John Martin, who wants to be the Conservative candidate in Chilliwack-Hope, has argued for junking the health care system, killing the CBC and disenfranchising young people who might vote Green or NDP.
"The CBC is . . . irrelevant in the digital age and contributes virtually nothing that is not already accessible elsewhere," he wrote in an Aug. 3, 2011 column for the Chilliwack Times. "No one watches it and its homegrown programming, for the most part, is pathetic."
If politicians had the courage, they'd dismantle it, he said.
"It's the same story with our health care system," he continued. "Any talk of a complete reformation of health care is completely off the table. If it were a car, you'd scrap it in a heartbeat. If it were a dog, you'd take it for that one last drive to the vet."
Over a decade or so Martin, a criminology professor at University of the Fraser Valley, has written hundreds of columns for The Vancouver Province, The Chilliwack Times and The Abbotsford Times. Many have criticized human rights tribunals, argued for tougher treatment of criminals and attacked what he describes as political correctness.
In a 2010 column that ran in the Chilliwack paper, Martin said it's ridiculous to consider extending the vote to "freeloader" youth, considering how few are full-time members of the work force.
He also worried about how young people would use their votes. "Even the few youth that are genuinely politically engaged consistently get it wrong," he wrote. "Media outlets typically run 'youth polls' during elections to see what kind of parliament we'd end up with if the 15- to 25-year-olds could decide the outcome. Time and time again the results show a Green Party Prime Minister and an NDP opposition."
It would be wiser to raise the voting age to 27 or 30 years old, he said. "While we're at it, I'd add that any person of any age living with their parents, except in health care circumstances of course, should be prohibited from having a vote at all."
Conservative Leader John Cummins has argued that the 50 per cent of potential voters who failed to cast a ballot in the last provincial election are possible supporters of his party.
Martin saw them differently when he wrote a 2010 column in favour of low voter turnout, as long as the "ignorant" stay home: "Many don't have a clue about the issues or party positions. Others were likely only vaguely aware an election campaign was even under way. For some, the thought of actually voting has never crossed their minds. These are the folks we can do without at the polls."
He has also argued against what he sees as the "feminization" of the education system. "To put it bluntly, boys are getting shafted," he wrote in a 2007 column in The Province. "In the '70s, there was concern that girls were less successful than boys in school. Since then, there has been a deliberate feminizing of public education, and boys have lost out big time.
"Boys are being taught that masculinity is an anti- social trait that must be extinguished."
In 2010 Martin argued against tougher drinking and driving laws, which the government recently said has saved 45 lives.
Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.