the leader for the Conservative Party of Canada. The Conservatives are centre-right and enjoy a more left set of values compared to their US counterparts, the Republican Party. Since 2015 when Trudeau’s Liberal party took back the House majority, the conservatives have lost their sight. While they have a consistent and strong base, outreach and upgrading their policies to appeal to the new young voters is an issue that remains unsolved.

121 Seats Acquired

Yves-François Blanchet, of the Beloeil-Chambly Riding in Quebec, is the leader for the Bloc Quebecois. A unique party in that they only run candidates in Quebec. Their ideology is also unique: Quebecois nationalism. The purpose of the party is to represent Quebec interests, which tend to be centre-left. Quebec has a very different culture and people compared to the rest of Canada. Separatist movements and violence from an IRA-style group called the FLQ (Quebec Liberation Front) have left stains on Quebec’s past. Multiple referendums on secession have occurred with the latest one in 1995 came within 0.6% of passing. 32 Seats Acquired

The three last parties are by order of national vote ranking:

  • The New Democratic Party (NDP)

Analogically, If the Liberals are the establishment Democrats in the US, the NDP are the Democratic Socialists – Bernie Sanders and “The Squad”. With Sikh leader Jagmeet Singh, the NDP’s leader, the NDP saw a restructuring of the party in relation to the Liberals. The NDP underperformed for this election, however. They often vote alongside the Liberals and their leader Jagmeet Singh has said they would form a coalition with the Liberals which would get them over the magical 170 seats. 24 Seats Acquired

  • The Greens

With leader Elizabeth May, the Greens follow normal Green ideology: grassroots democracy, emphasis on environmentalism, and social justice among other left-wing ideas. 3 Seats Acquired

  • The People’s Party of Canada (PPC)

A brand new party, headed by Maxime Bernier, the once Conservative MP jumped ship after the Conservatives veered leftward in order to appeal for Climate Change. The PPC enjoys values such as small government, economic conservatism, and light social conservatism with an emphasis on anti-immigration. 0 Seats Acquired

As a Federal Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchy (that’s a mouthful), Canada is governed by a parliament that has ministers from political subdivisions – Provinces and Territories – that have defined power and rights. Canada is governed at the highest level – technically – by the throne in England: Queen Elizabeth II; however the British Governor of Canada does little more than ceremonial duties. Their lower house of parliament, the House of Commons, is elected through First Past the Post in “Ridings” – in the US, the term would be the same as a Congressional District.

A lasting theme for the night, a possible reason for the results, is the frustration with electoral reform. CBC, from where this writer watched the election, often had their pundits complain about the lack of Proportional Representation. One of Justin Trudeau’s original campaign promises during his 2015 Parliament run was for electoral reform. Unfortunately, the committee that headed that did not recommend any change to the electoral system already being used, First Past the Post, and Trudeau followed their answer.

If you want to see more, click here to go to the CBC ‘s (Canada’s Public Broadcasting Corporation) official results. All results from this article were found on CBC or either on their live broadcast of the election.

Moderates and Progressives Separate Themselves in the Third Democratic Debate

The third Democratic Presidential Debate came, went, and left many faced with uncertainty on the political battlefield. The first party-sanctioned event to have only one night of debates saw ten candidates battle for their messages to be heard, and a possible soundbite or two to make it to the Twitter-sphere following the event. However, little happened that was “expected”, which arguably led to the most interesting debate yet.

The lesser-known candidates proved themselves exceptionally well with multiple high profile interactions that are sure to put ink to parchment for the Saturday paper. Julián Castro, HUD Secretary under the Obama Administration, took multiple stabs at frontrunner Joe Biden. First, when Biden was speaking about medicare and whether it should be a buy-in option or automatic, he seemed to consistently go back on his word. Castro saw a flaw in Biden’s statement and asked the former Vice President if he “forget what [he] said two minutes ago?” Castro, not finished with his attempted bash at Biden, pointed out the hypocritical nature of Biden’s references to his work under former President Barack Obama. In an attempt to attach himself to Obama, he claims he was a large part of “that administration”. However, he eventually did go back and say he acted solely as the Vice-President and had no say on certain issues.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, an outsider candidate who tailors well towards millennials and internet culture, was much more prominent in this debate than any prior. He managed to join in the conversation (amounting to only a few minutes throughout the debate), each time seeing much applause from the audience. At this event, he announced that he would be running a contest to prove the value of his “Freedom Dividend”, Yang’s take on a Universal Basic Income. He claimed that 10 campaign donors who donate in the coming days will be chosen to receive $1,000 every month until the election. This truly riled up the crowd and got the newsrooms buzzing.

Some other interesting comments also took place in this rowdy arena. Booker, when commenting on foreign affairs, noted that he found Justin Trudeau’s hair intimidating. Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor from Indiana, took a stronger anti-war stance on Afghanistan and made a campaign promise to require congressional approval for all military action. Harris made a soundbite for the century, asserting that “Trump’s been tweeting out ammunition.” As no debate is free of them, a group of protesters interrupted Biden during his closing statement.

Mitchell Young (2023), when asked what his initial thoughts about the debate were, said that there is a “clear divide between the left and more moderate democrats”. Continuing on the party cleavage, he noted that “Booker and Castro did a much better job”. While both candidates are not “top tier” candidates, both gained valuable air time. Again, while managing to show himself to the cameras, Young brought bad press with his attacks against Biden.

Christopher Demarkey (2023) expressed similar points declaring that “Booker, Castro, and Biden had [sic] great nights”. This can be further extrapolated when examining the first round of mudslinging with healthcare where the “radical left got called out on healthcare”, and that “Bernie and Elizabeth Warren were ganged up against”. Biden and Sanders were seen at multiple points during the healthcare question outright yelling at each other on live TV, with Biden claiming Sander’s plan for Medicare For All is not economically sound.

The debate, while over, will see hours upon hours of continuous usage until the next. Until then, the soundbites of the candidates will haunt them, or greet them, as each one of them turns on the news to see their poll numbers on the rise, or on the decline. The October Debate, scheduled for the 15th and 16th in Ohio, will see the same debate requirements as that for September.