Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mischa Popoff surfaces in BC Politics again

Mischa Popoff is an "interesting person".  He is a libertarian guy based in the Okanagan with a mixed history on the right side of the political spectrum in BC over the last five years which is why I have run across his name a number of times.   He authored a book with Patrick Moore called Is it Organic? published by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy where he is a research fellow.  He now wants to run as the BC Conservative candidate in Boundary Similkameen which is interesting given his split with the party almost three years ago

In 2009 the best result for the BC Conservatives in BC was in Boundary Similkameen when Joe Cardoso managed to come third with 20.2% of the vote.   It means that whoever runs there for the BC Conservatives in the 2013 election will quickly be seen by many pundits as a serious threat to win a seat in the legislature.  Already Eric Grenier of has this riding as being the only one the BC Conservatives have a realistic chance of winning at the moment.   It means anyone the BC Conservatives run will get media coverage.

Mischa Popoff had said not long ago he would be running for the Individual Rights Party of BC, the party of which he was the leader.   I was not sure how he planned on doing this as the party was no longer registered with Elections BC when I checked about a month ago.

He was with the BC Conservatives as a First Vice President back in 2010 but resigned in June of that year over the party not being opposed to the HST enough.  He had joined the BC Conservatives after leaving the BC Liberals over the carbon tax and then the HST.

He then joined the BC Heritage Party and challenged Wilf Hanni for the leadership.  He lost and decamped to his own party, the Individual Rights Party of British Columbia, which he seems to have created with former BC Conservative and BC Heritage Party president Maria Dobi.

When I looked at the minor parties in October the Individual Rights Party of BC still existed and their twitter account still has a single tweet.   The party is no longer registered.

Here is what I noted about them in the fall:

The Individual Rights Party of BC -  the best way I could describe them would be as Tea Party North Lite. They have one follower on Twitter and sent out a single tweet.   The leader is Mischa Popoff who has written a book called "Is it Organic?". 

One weird policy is the following:

The government of a free people allows its citizens to own military grade weapons (after training).or their take on climate change

We do not believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming and do not support carbon taxes or carbon trading. We do support fossil fuel electricity generation. (my emphasis)

or their islamophobic policy

We believe Islam should be reclassified as a political movement since it wants to change Canadian law.
I assume they have less than no knowledge of the law, constitution or religion.

The Individual Rights Party also had the following positions:

Your Basic Rights
Individual Rights begin with the right to life. All of us have this right and therefore the right to defend ourselves. The only effective means of self defence for individuals is a personal firearm.

Therefore your individual rights must include the right to carry a concealed weapon in public (similar to the law in Israel and most American states).

Your rights also include the right to own property. We believe you should have the right to defend your property with force.

And the third basic freedom is the right (after training) to own a military grade weapon (similar to the law in Switzerland). A country that trusts its citizens allows them to bear arms.

With rights come responsibility and accountability. We all are responsible for the safety and protection of others, and we all must be accountable for exercising our rights and responsibilities.

In an era in which nations are collapsing, mobs rampage in cities, and the economy is threatened by uncontrolled government borrowing, individuals and communities need arms as never before.

We have more policies we invite you to consider. We’re a real conservative party modeled on classical liberalism

I find many of his views far outside of the norm. It really sounds more like the Tea Party in the US than anything else.

Here are some lines from the Feb 14th Osoyoos Times:

On weapons, he argues that most of the shootings in the U.S. occur in states that have gun control. Allowing a woman, for example, to carry a handgun in her purse becomes an “equalizer” if anyone confronts her, he said.
On the “basic freedom” of the right to own military weapons, he emphasizes that training is necessary.
“I hope you understand we don’t want just anyone to be able to buy a military grade assault rifle, but if trained to handle that, please tell me why is a policeman or a soldier any more qualified than you or me?” he asks.
Again, he’s not sure Cummins will agree with all his views on guns, but he says the fact that Cummins opposed the firearms registry suggests they have similar views.
“You’re either for guns or you’re against them, and I’m totally for guns,” says Popoff, adding that he left his own guns back in Saskatchewan.

