|Article summary: Led by
a dynamic new leader, the Libertarian Party made significant
strides in the 2015 election. Tim Moen wants that momentum to
continue. In world of central bank financed serial bubbles,
refining the Party’s sound money stance, could help.
Moen to raise gold standard at Libertarian Party convention
May 10, 2016
During coming months the Libertarian Party of Canada will be taking stock of its position in the wake of its successes in the past election campaign. This reflection process will culminate with the Libertarian Party of Canada’s national convention which will take place in Alberta at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Centre at the Calgary Airport between July 21-23, 2016.
A key issue will be the Party’s stance on the economy and more specifically, sound money and a possible return to the gold standard. Sprott Money News recently sat down with Tim Moen the Party’s leader, to get his sense of where things stand.
What have you learnt from the Libertarian Party’s performance in the last election?
We made substantial gains. The average votes per candidate doubled and we had the highest vote count in Party history. These are strong signs that we are making progress in building the Libertarian brand. Seventy-one candidates ran under the Libertarian banner in 2015, nearly triple the 23 that ran in 2011. The Party also garnered just over 36,000 votes, six times the 2011 amount. We also got good press coverage including an endorsement by John Robson in the National Post.
We are not there yet. But we are making progress. We sent some of our people for training to the Leadership Institute in Washington D.C. and the benefits from that investment will start to pay off. During the last election our staff learnt many lessons that we will be able to apply during coming years
Most importantly though has been our progress in changing the culture in Canada and in building the Libertarian brand. We are increasingly hearing the word “Libertarian” used. For example Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper and Brian Jean (Wildrose Party leader) have all been described as “Libertarian” in certain ways in the media. That’s important because once we start changing the culture then we start becoming electable. It won’t happen the other way around.
What are the major issues affecting Canadians on the economic front?
Right now the falling oil price is hurting us badly because markets rightly or wrongly view the dollar as a Petro-dollar. Worse policy makers are doing the opposite of what we need. (Justin) Trudeau and (Rachel) Notley are doing things to scare people away. These include talking about carbon taxes, well as engaging in anti-pipeline and anti-fossil fuels rhetoric.
The federal government’s return to deficit spending could not have happened at a worse time. There could be tough times ahead for Canadians. Right now we should be saving and managing our funds well, pinching our pennies and tightening up the government apparatus.
Canada recent decision to sell its gold off is also very troubling. What kind of signal does that send to international markets about the soundness of our currency? Internationally there is much uncertainty out there. For example we don’t know what will happen if the US dollar collapses due to fiscal and monetary mismanagement. Fortunately Canadians are a tough, resilient and hard-working Northern people and we will make our way through this.
Who are your economic mentors? And why?
I recently met Doug Casey and was very impressed. I have listened to his stuff for a number of years and have always respected his take on investments and economics. Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard and their praxeological approach have been huge influences as has Walter Block. They taught me that free markets generate far better outcomes than alternative systems.
What is your take on monetary policy?
Recent economic developments have made sound money an increasingly important topic. I will be bringing up the subject at the upcoming convention. The gold standard is certainly one option. Another approach would be to allow the market to develop a variety of currencies backed by say gold, silver or possibly Bitcoin and other variants. Such a system would be far more stable because if one leg broke down it would not bring down the entire system.
That said, we are also looking at policies that can be implemented within one election term and frankly, I am not sure that abolishing the central bank is even desirable over the short-term, or whether it could be quickly eliminated.
Can you give us a bit of an update about yourself? Eg. Where you live? What you do?
Last year I quit my job as acting battalion fire chief in Fort McMurray after 15 years with the organization, to lead the Party in the general election. It was a big decision and I cashed in my retirement funds to fund the effort. The process was extremely rewarding and I learned a lot. That said, I think about the people and my old buddies in the Fort McMurray community a lot these days, due to the hard times they are going through.
Like all Libertarian Party members, I am a volunteer. Now that the election is over (and I am not Prime Minister (chuckles)) I am back to making a living. My wife and I currently live in Okotoks, a small bedroom community located just outside Calgary with our four kids.
What decisions have you made about your future in the Party. Will you stay on as leader?
I do plan to put my name forward as the Party leader at the upcoming convention. We did well in the last election and I think that it is important to keep the momentum up.
For example we had enormous interest from potential candidates, and could have doubled our slate. But we simply did not have the resources and organization to do the proper vetting, to guide candidates through the registration process and help them to raise the filing fees. Next time we will be better prepared. In fact we are already generating substantial interest from potential candidates in running during the next election which is three years away.
Is there anything else that Sprott Money News readers should know about the Libertarian Party of Canada?
We are the only Party doing any actual work to shift thinking about economic and monetary policy and free market principles. If you are interested in a sound economic future where bubbles of chaos are not being blown up everywhere, you ought to consider the Libertarian Party of Canada.
Peter (at) peterdiekmeyer (dot) com
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