Though I see myself as a veritable rightwinger who espouses the individual right to pursue life, liberty and happiness based on hard work and less government, I am not blind to how this ideology can be dangerously misused by politicians of the same persuasion to push their own populist agenda. I have recently seen this political posturing on three different fronts this past week: one in British Columbia, another in Britain, and yet another coming out of Montreal, Canada. In the first case, newly-elected leader of the BC Liberals has committed himself and the party to defeating the proportional representation referendum this coming fall. He strongly believes, like I do, that marginal parties like the Greens, as co-sponsors of the original bill, will stand to gain the most by as many as eight seats, thus creating a greater chance of minority governments becoming the norm. If that was all there was to the argument – the prevention of fringe parties from complicating government – I could buy that, but it isn’t. It seems that BC Liberals like using a form of the PR voting system to determine the outcome of leadership races, something that helps insider candidates gang up on outsiders by magically changing losers into winners through a computerized single transfer ballot. To cover this little inconsistency up, BC Liberals are often heard saying that they continue to support the first-by-the-post as a way of stopping the kook element creeping into the halls of power. There is that loathsome thought that given the way politics has become polarized in BC today, it will be years before Liberals hold office again. On the second matter, British foreign secretary Boris ‘Buffoon’ Johnson claims that the real deep state agenda for the EU has always been to create a super state through a set of restrictive trade policies. I suspect Boris is worried that support for Brexit or leaving the EU is slipping, and that Britons need reminding that belonging to such a ‘restrictive’ economic bloc runs counter to good old British nationalism and imperial lore. What he doesn’t mention is the fact that Britain potentially stands to lose significantly more from not belonging to a trade union that looks significantly stronger economically than politically. Boris, you’re probably blowing the smoke of fear because you and your friends stand to gain enormously if Britain leaves and the May government then embarks on a program of deregulation similar to that launched by Trump in the United States. On the third one, President Trump is reportedly putting a lot of pressure on his NAFTA negotiators to get Canada to cave on cars, online purchases, and dairy, all issues that were important concessions in the original agreement. So herein lies the rub: Trump, by creating a strawman or phony issue, wants the propaganda advantage of telling the world that Canada single-handedly scuppered NAFTA by refusing to compromise. The only answer to that is to keep negotiating in good faith in the hope that Trump and his anti-global views will finally be discredited.