If you live in or near the riding of Guelph, Ontario, please contact Phil Bender, the Libertarian candidate for the federal by-election. You can find more details on the September 8th by-election here.
To complicate the picture with the by-elections, there are rumors of a federal election being called in September.
Summary of what my (potential – possible – likely but not finalized) Libertarian campaign in Scaroborough–Rouge River is all about:
- We need to preserve the freedoms we have in the face of federal, provincial and international efforts to stamp them out.
- We need to wake up to the authoritarian aspects of our society and work towards greater respect for individual autonomy and choice.
- Libertarians advocate the non-aggression principle, which means not initiating the use of threats and force against anyone in order to “solve problems”. This how the current system works: it functions on a very primitive level and uses compulsion to make people live in a certain way and deprive them of choice. Non-aggression means society should function on a voluntary basis and defend against the initiation of aggression. This means people have the right to protect themselves and their rightful property. This may or may not require a type of government, but it would be a system that upholds everyone’s individual rights.
If society is not moving in this direction of respecting peoples’ autonomy in a political sense – it happens to be moving in the opposite direction! – then this is going to prevent progress in every other way: economic, cultural, scientific, spiritual. Like I said, it is primitive to force others to live the way you want them to live, whether you are a majority or a minority.
In the meantime, I believe libertarians should advocate policies that move us in the right direction and oppose policies that move us in the wrong direction. We should oppose wars of aggression (dropping bombs on innocent people), war propaganda, attacks on civil liberties (due process, habeas corpus etc.) We should uphold traditional freedoms (free speech, freedom of association, etc.) We should uphold self-defence rights. We should uphold systems of self-government such as the rights of juries, self-government for aboriginals and communities in general to determine their own destinies – yes, decentralization, trusting different regions to govern themselves justly. We should oppose central planning and most legislation that falls into the category of setting arbitrary regulations. We should promote competition and choice and free market solutions to consumer issues, and oppose government-created cartels, licensing and other such suppression of competition. We should advocate free trade and economic freedom domestically as much as we advocate free trade across borders. We should defend attacks on property rights, favor lower taxes, oppose systems of coerced payments (taxation) and find means of voluntary payments for services. We should oppose the war on drugs. We should oppose laws against prostitution etc. We should not be punishing people for making their own choices with their own bodies. We should oppose laws that interfere with voluntary economic arrangements. We should oppose laws that forbid private health care. We should oppose laws that interfere with choices about health products, natural or otherwise. We should oppose subsidies. We should oppose government secrecy, and abuses against representative government – such as international treaties that undermine our representative decision-making – in other words, our sovereignty. The same people undermine our individual sovereignty. We should oppose central banking, regulation of interest rates and the fraudulent practice of fractional reserve banking. We should advocate competition in money, allowing currencies based on gold, silver or other commodities to compete with the dollar. We should advocate justice reform: victims’ rights and restitution. We should oppose the surveillance society and invasions of our privacy.
As a means of reform, I think we should start considering and advocating systems of direct democracy, where we no longer need representatives, but each individual represents their own views in a virtual assembly. In this type of system, libertarians could be very effective in debating with others and influencing our societies to move in the direction of greater freedom and choice. I feel that representative government has failed. And I think that if some libertarians are actually going to change the system of government, we need to consider direct democracy as a means to achieve this, as it is moving in the direction of greater empowerment for ordinary people. If enough Canadians adopted this idea – and some provinces are inching towards it – we would start with recognizing the federation as it is. There are different levels of government and each province, for example, would have its own direct democracy virtual assembly and not just the federal government. The courts would need to be responsive and in the hands of ordinary people also in order to defend individual rights. The power structures are failing. Authoritarianism is unresponsive. People need freedom, and many Canadians – not all – can see the problem. We don’t all agree. Not everyone in the freedom movement calls themselves “libertarian”. But we know our society is moving in the opposite direction. Enough is enough. We need to get away from “right” and “left” and we need to get our lives and choices back in our own hands.
Other libertarians of course are going to disagree with me about particular points. I think competition of ideas and debate is healthy. If this can work within the Libertarian Party, that’s good too. But I insist on this basic definition of what “libertarian” means – non-aggression – it’s not my definition – I didn’t come up with it myself. And it doesn’t include justifying and ignoring imperialism and the suppression of individual rights by others who use government to enrich themselves at the expense of rights. Real libertarians do not advocate the violation of civil liberties and torture, dropping bombs and mass slaughter. Real libertarians are not happy with the status quo. We’re not content to identify with the politically connected and those who prop up the system that controls people using force and lies.
Your help is needed for my campaign, especially if you live locally in or near Scarborough. You don’t need to agree with me about everything to help out. I have a lot of different interests when it comes to the freedom movement and welcome all Ron Paul supporters, anybody interested in health freedom (Bill C-51), antiwar, and other groups. I know a lot of people are in to 911 truth. NAU/SPP. Gun rights. Property rights. Free speech. Whatever. …
If you live elsewhere in Canada, I can give you information on the Libertarian Party of Canada and how to volunteer where you live, including how to sign up as a candidate.
More to come, including news about my status as a Libertarian Party nominee – that has to be confirmed – and links to my previous federal and provincial campaigns, and platform ideas.
August 29th, 2008