Voters in Beaches-East York may be surprised to see seven names on the ballot on Oct. 19.
Two independents and a Marxist-Leninist candidate are flying their own colours this federal election, expanding the choice beyond red, orange, blue or green.
Far from the far left or the far right, independent candidate Peter Surjanac is running a campaign for the middle-ground.
A Beacher for all of his 30 years, Surjanac studied political science at university and has a passion for pragmatic, progressive politics.
“We don’t need to be one-sided in our discussions,” he said. “We can actually find practical solutions to the problems we face today.”
For example, Surjanac said Canada can save money and improve outcomes by refocusing the healthcare system on preventative care.
Also, the federal government can encourage greener building standards by re-instating tax credits for environmentally friendly home renovations.
“The constituents I’ve spoken to argue that they’re more concerned about particular issues, and these issues transcend political parties,” said Surjanac.
“That gave me the idea that ‘Okay, perhaps we can all come together as members of parliament, sit down and work out some practical solutions.”
Roger Carter will carry the flag for the Marxist-Leninists, undaunted after winning no more than 138 votes in his last four campaigns.
“When you really believe in something, you stick to it,” said Carter.
Now 74, Carter worked for 32 years at the Canada Post plant on Eastern Avenue and imagines a communist Canada run by ordinary, working-class people.
Asked if a Marxist-Leninist government would mean one-party rule, Carter said maybe, but not necessarily.
“They do have direct participatory democracy in Cuba, which seems to be working out just fine,” he said. “If 11 million Cubans can do it, why not 35 million Canadians as well?”
Carter said if elected, the Marxist-Leninist Party would bring in a new constitution, put all industry and finance under government control, reopen all trade deals and withdraw the Canadian Forces from foreign countries.
Public housing, education, pensions and healthcare would be the country’s top concerns, and private corporations would have no place in the decision-making.
“Right now, it’s all kept in secret, behind closed doors in the boardrooms of the biggest corporations,” Carter said.
“They do very little work – ordinary people like you and I, we do all the work.”
At the other end of the political spectrum is Dr. James Sears, who calls himself “Canada’s premiere anti-Marxist.”
While he is running as an independent in this election, in the future Sears hopes to register a new political party based on “Libertarian doctrine, Christian values, and National Socialist ideology.”
Beach Metro News was unable to speak with Sears by press time, but the website of his New Constitution Party says the NCP is a political movement with “the intellect of Dr. Ron Paul, the heart of Chancellor Adolf Hitler and the soul of Jesus Christ into one powerful political Chimera that will crush the Marxist beast.”
If elected, Sears said his party would repeal all hate-speech laws, rewrite the laws on sexual assault, and restrict immigration.
Among other things, the NCP would cancel the income tax, ban zoos, mandate organic food, free the Bank of Canada from what Sears believes is the secret control of the Rothchilds family, and allow all businesses to discriminate based on race, religion, age or sexual orientation.
Citizens could carry weapons equal to that of the military, and the media would be free but obliged to report “only the truth.”