The party has seen record setting success in the past few years, and now has a leader that is active on social media. Why? While I don't have piles of evidence, I strongly suspect that Harper's focus on terrorism is part of it. Libertarians, while they share Harper's views on economics, are opposed to reducing civil liberties in an attempt to secure the country.
The Libertarian Party of Canada is similar in some ways to it's US counterpart, and is also similar to, though more extreme than, european "classical liberal" parties.
With Trudeau pushing deficits, and the scary NDP doing well, it is not out of the realm of imagination for the Libertarians to smash records and capture 0.50% of the vote or more.
The problem for the party is that Jean Francois Fortin looks set to capture 0.15% of the nationwide total vote on his own, and his part is running multiple candidates, some of whom are sitting MPs.
It is not impossible for the Libertarians to finish 6th, but it would require them to reach that goal of 0.50% of the vote.
So why, this election, are the Libertarians poised to move? Simple. They are running one of the largest slates of candidates.
More candidates does not always mean success. The Marxist-Leninist party has been known to run more candidates than the Bloc, but struggles to break though 0.30% in the ridings they run, leaving their Canada-wide totals closer to 0.06%. The Libertarians has been known to get as high as 0.8% of the vote in the ridings they run, and look set to beat that average this time.
This map shows all the ridings the Libertarians are running in:
Alberta has a history of containing ridings that give 2%, or even 3% to candidates from other right-wing parties. Normally this has been the CHP, but the Libertarians have also done well.
In addition, Wildrose at the provincial level has taken a very libertarian streak to it, and it is quite possible for the Libertarian vote, Federally, to mirror the Wildrose vote, Provincially, albeit at a much much smaller amount, perhaps with only 1 out of every 10 Wildrose voter voting Libertarian. Regardless, that is still a good chunk of voters.
What do the Libertarians believe?
In short, that less government is good government.
Those on the left, in general, want the government to get involved in economics. Why? Without it, we've seen poor people suffer. Libertarians argue that the opposite is true. For example, public transit subsidies allow the poor to work anywhere in a city due to low fares, meaning businesses places in "rich areas" of cities can hire at minimum wage, whereas without such subsidy, they would be forced to pay their workers more as the poorest would simply be unable to get to their place of employment.
Those on the right, in general, want the government to get involved in social issues. Why? Without it, we've seen our country move away from it's traditional values. Libertarians argue that our traditions are rooted in respect for freedom, and that our country is better off with gay marriage, and that we need to go further and legalize marijuana, as well as take civil liberties seriously. Libertarians are huge believers in the Ben Franklin quote, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
Personally, I am a bit susceptible to the Libertarian view. Even though I've publicly advocated for increased transit funding, we can see in countries without such subsidies, that it is, in fact, true that you simply don't have such a great gap between rich and poor in such a small geographic area. However, the opposite becomes true, whereby countries without much support for the poor will have entire provinces full of middle class and super rich people, and entire provinces full of dirt poor and middle class people.
While I agree with most of the Libertarian view - in general - I take issue with their position on helping the poor, and their position on security.
Sadly, I will not have the time to cover all 23 parties as well as I'd planned to. My next entry will be for the Communist Parties (there are two of them!) followed be an entry for the CHP and Rhino parties, followed by a post for "all the others"