First of all, please come out to the Freedom Fair and Convention. The Freedom Fair on May 17 in Edmonton – go to www.libertarian.ca for details – is open to the public for $10 and is a great opportunity meet other libertarians. 11 AM – 5 PM. Guests and eligible members can register for all events for $65.
Bio: I have been a director since May, 2005 and president of the Libertarian Party of Canada since February, 2006. I have a regular job in the software industry as a quality assurance software analyst. I have a BSc. in Mathematics from the University of Toronto. I’m married and live in Toronto, and have run provincially and federally in Scarborough–Rouge River. I have written press statements for the Ontario Libertarian Party and the LPC and an environmental platform for the OLP, and a platform for the LPC.
My talents are more with writing. I can afford to pay for myself, as much as I have been able to afford being president part-time. As leader I would be prepared to make regular appearances, even weekly, but especially to focus on press releases. But it’s true that I would not be able to afford air travel and I don’t believe it is productive to make long trips and take up time and resources traveling.
In fact, I disagree very much with the idea of “leaders” as being symbolic of the party and I think this is a lot of authoritarian baggage that the Canadian electorate is fooled into. I think a libertarian party should be a coalition of individual activists who represent their pro-liberty causes and that’s what my leadership campaign will be representing. My leadership campaign (this week – whatever time I have for it) will be about the direction of the party and how we can grow and start pushing for reforms of attitudes and institutions in our society – withdrawing consent – levelling authoritarian institutions – appealing to the public to make these reforms. The party – and especially the main body of members – should be speaking out regularly on issues. I would like the public to pay attention to the Libertarian Party because it represents some of their real concerns and issues they don’t even understand yet or aren’t aware of.
The Libertarian Party of Canada should be a vehicle for ordinary people to help push back the power of the State.
I was libertarian-inclined since I was a teenager. I was supportive of the Conservative Party and followed the conservative movement. I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in the 90’s and was inspired by that, and some of her other books. I was very religious but found I had to drop some of those beliefs as they were weighing down my life. I became agnostic. After Sept. 11, 2001, I was still a Bush supporter for a while and read National Review. But more and more I started detecting a lot of lies and secrecy from the U.S. government. I started hearing militaristic rhetoric and reading pro-draft articles.
Fortunately, Jonah Goldberg started mentioning libertarianism in his columns and I switched over to a website called Antiwar.com where Justin Raimondo wrote up a storm of fascinating and politically incorrect material, challenging neo-conservative tenets. I read Lewrockwell.com and Joseph Schlomberg and I didn’t have to be conflicted about bombing peoples’ homes anymore. I knew I was against that and would never support invading other peoples’ countries. And I could learn more about the history of propaganda and the secret history of modern imperialism. So I became free of all that and could think more clearly and in an open-minded way about history also. Of course I read a lot of Rothbard’s articles and books and am basically inclined to his way of thinking about many things (and his ideas overlap with other writers).
Life seems to be all about breaking free. And the concept of an external authority that’s propped up by other people and elevated above us in order to rule over us needs to be removed.
I think the party should pick the most qualified in general, and people should run themselves as leader if they believe they are more qualified. For our party, I think it’s also important to reform the constitution and the Statement of Principles in order to grow. We need to allow for maximum tolerance in the party for libertarians of different views and priorities – and total decentralization. That means our members should be active making public statements that represent their beliefs and priorities and that are consistent with libertarianism, but that may conflict with statements that other groups or individuals in the party make. In every case, it helps promote the party without the forced unity that Canadian politics suffers from so much. I think it’s shameful how MP’s are subservient to their party leader in Canada. I think there has been a lot of tolerance from the current LP leadership, but we need to institutionalize tolerance. People do not need to agree with each other. I see the same conflicts in the U.S. LP about how LP members are embarrassed by other members’ beliefs. Stop worrying so much about what others think and start arguing for your own beliefs and causes. That’s how we need to promote a *libertarian party*. And that’s what I mean by coalition of individuals.
May 10th, 2008