A Thin Line Between Tradition And ‘More Of The Same’

The results are in: Ontario is saddled with four more years of a Liberal majority, and First-Past-The-Post remains our electoral system.

Ontarians can hardly be blamed for trying to pick the lesser of four evils. Most people voted against extending government funding to religious schools. The Ontario Libertarian Party doesn’t want to see more government-controlled education, either. Most people voted against increasing the influence of the extremist NDP. Again, the Libertarians couldn’t agree more. But with all these decisions, did anyone else get the sense that there really wasn’t much of a choice? If this election were a home renovation, it would be like only getting to choose between beige, eggshell, light brown, and taupe paint. So, we chose beige. Great. We’ll get another four years of slow growth, stifling regulation, corrupt government, and rent-seeking. It’s more of the same.

On the other hand, Ontarians made a wise choice in refusing to abandon the wisdom of tradition in our electoral system. Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) Representation was overwhelming rejected across the Province. Even those of us clamoring for more ‘color’ in Ontario politics didn’t want this system for a number of reasons. Firstly, we don’t want the new color to be red; many small parties that would be enfranchised by MMP are communists or other fundamentalists. Secondly, Libertarians believe in representative government, and are against the corrupting power of party insiders. The power of parties over individual, riding-representing MPPs would have increased with the introduction of at-large, party-list MPPs. Our inherited system was shaped by generations of evolution of the liberty-oriented Anglo-Saxon political culture. It’s our tradition.

So, if the Ontario Libertarian Party is bored with the status quo, but respectful of tradition, here’s what we would like to see by the next election: We are working toward building a true alternative to Canadian socialism. The party has regrouped since its membership was lured by the broken promises of the Harris Tories. We are not looking for representation for radical parties, because we don’t see ourselves as such. Rather, we are pursuing a sea-change in the role of government in the lives of every Ontarian. Please visit our website (http://www.libertarian.on.ca/) for our specific visions for the future. But in order to do this, in order to be seen as a true alternative, the first step is for us to contest all 103 ridings across the Province.

Our reaction to this election is clear. We accept that meaningful change comes slowly, and we’re glad that Ontario didn’t abandon its traditions to accelerate it. But now we have an opportunity. We have four years for every disaffected voter, every victim of extreme taxation and regulation, every believer in peace and good governance, to join us – as a candidate, activist, or otherwise – to ensure that next time we give Ontarians a viable choice for a better life.

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