Just recently I came across an article about a small LDS town in Southern Alberta. Cardston Alberta has voted to continue its booze ban. It is one of few dry communities in Canada. Sales of alcohol in Cardston Alberta is illegal and thus if one wants to get a drink they must travel to one of several nearby towns such as Lethbridge Alberta about 80 km north of Cardston.
The town overwhelmingly voted in support of continued prohibition on sales of alcohol by a margin of 1089 for and 347 against. This does not come as much of a surprise considering that the town is basically LDS. In Cardston; to not be a member of the church you are in the minority. This decision speaks highly of how the people of Cardston take the word of wisdom to heart. Being libertarian I personally would have voted against the ban if I were a resident of the town, while at the same time I respect the decision of the people of Cardston. Being a community they are free to make such decisions as they feel are best for their community.
The important thing to note about this plebiscite is that it does not ban the consumption of Alcohol within town limits, just the sale. It is also non binding, meaning Cardston city council can still lift the ban regardless of the results of the vote. The results of this vote strike a good balance between free agency of the individual and what the towns citizens feel is in there best interest. Essentially they have stated we do not want this product sold within the town but we will not stop you from drinking alcohol if you so choose. You will just have to go and buy it elsewhere.
When it comes to prohibition I think that Cardston has struck the right balance between free agency and personal religious feelings. The fact that they are only saying no to sales and not a complete ban on alcohol within the city itself is a good thing. Even with a libertarian minded individual like myself I can respect the towns decisions to ban the sale of a given product so long as they do not ban ones ability to choose to consumer such a product.
If you have ever been to Cardston then you know that it is a small and peaceful community. This is largely due to the fact that the town is nearly 100% LDS. I think that is an awesome thing.
What I find funny about this whole situation is that if we were to consider for a moment that if the booze ban for sales was lifted what would be the result? Hypothetically thinking here is what I think would happen. Nothing.
Think about it for a minute. A town filled with Latter Day Saints who have no interest in purchasing alcohol. Who would set up shop for booze sales? Who would sell it? What kind of business person would set up a beer store in a town that has no interest in purchasing the product to begin with? That is really what this whole vote boils down to. A small town saying collectively that they have no interest in alcohol and thus reaffirming the fact that the market does not exist.
It is a shame that more people don’t have the same conviction to avoid this poison as the people of Cardston Alberta. But as long as we have our free agency we should be free to still have that choice.
And that is the Gospel According to Andrew