Day 21 and 22: Yesterday was supposed to start with an early morning radio interview on The Edge 102.1FM. Unfortunately I was "bumped" by Charlie Sheen. That's right, Sheen was in Toronto Thursday/Friday to do his "show," such as it was. The excitement on this radio station was so great, that they ran out of time, and I have been pushed to Monday at 8:15 am. No problem, I will be ready.
I was interviewed by the local (really local) newspaper, which I thought went well, but lets see what they write.
The remainder of the day was spent erecting signs - a really wind day, and with the help of party V.P. and friend John Shaw, we planted about two-thirds of my large signs. Here is where lack of experience starts to show. Today we had gale-force winds and rain, lots of it, and the ground really got soaked and soft, and I think all of my signs are down. Really frustrating!
I don't think I'll have time to fix them tomorrow because the Ontario Party has a planning session for the Provincial Election in October and I am involved there. The Province has fixed dates for election, the Feds, well, lets say we were caught with our pants down on this one. But, live and learn, we need longer posts for the signs. Another problem with tomorrow is that a local group has organized an all-candidates debate (M.A.G.I.C. - Markham Action Group for Improved Community) which they failed to notify me about until yesterday (I was told by the newspaper reporter). So, go to the debate or go to the Provincial Caucus Meeting? The meeting will be more fun, and really I'm in this for the fun and the cause. The debate will largely be "pandering" to "rent-seekers" - I don't pander well.
More action on the Q & A front, here is a series of questions and answers (edited) from one of our candidates in the heart of Toronto, Bob Rae's riding:
1) What made you get involved in politics and bring the libertarian message to the riding and Canada?
I am not political. (That is unfortunately true of most libertarians, they do not seek power)
With the advent of so much alternate (non-mass media) information, we are privy to enough information to correctly ascertain the frightening powers of government. Waste in government is staggering. And government hypocrisy is even more so. When I hear politicians say they want to help, or improve something - especially something "in the name of the common good," it is always the bureaucrats and the machinations of the state that benefit most. I could not ignore that fact for very long.
2) Is Canada actually ready for libertarianism because of government involvement in all aspects of life for decades?
Yes! Most Canadians already accept the basic principle of Libertarianism - the right of the individual to pursue his/her own goals without coercion from others. Canadians are becoming knowledgeable to the fact that government interferes and controls too many aspects of our lives.
3) When there is talk of limited government by Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party, do they really mean it or is it just blind rhetoric? What is your view of a limited government?
Clearly someone who has increased spending, even allowing for growth in the economy, by 25%, who has passed draconian mandatory sentencing requirements to expand the war on drugs and who is bent on increasing the military to support more adventurism in other countries is not a supporter of small government. The rhetoric about having reduced taxes is just empty words, that extra spending will have to be paid from more taxes. They are the worst choice for smaller government.
Our view is one where government is reduced to doing only the role they must do. The role that only they can, and that is not too many things.
4) During the all-candidates debate, what do you expect from the candidates? Will it be more of the same?
It will be more of the same. Politicians pandering to those groups who provide them with the most votes. The debate this week showed that the aim of all parties is to take from one group and give it to the next. I ask, 'how are they going to pay for all these promises?"
5) Have you been canvassing? If so, how have constituents responded to the libertarian message?
I have not canvassed, as I entered into the race just a few days before the due date for registration. However, I do have discussions with co-workers, family members, and others. When explained, most people find the Libertarian idea very reasonable - and an acceptable alternative to the chaos we see today.
6) In terms of foreign policy, the libertarians differ on Canada's role in the world. What do you believe Canada should be doing in the world? Should Canada have an interventionist foreign policy (I.E. The war in Afghanistan)? Should Canada have a role in NATO? United Nations? Canada should be in NATO, but only within the mandate as signed. NATO is mutual defence only, attacking other countries as has become their way of acting is not acceptable to a Libertarian. Afghanistan was a huge mistake.
The only role we should have outside the country are minimal embassies to assist citizens and to maintain relations required with other countries.
The United Nations is too corrupt to serve any useful function now, and we should withdraw. The WTO and other international organizations provide a better forum for specific actions. If something better was to be formed we have no ideological objection to such organizations.
7) Canada has a near $600 billion national debt. What can Canada do about its deficit and debt?
Spend less by cutting programs that are not required. Transfer payments would be the first to go. They are $57 billion now and rising, cutting them is a first large step.
8) Healthcare is a big issue in Canada. What is your view on healthcare? Should the country move towards a free market (not U.S.-style) healthcare system?
The US does not have a free market in health care. The US federal government currently spends more per capita on health care than Canada does. The U.S. have myriad and complex regulations that strangle the system, and provide no help to the sick people.
When the Libertarians say there would be a free market we mean free. The only role of the government would be to regulate against fraud.