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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

As Venezuela goes, so would Canada if the Leap Manifesto extremists get their way

The radicals who crafted the Leap Manifesto, a muddle-headed proposal for wealth redistribution, taxes on financial transactions and elimination of Canada's fossil fuel industry, are admirers of Hugo Chavez and his achievements in Venezuela. Chavez's achievements included destroying the national economy, suppressing press freedoms, and imprisoning and persecuting his political opponents.

Some of the Leap Manifesto authors and supporters have admitted their real motive is to smash capitalism. Nothing would destroy our economy more effectively than taking economic advice from the likes of Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis and Linda McQuaig.

From Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal:
Noah, my 10-year-old son, was reading over my shoulder a powerful story about the state of medicine in Venezuela by Nick Casey in Sunday’s New York Times. We scrolled through images of filthy operating rooms, broken incubators and desperate patients lying in pools of blood, dying for lack of such basics as antibiotics.

“Dad, why are the hospitals like this?”


“What’s socialism?”

I told him it’s an economic system in which the government seizes and runs industries, sets prices for goods, and otherwise dictates what you can and cannot do with your money, and therefore your life. He received my answer with the abstracted interest you’d expect if I had been describing atmospheric conditions on Uranus.

Here’s what I wish I had said: Socialism is a mental poison that leads to human misery of the sort you see in these wrenching pictures.

The lesson seems all the more necessary when discredited ideologies are finding new champions in high places. When Venezuelan President Hugo Ch├ívez died in 2013, an obscure U.K. parliamentarian tweeted, “Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world.”

The parliamentarian was Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labour Party.

Let’s not stop with Mr. Corbyn. In its day, Chavismo found champions, apologists and useful idiots among influential political figures and supposed thought leaders...

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