Libertarian Party leader Tim Moen ventured past the Rockies, leaving Alberta for a brief stop in Victoria last week to rally support for the fringe party.
Moen promised a full slate of Libertarian candidates on the Island. Currently, Josh Steffler is running in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, Paul Cortens is running in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Meghan Porter is running in Saanich-Gulf Islands, and Art Lowe is running in Victoria.
“We hope to set up some success, so in 2019 we can take the next step towards being a professional party. To elevate our game and make a bigger impact,” Moen said.
His own political rise could be the fastest in Canadian history. “It’s not something I ever imagined getting involved with,” Moen said during a one-day stop here July 30.
He earned media attention when he spoke out against statements made by musician Neil Young comparing Fort McMurray to Hiroshima after the American bombings. Moen, who had a video and audio production company, previously assisted Young with filming a documentary.
That garnered attention of Libertarians who thought he had what it took to be a politician. After some coercion he agreed to make a run in 2015. “I figured I’d have a year and a half to figure out how politics works. Two days after I committed, the MP resigned and I was thrown into a (June 2014) by-election.”
Prior to running in the Fort McMurray-Athabasca riding, the party actually named him leader. He went on to earn about four per cent of the vote with a $3,000 budget and has a goal of picking up 10 per cent of the vote this October. “It was a good showing. Typically Libertarians get about one per cent,” he said.
Although outspoken politically, Moen said he always felt politicians were implicitly supporting the idea of status quo governance.
“I always considered political activism to be antithetical. I want to create the world I see and that kind of implicit support, I’m not a fan of,” he said. “I really want to get people to re-examine their own beliefs about government. What government is and what is its purpose. I don’t want people to accept my conclusions, I want them to challenge their own conclusions about the world.”
Moen, who lives in Calgary, earned some notoriety during the byelection campaign when he created an Internet meme. The comment, “I want gay married couples to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns,” landed him on the front page of Reddit and earned coverage on the Huffington Post, Fox News and CNN.
“This Hour has 22 Minutes lampooned me. It got a lot of attention and quickly vaulted me into the political spotlight,” he said.
– with files from Katherine Engqvist