View from the Fringe: Moving to the Mainstream

by Allen Small, Leader

“The way to attract voters is to attract media attention, become part of the sideshow.”

That was a comment I made in the Summer Bulletin, and I’m pleased to report that we have made some progress toward that goal.

It has been a productive summer for Ontario Libertarians.

In June, our successful caucus meeting in Woodbridge began the rewrite of the Party Platform that is proceeding on the Party Wiki site. Any Party member is invited to join the Wiki (wiki.libertarian.on.ca) and may wish to contribute their thoughts.

July brought our first marketing appearance at the Toronto Pride Parade, and our first serious attempt at gathering a Full Slate of Libertarians across Ontario in anticipation of the next general election. That was combined with a one week Money Bomb that ended early in August to give us a nice fundraising bump in mid-summer. As of this writing, we can theoretically place 78 candidates in the 107 provincial ridings. But potentially we know that we can fill every riding based on previous indications from our members. So now, we need those members to step up to confirm and commit.

A Full Slate in the next election will allow each candidate to choose his or her level of involvement. Some of our candidates will be active with signs and pamphlets, attending meetings, and going door-to-door. Others may not even live in the riding they represent and will be involved only to the extent that their name appears on the ballot. The goal of having a candidate in every riding, we believe, is a necessary first step to getting a Libertarian elected to the Legislature. The organization, commitment and money required to do that will put our opponents and the media on notice that Ontario Libertarians are moving away from the fringe. By contesting every seat, we will make our presence felt especially in close races. If you think you can commit to being a candidate, now is the time to let us know.

Over the past few months, we have been posting and distributing media releases on a variety of topical issues. All of the media releases are available for viewing on our Party website. One of those releases secured a radio interview for me on CFRB 1010 Toronto in mid-August, that led to a longer interview a week later on CFRA 580 Ottawa. You may listen to both of these interviews by clicking the YouTube icon at the top right of our website and following the links.

By the time you read this the by-elections in Kitchener-Waterloo and Vaughan will be history. Allan Dettweiler was our candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo, and Deputy Leader Paolo Fabrizio carried our banner in Vaughan. It was a repeat run for Paolo, who polled more votes than the Green candidate in the October 2011 election, a hopeful sign for the future. The outcome of these elections could affect the minority status of the government and therefore our Full Slate campaign.

A continued minority could trigger an election at any time, possibly by spring 2013; a Liberal working majority means the next election will probably be October 2015. In either case, we intend to pursue the Full Slate. The current global and local financial mess presents us with an opportunity now, and for the foreseeable future to challenge the Ontario electorate with radical new ideas like reducing government spending and debt, while increasing economic and civic freedoms along with consumer choice. Yes, those and other crazy ideas.