David Clement Targets Harper’s Fiscal Underbelly in Libertarian Candidacy

Is Classical Liberalism the Fix for Canada’s Disgruntled Conservatives?

By Yaël Ossowski | October 7th, 2015 | PanAm Post

How often do you find a Canadian politician willing to criticize both
intervention in the Middle East and the Dairy Commission in the same
breath? At least for the Libertarian Party of Canada, they’re two issues which have more in common than one might think.

Whether it’s calling for scaling back bombing campaigns or the end of lactose subsidies, David Clement
—  candidate for the riding (electoral district) of Oakville
Burlington-North, just outside Toronto — says his party gives a voice to
those skeptical about government intervention in Canadians’ private
lives.

Headed
up by firefighter and environmental-activist Tim Moen of Fort McMurray,
Alberta, the Libertarian Party has an uphill battle before the federal
election due to take place on October 19. It has fielded 71 candidates
in electoral ridings, making it only the sixth largest political party
in Canada.

“There
are a lot of people who are very tired of settling,” Clement told me in
an interview. “People become very intrigued by the idea of a party that
is fiscally responsible and socially liberal, or socially tolerant.”

Clement,
an entrepreneurial 20-something who last ran for Ontario’s provincial
parliament in 2014, has since busied himself building a political-rating
app, and calls himself a passionate classical liberal. Considering that
the confederation of Canada
has long been dominated federally by the Liberal Party or the
Conservative Party, since its founding in 1867, the path for a
libertarian political party is a tall order.

Furthermore,
Canada has been ruled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative
Party for the better part of a decade, using budget-wise rhetoric to
placate fiscal conservatives. But Clement says they haven’t earned their
economic smugness.

“We’re
economically conservative. They’re not. That’s the biggest difference,”
Clement said. “They’ve added [CAN]$180 billion to our national debt,
most of it during a majority government.”

On
account of that poor performance, he says the Libertarian Party has
attracted disgruntled conservative voters, old Reform Party voters, and
many who’ve become disillusioned with the oscillating progressive views
of the New Democratic and Liberal Parties.

Yaël Ossowski is a Canadian-American journalist and writer living in Vienna. He is founder and editor of Devolution Review, deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter at Watchdog.org. He has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) from the CEVRO Institute in Prague and a Bachelor's in Political Science from Concordia University, Montreal. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria, and his writings have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and online outlets across the world in multiple languages.
Website https://yael.ca
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