Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Larry Stevens, Kitchener-Conestoga
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Larry Stevens is running for the Libertarian Party in the Ontario provincial election, in the Kitchener-Conestoga riding. Wikinews' Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.
Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.
Why have you chosen to involve yourself in the political process? Why did you choose to run in this constituency?
- Over the years, I've watched our politicians: do harm with programs they told us would do good, hurt the people they've told us they were going to help, and break one promise after another. I've also seen them give our tax money and lucrative government contracts to their friends. In the three years since my retirement, I've done a lot of investigation and come to the conclusion that government regulations and programs are ineffective and many are actually harmful.
- I've chosen to become involved in the political process and to run in this election because I think the people of Ontario need to be told about the abuses our government is inflicting on them.
- When I retired, I moved from Toronto to South Kitchener. I really like this area and am seriously considering making my home here. What better place to take a stand and run for office.
What prior political experience do you have? What skills and insight can you bring to office, from other non-political positions you may have held?
- I've lived in Ontario all my life, have voted in virtually every election since I was eligible to vote, and I was a member of the board of a condominium corporation for several years.
- I've worked as both and employee and a contractor for government, and for private industry in both the service sector and manufacturing. I've also owned and run my own small businesses in the service sector and manufacturing. As a result of this experience, I know how things are done in the public and the private sector.
- I've developed skill in analysing problems and finding viable solutions through my education as a Mathematical Physicist and my career as a software developer. I've learned how to explain difficult concepts and unconventional or complex ideas through my education as a Secondary School teacher and during my career as a mentor to junior developers and a trainer of programming languages. These are skills I feel I need to get the Libertarian message across.
Which of your competitors do you expect to pose the biggest challenge to your candidacy? Why? What makes you the most desirable of all candidates running in the riding?
- Most of the other candidates are promoting more government, more inefficiencies and consequently higher taxes. I consider none of them competitors as their goal is diametrically opposed to my own. Only the candidate for the Freedom Party has similar goals to my own and I consider him a colleague working toward the same end as myself, namely much less government and much lower taxes.
- I'm the most desirable candidate in the riding, because of my goals of much less government and much lower taxes.
What do you feel are the three most important issues to voters in your riding? Are these the same top three issues that are most important to you? What would you do to address these issues?
- Too Much Government: The main issue in Kitchener-Conestoga is over regulation by government. This is the cause of the problems in education and health care; its even the major cause of poverty and youth crime. All regulations are enforced by coercion and the rich and powerful always arrange to direct the coercion at the poor or the powerless. To solve problems, we need to use cooperation not compulsion. We need to adopt the approaches used by other jurisdictions that have dealt with problems successfully without resorting to government regulations.
- Farmers and Manufacturers: Our people are knowledgeable and hard-working. If government gets out of their way, they'll do just fine.
- The Environment: In Earth in the Balance, Al Gore admitted: "The most serious examples of environmental degradation in the world today are tragedies that were created or actively encouraged by governments". Asking the government to protect the environment is like putting a fox in charge of the security of a hen house.
- Ontario environmental specialist Elizabeth Brubaker has shown that private property rights protected our environment very effectively before the Ontario government passed laws to allow pollution and promote the unsustainable use of resources. We need to repeal the laws that allow pollution and we need to allow individuals to again protect our environment from businesses and municipalities that would destroy it.
- As far as global warming goes, new evidence indicates there is no threat. It's just another ploy by environmentalists and politicians to gain more power.
- The bottom line is that politicians continually distort the facts in their efforts to gain support and get elected. Much of what we've been told in the past has been and still is false. Minimum wages do not and never have helped the poor; seat belts do not and never have saved lives. Research going back decades have these fallacies over and over, but our government still tells us they are true.
- We have to stop listening to the lies of our politicians and governments and we definitely have to stop letting them run more and more of our lives. We have to start analyzing problems to find out what's really causing them, and then working cooperatively to remove the causes.
What should be the first order of business in the 39th Legislative Assembly?
- The top priority should be to end government coercion and only allow force to be used to defend a person or their property. Those who use threats or force offensively should be made to compensate their victim(s) for the harm done to them.
Are the property taxes in your riding at a fair level for the amount of services received in the municipality?
- There is no such think as a fair tax level. All taxes are theft.
- If a government agency offers a service they should charge for that service the same as any private service provider would. In addition, anyone who wished to offer a service in competition with the government agency should be allowed to do so.
How can the province lead the way in stimulating job creation?
- To stimulate job creation, the provincial government should get out of the way and allow the private sector to create jobs without government interference.
What are your views on the mixed member proportional representation (MMP) referendum?
- I'm for MMP voting as it decreases the chances of a single party (and hence a few individuals) from having free reign in our government.
- However, I feel MMP should be implemented with far fewer seats. Increasing the number of seats is part of the major political parties' plan to make this alternative unpopular. If they oppose it so strongly, it's obviously a very good idea, so I'm all for it.
What role, if any, does “new media” play in your campaign, and the campaign of your party? (websites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube videos, etc) Do you view it as beneficial, or a challenge?
- The more alternatives available the better. Our primary objective in this campaign is to let voters know that: there is an alternative to ever more government, higher taxes and more regulations controlling their lives, and that this alternative will make all aspects of their lives better as it will bring more prosperity, less crime, a cleaner environment and all the other good things most people want.
Of the decisions made by Ontario's 38th Legislative Assembly, which was the most beneficial to your this electoral district? To the province as a whole? Which was least beneficial, or even harmful, to your this riding? To the province as a whole?
- No government decisions are beneficial. Most are a costly nuisance. The rest are harmful.
- One good example of a harmful decision is minimum wages. As a report on the Ontario Ministry of Finance website states, minimum wages have no effect on overall poverty but they increases unemployment among the group that already suffers from the highest level of unemployment, namely those under 25 years of age. Yet, minimum wages are scheduled to increase at about three times the expected rate of inflation over the next three years.
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