Leader’s Report — By Allen Small
“Full Slate in one eight!” That phrase is stuck to the edge of my computer screen on a Post-It note. It’s more than just a reminder; it’s become a target.
I’ve been in five elections now, both Federal and Provincial. One of my most active election campaigns was the 2011 Federal Election held on May 2nd.
With the financial help of the federal party and former LPoC vice-president John Shaw, we posted signs right across the riding. I remember having a radio interview from a Toronto disc jockey that had seen a sign during his commute and was intrigued. That interview is still somewhere on YouTube.
But one memory stands out for me from that election. I was handing out fliers in a local plaza and had a long chat with one fellow. He seemed genuinely interested in the Libertarian Party, which he had just learned about during our chat. I felt like I was closing the deal, earning his vote, until he asked: “how many candidates are running in the party?” I had to say 23 (of 308), including me. Well, he laughed and with a dismissive wave of his hand he walked away saying “good luck.” I was crushed, all that work, all that effort, all those good ideas, we were not credible and he knew and I knew it.
In November of that year I became Leader of the provincial party and in my head I had set for myself the goal of credibility or bust for the provincial party! I didn’t know how, I didn’t know when, but I did know we needed a full slate as a start.
We did a terrific job in the 2014 General Election with 73 candidates and we have had candidates in every by-election since then except one. In that case our candidate withdrew just before nominations closed and it was too late for a substitute.
Since our last Bulletin there were two by-elections. Both Dean Harris in Ottawa-Vanier, and Stefanos Karatopis in Niagara West-Glanbrook did an outstanding job representing us and maintaining our fifth place position among parties.
We have been credible and we will continue to be. At this writing we have more than enough candidates to run a full slate but many ridings are blank, we need even more to act in the event that someone needs to withdraw. Credibility won’t be easy, but we can do it, we have Rob Brooks on our team!