Here are the questions that people ask Brayden most frequently, along with his answers. If you have your own questions, please ask them here, and Brayden will send you an answer.
What are you going to do to ensure seniors get better care?
I don't like that we are in a situation where seniors have to rely on their government to keep promises. A government must not betray its citizens, however. So despite the fact that it may mean outrageous spending, those promises must be kept. If a senior was promised that they would be cared for by their government, then it must be so.
In the long run, the story is a bit different. I want to move toward a society where people do not have to rely on their government. The government makes promises that it doesn't have to worry about keeping for 50 years. How can we know who will be in charge then, or what the circumstances will be? That is not a reasonable promise. So the key to solving this problem is to be a proponent of a strong and free economy so that seniors can afford to take care of themselves. Then they can invest, pay less tax, and have more opportunities to earn a decent living throughout their whole lives.
How are drug and sex trades "victimless crimes"?
This is one I get more often than just about any other. I choose my words very carefully when I address these issues. I propose that we should not be wasting resources prosecuting people who safely take part in drug or sex markets. I always say "safely". The common retort to this is something along the lines of "but women who sell sex are often victims of violence and intimidation!" Of course, I am aware that this can often be the case. I offer two answers to this. 1) I am interested to see what would happen if this market wasn't illegal, wasn't something that had to be hidden, and wasn't something that necessitated relying on someone for "protection" due to lack of transparency. 2) The market isn't the problem. Aggression is the problem. Whenever someone is manipulated into doing something through intimidation, that is wrong. The fact that it is wrong does not rely on the industry in which it takes place. We need to address the problem of people being aggressive towards others, not just senselessly ban entire markets.
Why are the market for sex and the market for carrots so different? Why is only one considered dangerous? Could it be that one needs to be done in secret and cannot rely on law enforcement for protection?
Why are you running in this election?
This is the most frequent question I get asked. After hearing how discouraged many people are, it feels like my duty. Every day I hear people tell me that they are so fed up with current options and old-fashioned politics that they don't even feel like voting. Having terrible options isn’t my kind of democracy. So I reasoned that since I have the ability to think critically about issues and communicate effectively to those whom I represent, I really ought to at least provide people with a decent option. If you’re looking for a new take on politics and to move away from the old traditions and the secretive club-like practices of today’s politicians, I’d be happy to make those changes for you by running a program that is done in the way that I am used to operating: with complete transparency, constant communication, and thoughtful analysis and decision-making based on the strongest evidence.
Why are you a good fit to be an MP?
People are telling me that they’re tired of career politicians doing whatever will make them look good. I’m not a politician. I’m a scientist and communicator. I intend to bring to parliament what it needs most: a new attitude. We need more evidence-based thinking in our government and someone who can keep voters well-informed, represented, and interested. I also have no funders to please. I get no financial support from my party or from donors of any kind, so you can be sure that my decisions are made because they are the most effective action supported by the best and most current evidence available, not because I need to keep a donor happy to receive campaign funds. Finally, I am experienced in policy writing and reform through various other non-profit and public sector administrative positions at institutions ranging from small community service groups to the University of Alberta.
What are the most important issues to you?
I am passionate about freedom. Generally, I don’t think a government should interfere in the lives of its people so long as they are not hurting anyone. So the most important issues to me are the ones that that involve government unnecessarily restricting people’s freedom. Examples of this would be illegality of drugs. I don’t claim the right to tell people how to live their lives. I don’t think anyone has that right. If people want to use drugs in a way that does not endanger others, that is none of my (or the government's) business. The same goes for other victimless crimes. Similarly, the government should stay out of the way of businesses as long as they are not endangering people. The CRTC, the government commission which decides what broadcasters can broadcast, is the very definition of over-regulation, and does not belong in a country that values intellectual progress and freedom. There are many similar examples of government interference that I would like to speak out against at the highest levels, and frequently.
But more than just a few issues, I think we have an ideological problem. The government today has an attitude that needs to be changed. The society I want to live in needs to be free intellectually to live and be productive however they see fit. We need to constantly remind the voters and their representatives that old-fashioned thinking is unacceptable. We need to be acting on evidence, not emotion. We need to stop doing things “because that’s the way we do things”. When we have a question about how it is best to act, we have the tools to find the answer, and often, we already have found the answer. We need to start making decisions using open-minded critical thinking.
Why are you a member of the Libertarian Party?
The Libertarian Party of Canada has the closest views to my own of any party. Our views match quite well because we are both generally in favour of letting people and businesses operate how they see fit, so long as they are not endangering others.
What is your first priority if you're in office?
My first priority is to establish an excellent communication system between my office and the people I represent. Thousands of people will be much more sensitive to what the most urgent problems are than I could be alone. (How involved have you felt in the political process for the last several years?) That needs to be done before I can start advocacy programs to push for the changes we need.
What are the challenges of being with a smaller party?
Unfortunately, name recognition plays a huge role in being elected. With a smaller party, I lack both the name recognition of the party, and advertising opportunity to become better known myself. That is actually quite acceptable to me though. As I am not a politician, my goal here isn’t to further my career. So I am not interested in being elected because of clever and expensive marketing and enormous financial support. I receive no financial support from anyone, so I can be sure that any votes I get are because people actually agree with my thought processes and policies, and not because they feel they have “bought me”. Also, no one needs to fear that any of my actions are to please donors. Can your other options say that? It is a shame that plastering a candidate’s name, with zero policy info, all over every available surface and piece of road-side grass is effective in getting votes. That is not an approach I choose to take.