The Libertarian Party of Canada will be represented in the upcoming federal election here in the Edmonton-Wetaskiwin riding by a medical student originally from Vermillion.
Brayden Whitlock, a lifetime Alberta resident who grew up in Vermillion, is currently working on a PhD in the Faculty of Medicine in university. He also spends time in community engagement and has a weekly podcast.
Whitlock said he decided to run in the federal election as a Libertarian candidate because many people he talked to seemed quite jaded or cynical about government and politics in general. “I have been speaking to a lot of people…I’ve noticed more and more people are telling me they’re discouraged with politics,” said Whitlock by phone Oct. 8.
He said he was a bit alarmed to hear that people are also disinterested in voting. “It’s terrible,” he added.
Whitlock said feels he has experience representing people’s issues and concerns felt he had a duty to add another option to the ballot.
The medical student said he chose the Libertarian Party because it seems like the party that will advocate for Canadians rather than interest groups. “I’m a member of the Libertarian Party because it’s the least entitled party,” he said.
Whitlock said the Libertarian Party’s platform is focused on promoting individual rights and allowing only a small government presence in people’s lives. “(That) really appeals to me,” he said.
Whitlock said he prefers to look at government in a long-term sense, while many others look only short-term. “I’m very interested in the world 50 years from now,” he said.
Looking at issues affecting the national election, Whitlock said he thinks democratic renewal must be high on the list. “For me…the general attitude towards government right now (is the number one issue),” said Whitlock. He said he gets the strong impression that the general public does not trust nor want to rely on the government nowadays.
Whitlock said he also think the Canadian federal government is antiquated and should be modernized with less entitlement for those in government and a decision-making process in Ottawa that’s based on evidence rather than the efforts of lobbyists or campaign donors.
The Libertarian said the current federal government would have made sense about 100 years ago. “I think the system is set up for a time when people rode around on horseback,” said the candidate. Also, he said the federal government seems resistant to embracing modern technology.
When it comes to controversial social issues, Whitlock said he supports the Libertarian stance on things like abortion and gay marriage. “None of my business,” he said.
Whitlock pointed out he is running his election campaign alone, with no outside donations, even from the Libertarian Party of Canada. “I’m not ‘business as usual,’” he said.
“I’m wanting to change attitudes in politics. I have nothing held over me by anybody.”