The Ontario Libertarians are not a large group. In fact, about 42,000 of the approximate 10 million eligible voters selected one of their candidates on June 7th this year. That’s not insignificant, considering the party had less than 600 people registered as card-carrying members as of the election.
The party leader, Allen Small from Markham- Unionville, asked for a mandate to run 124 candidates this year but, was unable to capture a single seat, and resigned today.
Deputy Leader, Rob Ferguson from Brantford, stepped in as Interim leader until the party regroups and elects a leader at its convention in 2019.
The party ideology is not as fringe as you might expect.
“A guiding principle we have adopted is to avoid taking away direct programs and services that people receive from Government today. Instead, by allowing the emergence of new and better ways to deliver programs and services, we believe natural and voluntary choices will directly lead to a greater emphasis on non-government delivery of programs and services and less emphasis on Government delivery of programs and services,” Ferguson said.
They also want a smaller government and for government to back off individual property rights.
These are reasoned approaches, but with no budget, few experienced candidates and no marketing strategy, success was doubtful at the outset. But they tried.
Looking at the apathy of the voting public, the millions invested in partisan politics and a cloud of political noise in most media, the reality that 42,000 Ontarians voted for them, equivalent to a rural municipality, is fairly impressive.
Rob Ferguson is passionate about his ideology and sincere in his attempts to get a voice in the public discourse. Who could ask for more?
Ferguson now has the Libertarian rudder in hand and an opportunity to turn this ship around. He is truly committed to our community and should be congratulated for entering the political battlefield where many hesitate or indeed offer criticism rather than participation.