Also in it is what he emailed the Osoyoos Times about John Cummins:

Cummins may not take well to a statement Popoff made in a recent email to the Osoyoos Times when he announced he would run under the Individual Rights Party banner.
“Our party rejects Christy Clark totalitarianism as much as we reject Adrian Dix and John Cummins totalitarianism,” Popoff wrote.
“You got me,” Popoff said when asked about the statement in light of his Conservative aspirations.
“Yes, I was lumping everyone together and probably being a bit too broad there,” he said, while reaffirming that Liberal Leader Clark and NDP Leader Dix are indeed “totalitarian” because they don’t let MLAs diverge from the party line and they whip the vote on issues such as the carbon tax.

He is also against smart meters because he thinks it will lead to time of use billing.   He also seems to think smart meters are a health hazard because it uses radio waves.

I am not certain that this is the sort of candidate the BC Conservatives want running for them.   He has said that if they do not allow him to run he will run as a candidate but according to the Oliver Daily News today he is their candidate.


nb  While I find most of his views rather off the wall, I do think that some of his criticism of organic certification are things we should be concerned about.


Anonymous said...

"Pop off" - I guess he's well named!

Frank Hilliard said...

Actually, this IS "the sort of candidate the BC Conservatives want running for them." Mischa has always been a conservative with conservative (Classical liberal) views.

If, at times, he has moved around between various conservative parties it's because he has tried to be true to himself and his principles.

His background in agriculture and his knowledge of organic food production will prove invaluable in Boundary-Similkameen where there are so many small food producers.

I'd just like to add that the previous commentator, who made a snide remark about Mischa's Russian name, should consider twice before attacking someone's ethnicity.

Mischa Popoff is the real deal and he'll make a great member of the Provincial Parliament.

scotty on Denman said...

If I'm not mistaken, conservatives are not classical liberals nor libertarians. If they were they'd put individual rights above community rights. Perhaps Toryism would be a better name since Stephen Harper and all manner of neo-rightists have co-opted the name 'conservative'.

Real conservatism, or Toryism, does not seek to privatize all public services nor surrender economic sovereignty to the imaginary invisible hand of the market. Real conservatives didn't tear the last page out of "The Wealth of Nations" where Adam Smith says plainly it is the state's responsibility to protect its sovereignty. Classic laissez faire liberals didn't read that page, even though it was the conclusion. Modern neo-rightists haven't even heard of it.

Tories may subscribe to class distinction, from caste to mobility, such as Marxists don't but the thing both views share is communitarianism, the view that society is an organic whole citizens work to build. Classic liberals of old and neo-rightist of today imagine everything, including society, is supposed to work for the individual, not the other way round. While desiring "freedom" from "oppression" of the constabulary, neo-rightists, particularly Tea Party-ers, prescribe arming individuals but then in contradiction would force students to give equal weight to creationism as evolution or take away women's right to safe, accessible abortion. Apologists rationalize the contradictions, eventually working themselves into an unscientific, superstitious corner. That's when they become troublesome and, if armed and self-licensed, a danger to any society. But that's just all right with them---and when it's all right, there's nothing left.

Whenever the right goes through one of these existential periods like it is now in North America, the extremists Tories worked so patiently to remove from their path to power pop out of the woodwork again. I like it because they drag neo-rightists back to the fringes where they belong.

brtrain said...

Too bad Mr. Hilliard,
Your man Mischa just got dropped!

Maybe he'll run as an Independent.

(And, just to clarify it for you, I was not mocking his ethnicity in my first post - I wrote "pop off", as in a gun discharging, which was related to one of the topics he's so outspoken on.)

brtrain said...

PS: good comment "Scotty from Denman".
Where _have_ all the Red Tories gone?

brtrain said...

... and yes, he will run as an independent!

And Mr. Hilliard, full disclosure - are you not also associated with the Individual Rights Party? This ( names you as President thereof, and Mischa Popoff surfaces in the comments signing himself as "Leader, IRPBC". What is the difference between the two offices?

brtrain said...

This is getting good!
Here is a video of Mischa Popoff in a field, talking about his decision to run as an independent and the "bullying" in the BC Conservative party, while a tame bull butts him....