Libertarian candidate hopes to grow party
By Chad Ingram
Published April 10, 2018
Gene Balfour is well aware his chances of becoming the next MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock are less than slim.
“I know I’m not going to Queen’s Park,” says Balfour, the Ontario Libertarian Party’s candidate for the riding.
A recently retired professional recruiter, Balfour, a longtime Thornhill resident, now resides in Fenelon Falls with his wife, a retired school principal.
Balfour was first introduced to the Ontario Libertarian Party more than a decade ago, when he crashed one of the party’s meetings.
“I just heard it on the radio, and I didn’t know what they were,” said Balfour.
He found that he agreed with the party’s ideals, and has now run half a dozen elections under its banner and is party chairman. Balfour is eager to share the Libertarian philosophy with residents of HKLB.
The pillars of the Libertarian platform are personal freedoms, fewer regulations, less taxation and smaller government.
“Libertarians defend and protect each individual person – that’s body, mind and efforts – and his or her property – that’s anything of value – from unwanted and intentional aggression or harm inflicted by others, including those in government,” Balfour says.
“I see the Libertarian party as being the exact opposite of the BORG parties,” he says. He explains that BORG is an acronym used to describe the four mainstream parties. It stands for blue, orange, red and green.
Balfour says the mainstream parties are all the same, enticing voters with promises to fix the province’s problems, but never doing so, and in the meantime growing the size of government and racking up debt.
“They promise to fix those problems, but they never explain how they’re going to do it, or what it’s going to cost,” he says.
Balfour points to the province’s myriad regulations, of which he says there are some 380,000, and stresses all of these regulations need to be enforced, meaning more and more people need to be hired by the government.
“That’s doubled in the last 25 years,” he says of the number of regulations. “Every regulation is like a job responsibility. Once a government passes a law, they have to enforce it.”
What’s more, Balfour says many of those policies are in place to give the province a monopoly, not just over the sale of alcohol and soon, marijuana, but everything from education to health care.
“We have to eliminate regulations that provide power for government to run monopolies,” he says, adding that there are mechanisms to prevent monopolies in the private sector, but yet the government is allowed to have them.
The Libertarian party supports a model that would allow private enterprises to compete with government entities in every sector of society, allowing residents a choice between them.
“The people who want government programs should have them,” Balfour says, “the people who don’t want government programs, they should get them too.”
While it’s been around for decades – it was formed in the 1970s – Balfour says the Ontario Libertarian Party has been experiencing growth in recent years. The party’s goal is to run a candidate in each of Ontario’s 124 ridings in the June election, and is well on its way to doing that, with candidates registered in many ridings.
At press time, Balfour and MPP Laurie Scott remained the only two registered candidates for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
When asked if he thought he could beat the popular Scott, Balfour was very straightforward.
“I’m not looking to beat Laurie Scott,” Balfour said plainly. “That’s not my goal. The goal I have is to get the message out there.”
To learn more about the Ontario Libertarian Party and its platform, visit http://www.libertarian.on.ca.