Judi Falardeau will be running as the Libertarian candidate in the Toronto Centre riding for the upcoming Canadian federal election. Falardeau will be the face of limited government and personal liberty in the electoral district election.
The Libertarian Party of Canada doesn't have any seats in the House of Commons in Ottawa, but it is trying to get the message out to Canadians. As most of the minor political parties try to gain some ground, where do the Libertarians stand on the issues?
In less than three weeks, Canadian voters will head to the polls to either elect a majority Conservative government, a minority Conservative government or give either the Liberal Party of Canada or the New Democratic Party of Canada a chance to govern the country.
Although polls indicate that the election is a three-party race, other federal political parties will have the opportunity to educate, inform and have discussions with constituents on various political philosophies and the alternatives that voters have.
The philosophy of libertarianism in Canada has not dominated the political mainstream, but with every municipal, provincial and federal election, the Libertarian parties are fighting tooth and nail to bring the message of “right of the individual to pursue his/her own goals without coercion from others.”
Judi Falardeau is one of the many federal candidates to be running for the Libertarian Party of Canada. Falardeau, a chef by day and a mother of two grown children, is the Libertarian federal nominee in the Toronto Centre riding.
Political involvement, Toronto Centre
Falardeau is not political by nature, but with so much talk from politicians saying 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.” For this reason, Falardeau could not help but ignore that fact for very long.
“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,” said Falardeau. “Waste in government is staggering. And government hypocrisy is even more so.”
Although Falardeau has yet to canvass in the Toronto Centre district, she has in-depth conversations everyday with as many people as possible, including friends, family, colleagues and others. “When explained, most people find the Libertarian idea very reasonable – and an acceptable alternative to the chaos we see today.”
The Toronto Centre all-candidates debate will take place Friday evening at The Grand Ballroom at The 519. What does Falardeau expect to occur during the debate? “It will be more of the same,” said Falardeau. “Politicians pandering to those groups who provide them with the most votes.”
The federal nominee added that this week’s federal leaders’ debates were prime examples of all of the parties’ primary objective(s): “Take from one group and give it to the next.” Falardeau has one key question: “How are they going to pay for all these promises?”
Limited government and the minority Conservative government
The general notion of the Conservative Party of Canada is that they are the party of smaller, limited government. Although the opposition claims that the government has increased the size of government, has run the largest deficit in the history of Canadian politics and has enlarged the national debt, Prime Minister Stephen Harper still maintains that they are the party of small government.
Are they that party? Falardeau doesn’t think so, and the facts speak for themselves.
“Clearly someone who has increased spending, even allowing for growth in the economy, by 25 percent, 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,” said Falardeau. “The rhetoric about having reduced taxes is just empty words, that extra spending will have to be paid from more taxes.”
In the end, the Conservative Party, notes Falardeau, is the worst choice for any form of smaller or limited government.
The Libertarian point of view is that the federal government should be reduced to only doing the role they must do; “The role that only they can, and that is not too many things.”
There is no question that the government has a neoteric involvement in all facets on a daily basis – whether it be locally, provincially or federally – so the fundamental question is: Are the Canadian voters ready to accept the libertarian mantra and have a smaller level of government?
Falardeau and the Libertarians believe so because Canadians already accept the principle of the right to pursue their own objectives without any duress from anyone. “Canadians are becoming knowledgeable to the fact that government interferes and controls too many aspects of our lives.”
Domestic affairs, foreign policy
The government of Canada has a national public debt of more than $560 billion – on track to be the largest in Canadian history – and has a national deficit of $50 billion. Prime Minister Stephen Harper vows to decrease the deficit and balance the budget within the next several years.
How will the Libertarian Party tackle the debt and deficit? Well, one simple measure that families all around the world do: “Spend less.”
Since the economic collapse in 2008, most governments around the world have spent more than they take in because the view is that they must stimulate the economy during a recession/depression.
“Spend less by cutting programs that are not required,” said Falardeau. “Transfer payments would be the first to go. They are $57 billion now and rising, cutting them is a first large step.”
Healthcare has become an important issue in this election campaign and all of the opposing parties have accused the Prime Minister of leaning towards a private healthcare system, which has been compared to the United States’ system.
But does the U.S. have a free-market, private healthcare structure? Does the government have a role in health? “When the Libertarians say there would be a free-market we mean free,” said Falardeau. “The only role of the government would be to regulate against fraud.”
She further explains that our southern neighbour does not have a free-market healthcare system in place because of its “myriad and complex regulations that strangle the system, and provide no help to the sick people.” Plus, notes Falardeau, the U.S. government spends more per capita on healthcare than the Canadian government.
The libertarians differ on foreign policy, but Falardeau lays out in a direct manner; be a part of NATO, attacking other countries is not acceptable and the war in Afghanistan “was a huge mistake.”
What should be Canada’s position on foreign policy? “The only role we should have outside the country is minimal embassies to assist citizens and to maintain relations required with other countries.”
Toronto Centre Riding
The federal electoral district sits from downtown Toronto to midtown and uptown. The riding is located from St. Clair Avenue East to Queen’s Quay East and Bayview Avenue to Avenue Road.
It has a population of more than 120,000, most of which maintain a modest middle-income. The riding has an unemployment rate of eight percent and nearly 40 percent of the residents are visible minorities.
Bob Rae is the Liberal Member of Parliament representing the district in the House of Commons. Rae succeeded Liberal MP Bill Graham – who represented the riding since 1993.
Conservative Party nominee Kevin Moore, New Democratic Party nominee Susan Wallace, Green Party nominee Ellen Michelson, Marxist-Leninist nominee Philip Fernandez and Independent candidate Bahman Yazdanfar will all vie for a seat in May 2’s federal election.
Be sure to continue following Digital Journal’s extensive Canada Election 2011 coverage.
(Last year, Digital Journal conducted a series of interviews with other minor federal political parties that had different views on how the political system should be run and what they would implement. Click here to view the in-depth reports.)