Glen Staples is no stranger to politics, having gotten involved with the Greens, Liberals, Conservatives, even the Social Credit party provincially.
It’s maybe no surprise then he is running again as an independent for North Island-Powell River. In fact, he now sees parties as part of the problem when it comes to governing or even discussing issues.
He did run as a Green in Calgary back in 1984, as he views environmental issues, especially around carbon emissions, as crucial. However, he distances himself from the Greens now because of their priority on government solutions to social issues, something he views as more in line with the New Democrats.
Staples thinks solutions to problems such as the environment or homelessness should be delivered by the private sector. However, he differentiates himself from libertarians in that he sees government as having a regulatory role, especially when it comes to the environment.
“The original conservative movement was interested in conservation,” he says.
At the same time, he does not see parties such as the Liberals or Conservatives as alternatives anymore because the parties are too answerable to backers rather than the public at large.
“It’s become manipulated by interest groups,” he says.
Often, on committees, members will work together, but all too often in public they become combative.
“They hurl rocks and stones at each other,” he says.
Politics, he says, has always been a big interest, as he would spend time watching political conferences on TV rather than hockey games. He is a retired math instructor from North Island College who lives in the rural area just north of the City of Courtenay. He spent about half his career teaching and half in construction.
As far as issues, he cites both the environment and the opioid crisis, along with homelessness, as ones that should be a top priority. Beyond these, he wants to emphasize a new way of governing, or actually more of a return to the way things were before parties increased their hold on power. As an example, he highlights the situation now in which party leaders sign off on local candidates.
He hopes more independent candidates could be elected, especially if Canadians end up with a minority government. Staples says he would like to see a Parliament in which MPs choose the prime minister by secret ballot.