Tsk, tsk Freedom Party

The Freedom Party is running in the Ontario election, hoping to eke out a seat or two for libertarian hopefuls. I like libertarian principles but unfortunately this “fringe” party really has no shot of getting elected as the government. In fact, they may stand as a spoiler to the Progressive Conservatives in some ridings. Yet, this situation may cause PC candidates to compete for votes in the freedom space of the electoral spectrum, so this is a good thing.

However, I must take issue with their latest commercial on prayer in public schools. Their ad uses a clip of mine, and not only do they take Tim Hudak out of context but, these property-rights-loving folks didn’t ask to use (or even credit) my video!

Here’s my interview with Tim Hudak from April 2, 2009:

At 4:08, I ask about vouchers and faith-based schools. If we go to 4:50 we hear Hudak say about faith-based schools,

“Very clearly, in the 2007 election, voters rendered a clear verdict that they didn’t support the party policy of faith-based schools support. And as leader of the Ontario PC Party, I won’t be opening that door again. It has been closed by the voters. I’ll look forward to working with our grassroots policy process with our members of the PC Party who are involved and our PC caucus colleagues. I’ll look for ways to innovate, create competition in choice, but within our public school system.”

In the Freedom Party ad below, the narrator says “PC Leader Tim Hudak is quietly committed to faith-based public schools.” Hudak: “Choice, but within our public school system”.

Hudak wasn’t talking about moving the faith-based argument from tax-credits of private schools to infusing religion in public schools. He was talking about creating competitive elements within the public school system. It was quite clear that he recognized faith-based meddling in education wasn’t a winning strategy in 2007. Vouchers as a general concept is a good one (and an competitive tool which I imagine the Freedom Party would support in our public schools system). The Freedom Party distorts this point using a quote from Hudak out of context.

And without any tagline for my video! Fair use is fair use, but please pass on the credit.