Libertarian Party of Canada

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Libertarian Party of Canada
Parti libertarien du Canada
Leader Tim Moen[1]
President Andrew Echevarria [2]
Founded 1973
Headquarters 372 Rideau St., Suite 205
Ottawa, Ontario[1][3]
Ideology Libertarianism, classical liberalism
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation Interlibertarians
Colours Yellow / Indigo
Fiscal policy Economic Liberalism, Laissez-Faire, Neoliberalism
Social policy Civil libertarianism
Seats in the House of Commons
0 / 308
Seats in the Senate
0 / 105
Website
Official website
Politics of Canada
Political parties
Elections

The Libertarian Party of Canada is a political party in Canada that subscribes to the tenets of the libertarian movement across Canada.

History[edit]

The party was founded on July 7, 1973 by Bruce Evoy[citation needed], who became its first chairman, and seven others. Evoy ran for election to Parliament in the 1974 federal election in the Toronto riding of Rosedale. The party achieved registered status in the 1979 federal election by running more than fifty candidates.

The party described itself as Canada's "fourth party" in the 1980s[citation needed], but it has since been displaced by new parties such as the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada. The party declined to join the Reform Party of Canada when it was formed in 1987[citation needed]. Many libertarians were also attracted to provincial Progressive Conservative parties that moved to the right during the 1990s in Ontario under Mike Harris, and in Alberta under Ralph Klein.

The decline in the party's membership and resources resulted in Elections Canada removing their status as a registered party immediately before the 1997 federal election when the party failed to run the minimum fifty candidates needed to maintain its registration.[citation needed]

The party successfully re-registered with Elections Canada on June 2, 2004, in time for the 2004 election. Its eight candidates won 1,949 votes.

Jean-Serge Brisson led the party from May 22, 2000 until May 18, 2008 when he was succeeded by Dennis Young. Young defeated outgoing party president Alan Mercer for the leadership. Savannah Linklater was elected deputy leader.[4]

In May 2011, Katrina Chowne was elected leader of the Libertarian Party. In May 2014, Tim Moen was elected leader of the Libertarian Party.

Platform[edit]

The Libertarian Party advocates minimizing government interference in the social and economic affairs of Canadian citizens, on the grounds that such interference violates rights and leads to general impoverishment. As such, the party platform contains the following positions:[5]

Economic Policy: The Party supports a highly laissez-faire economic policy. It opposes most, if not all, government restriction or regulation of voluntary trade, including the imposition of centrally planned labour and environmental standards. Likewise, the Party is firmly committed to unilateral free trade, rejecting both protectionism and trade agreements. The Party also regards most, if not all, taxation as coercive, and seeks to eliminate or substantially reduce the personal and corporate income tax rates, as well as abolish the GST and federal excise taxes. Its stated goal is a move towards a system of fees for service. The Party also supports the abolition of the Bank of Canada, arguing that government regulation of currency and credit is harmful to the economy.

Welfare Programs: The Party opposes all government subsidies- whether to industry, education, health care, science, the arts, or individuals. It thus opposes both social welfare programs and corporate welfare programs, including the Canada Health Act, public education, and agricultural subsidies.

Environmental Policy: The Party maintains a free-market environmentalist philosophy. It regards pollution as aggression against property rights, and supports the right of pollution victims to file injunctions against polluters. It also considers the overexploitation of natural resources to be a direct result of government ownership of those resources, and supports their privatization. The Party opposes government-mandated environmental standards and Canadian participation in the Kyoto Protocol.

Civil Liberties: The Party supports the unrestricted rights of freedom of expression, religion, the press, voluntary association, and peaceful assembly. It opposes government interference into marriage, the family, churches and other private associations. The Party has condemned counter-terrorism laws in recent years, describing them as an erosion of civil liberties. It also strongly opposes government surveillance of society, as well as government restrictions on the right to own firearms and the right to self-defence.

Law and Order: The Party supports laws against the use of force, the threat thereof, or fraud. It would remove all victimless crimes from the criminal code, regarding any action that does not aggress against another individual as an issue of personal responsibility. It thus supports the blanket legalization of all drugs. The Party also contends that the punishment should be proportional to the crime, and likewise supports heavier sentencing for violent offenders.

Foreign Policy: The Party maintains a non-interventionist philosophy in foreign policy. It supports diplomacy and free trade with other nations, but opposes interference in their sovereign affairs except through those means. It likewise supports a rigorous defence of Canada's sovereignty from foreign powers. However, it opposes government provision of airline security. The Party generally opposes war and nuclear proliferation due to their potential to result in rights violations. It also advocates withdrawal from military alliances such as NATO.

Immigration Policy: The Party supports open immigration so long as immigrants do not take advantage of existing social welfare programs.

Intellectual Property: The Party advocates a moderate approach to intellectual property that would generally entail rolling back the existing laws. The Party has also called into question the ability of companies to patent existing processes, genetically modified organisms, and existing organisms.

Telecommunications Policy: The Party supports internet freedom, and rejects government regulation of Internet Service Providers. It supports the elimination of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. It also proposes the private appropriation of the electromagnetic spectrum as an alternative to government spectrum licensing.

Political Process: The Party opposes restrictions on campaign donations, advertising, and spending. It rejects electronic voting in light of its questionable track record and supports including a NOTA (None Of The Above) option on ballots. The Party is also supportive of citizens' rights to recall their local Member of Parliament, as well as challenge parliament through referenda.

Election results[edit]

Election # of candidates # of votes % of popular vote % in ridings contested
1979 60 16,042 0.14% ?
1980 58 14,656 0.13% ?
1984 72 23,514 0.19% 0.70%
1988 88 33,185 0.25% 0.35%
1993 52 14,630 0.11% 0.25%
1997 * * *
2000 * * *
2004 8 1,949 0.01% 0.32%
2006 10 3,002 0.02% 0.27%
2008 26 7,300 0.05% 0.07%
2011 23 6,017 0.04%

The party also nominated a number of candidates to run in by-elections:

  • 1980 by-election: 1
  • 1981 by-election: 1
  • 1982 by-election: 1
  • 1990 by-election: 2
  • 1995 by-election: 1
  • 2008 by-election: 1
  • 2010 by-election: 1
  • 2012 by-election: 3
  • 2013 by-election: 3
  • 2014 by-election: 1

Sources: 1974: Libertarian Party of Canada News, July/August 1974, 4. 1979-2006: Parliament of Canada History of the Federal Electoral Ridings since 1867

Leaders[edit]

George Dance

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ http://www.libertarian.ca/contact
  3. ^ "Elections Canada". Elections.ca. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Western Standard". Westernstandard.blogs.com. 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Libertarian Party of Canada Platform". Libertarian.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-09. 
  6. ^ Libertarian Party of Canada, "Leadership Roles," Party File, ParlInfo, parl.gc.ca. Web, Dec. 7, 2010. http://www2.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/files/Party.aspx?Item=2ef41a44-7f48-4b22-a342-781e589f8ed1&Language=E
  7. ^ "Agenda". Libertarian.ca. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 

External links[edit]