Thursday, 22 September 2011

First impressions of davenport candidates: the fringe

When I have a bit more time, I'd like to take a close look at what the candidates are saying about local issues, but in the mean time, let's take a quick look at what they and their parties are about.

Here are the fringe candidates in Davenport, from the Communist Party, the Freedom Party, and the Libertarian Party (in alphabetical order by name).

Paul Bedard, Ontario Libertarian Party

There's not much to say about Bedard at the moment. His profile on the Libertarian Party website says only that is top issue is "limited government". No surprise there. The party's platform expands on this idea a bit:

There are many areas in which the government of Ontario has interfered to the detriment of the citizens of this fine province. ... the only proper functions of government are national defence (protection from foreign invaders), the police (providing protection from criminals) and the courts settling, according to objective laws, disputes among individuals, where private, voluntary arbitration has failed).
The party's website has lots of info for residents curious about how libertarianism works generally and where the party stands on broad issues like tax reform, education, health care, crime prevention, environment, child care/day care, employment equity/pay equity, poverty, and energy.

Franz Cauchi, Freedom Party of Ontario

There's not much info about Cauchi either, not even a top issue, but the party's website offers helpful information, including the party platform. Here's what Wikipedia says about the Freedom Party:
Instead of embracing the libertarian motto that "the government that governs least governs best", the Freedom Party asserts that "the purpose of government is to defend every individual's freedom, not to restrict it."
In other words, while the Freedom Party of Ontario might at first seem like a libertarian party, it is in fact an "objectivist" party. The distinction might not be obvious to anyone who is not a political philosophy scholar. At any rate, the party espouses capitalist policies based on reason, rational self-interest, and consent, and rejects appeals to altruism, irrationality, and the supernatural. The party's platform calls for eliminating various taxes and provincial bans, and perhaps most controversially, introducing medical cannabis centres.

Miguel Figueroa, Communist Party of Canada (Ontario branch)

Davenport is lucky to have the leader of the Communist Party's Ontario branch. Figueroa is the only one with a bio on his party's website, but it doesn't say anything about Davenport. The site does however offer this:
The aim of the Communist Party is a socialist Canada: a society in which the wealth is owned equitably by the working people who create it, and where exploitation and oppression of one human being by another is ended.
You don't need a degree to know that communism is pretty much the opposite of libertarianism and objectivism. The latter two call for as little government as necessary to defend the country, its citizens, and the law. Communism calls for government to regulate the economy and to provide a wide variety of social services to citizens. The Communist Party's platform calls for increased wages and employee benefits, enhanced labour rights and health and safety laws, electoral reform, improved access to quality affordable housing, improved public health care, education, and transit, sustainable energy and natural resource management, and food security.

That's it for the fringe candidates. To be clear, by "fringe" I only mean that their parties' ideas are at the edge of the mainstream. I don't mean to say that they are invalid in any way. Often ideas on the fringe slowly work their way into the mainstream.

Feel free to let me know what you think of any candidate!

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The New Dilettantes by Adam Gorley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.