"It is rare that any form of liberty is lost all at once." David Hume
Citizens Against Government Encroachment (CAGE – "Citoyens Anti Gouvernement Envahissant") was created to counter the multi-pronged assault on personal liberties and lifestyle choices of ordinary people. CAGE promotes the idea that happiness and good health (in that order) are best pursued by responsible, educated and well-informed adults in control of their own choices. It opposes state-directed harassment of those who do not choose to conform to all aspects of the "officially approved healthy lifestyle," or the imposition of coercive legislation to force behavioural compliance. Most importantly, CAGE seeks to unite people around these basic principles, thus creating a political majority actively opposed to invasive government legislation. It is only by mobilizing people around such a basic, broad ideology, that attitudes such as "I don’t cycle/smoke/hang-glide/eat ‘x’ food/own an affected business, so why should I oppose this new law?" can be overcome.
While a number of libertarian organizations with a similar perspective to CAGE on these issues exists, these groups focus the bulk of their attention on political and economic issues, rather than social/lifestyle questions. Invasive lifestyle legislation has also emerged from every governing party in Canada, whether Conservative, Liberal, Quebecois, or NDP (although the left-leaning parties tend to be a greater source of such policies). Many existing single-issue groups whose perspective coincides well with that of CAGE exist, however, and CAGE seeks to ideologically unite these under its philosophical umbrella.
CAGE’s strategic advantage in promoting its values of responsible choice is that it is not a single-issue interest group. By finding the common links between regular citizens, some of who like smoking, others who like drinking, others who like to enjoy sports without the annoyance of government regulations, CAGE can mobilize a much larger cross section of citizens who feel alienated by intrusive legislation.
CAGE position statements on specific issues can be found in each of the CASE STUDIES.