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Canadian 2015 Election

7 candidates, 4 chairs: diverse voices silenced by Vancouver riding debates that exclude candidates — The Georgia Straight

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7 candidates, 4 chairs: diverse voices silenced by Vancouver riding debates that exclude candidates — The Georgia Straight

by Devon Rowcliffe

What possible benefit is there to voters when debate hosts decide to act as gatekeepers and impose arbitrary barriers against candidate participation? Some of the candidates and their ideas may be eccentric, but if they refrain from spreading hatred or making offensive statements, why exclude them?

Are policies such as reducing copyright terms, legalizing marijuana, or raising the personal income tax exemption so egregious that it is worth curtailing our democratic options in order to silence such ideas?

Independent and small-party candidates typically run modest campaigns buoyed only with meagre funding, which prevents them from purchasing advertising. Neighbourhood hustings remain one of the few avenues they have to share their ideas about how our society should be governed. If local debates become increasingly exclusive, prospective candidates outside of the large parties may decide that participating in our democracy just isn't worth the time and effort.

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Guns, drugs, hookers, and freedom: meet the political party formerly banned by Elections Canada — The Georgia Straight

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Guns, drugs, hookers, and freedom: meet the political party formerly banned by Elections Canada — The Georgia Straight

by Devon Rowcliffe

“I want gay married couples to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns.”

They’re both left-wing and right-wing. They steadfastly oppose anti-terrorism legislation such as Bill C-51, advocate for legalizing drugs and prostitution, and promote a non-interventionist foreign policy. Yet this same group also wants to allow private healthcare, decrease taxes, and make it easier to obtain guns.

What could be behind this seeming paradox? The Libertarian Party of Canada. The above quote is from party leader Tim Moen, and features in political advertising that has taken the Internet by storm in… the United States of America.

Will they be able to garner similar adoration here in Canada in time for the federal election on October 19?

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