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There’s a congressman in the U.S. that is an icon to some, an oddball to others. His name is Ron Paul, and he has become the most consistent, determined voice for libertarianism in that country and beyond.

Libertarianism is a belief in personal liberty taken to its ultimate extreme. If elected, Paul would move to legalize drugs and prostitution, allow states to implement their own legislation on controversial social issues, and practically eliminate social programs.

He would cut the number of government departments in half and withdraw U.S. troops from around the world, including those involved in peacekeeping.

Furthermore, he would remove government restrictions to prevent massive corporate monopolies, and eliminate environmental oversight.

For most, it seems like a strange, fairy-tale world he envisions. So it’s odd that every four years, Paul makes a strong showing in Republican presidential nominations.

Other Republicans don’t take him seriously. Even the media ignore him. Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart highlighted a string of news reports about straw polls that mentioned every candidate but Paul — even though he often placed second or third.

“How did Ron Paul become the 13th floor in a hotel?” Stewart quipped.

One thing the Republicans don’t do, however, is disqualify him from the race. As much as his fans adore his straight-shooting style, Paul never manages to make it into the final stretch. The more mainstream voters get to know his radical policies, the lower his numbers sag.

Like any party, the Progressive Conservatives in this province have had their share of dark-horse hopefuls — unknown candidates who emerge from the shadows expecting to charm their way past the party’s old guard.

And twice in the past few years, the party has chosen to bury them, rather than let them dig their own graves.

The latest, Wayne Bennett, would have had a long climb to the top if he’d been allowed to stay in the race. He had already alienated the party, accusing it of sabotage and comparing his online critics to everything from mobsters to suicide bombers.

It’s the latter reference that spurred the party to kick him out of contention Thursday. In Twitter comments, he compared his detractors to suicide bombers, and suggested Muslim women and boys can’t be trusted.

Distasteful, to say the least, but that should be something for party members to decide at the ballot, not the executive.

Outspoken blogger Brad Cabana met the same fate. Although he was a long shot by any stretch in his run for the PC leadership in 2011, the party found a way to disqualify his candidacy. And so, like Bennett, Cabana continues to be the banished man, rather than someone who would have likely been trounced fair and square.

Perhaps, for once, such candidates should be left to the mercy of delegates.


This story has been revised to correct information.

Organizations: Republicans, Progressive Conservatives, Comedy Central

Geographic location: U.S.

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Recent comments

  • Herb Morrison
    April 08, 2014 - 09:34

    When I hear people, who have chosen to offer themselves as either leadership Candidates, or as Candidates for election to a seat in the House of Assembly, or House of Commons, whining because the realities/standards of conduct in any political arena are, shall we say, unique at best and, on occasion could appropriately be deemed either socially unacceptable or downright corrupt at worse; I wonder out loud if the person doing the whining about being bullied or targeted for other forms of abuse, had any inkling of what life in any political arena can be like. In light of the less than stellar events, which have been occurring in political arenas at both the Federal and the Provincial levels in recent months, is the fact that, regardless of the political stripe of either a leadership Candidate or a person hoping to be elected either an M.H.A. City Councillor, or MP, it would appear that, in the eyes of both the electorate and the Party faithful; if someone is to be deemed suitable to either lead a particular Party or to be a Candidate representing a Particular Party in an Election; the primary concern of Party faithful would appear to focus, first and foremost, on how deep the pockets of either a potential leader or a potential candidate appear to be, before any attention is paid to what abilities the potential Leader or Candidate has; which would enable the individual to be either an effective leader or an effective M.H.A. MP or City Councillor If someone is going to be able to function effectively, within the confines of a political arena, whether it be at the Municipal, Federal, or the Provincial level of Governance, one very necessary prerequisite is; that the person possess a thick skin. I am not prepared to support a leader, leadership candidate, M.P, M.H.A., or City Councillor, who is not aware of certain realities, which are part of life within the confines of any political arena. If either a prospective leadership Candidate or someone seeking to be an elected member of the City Counsel, the House of Assembly, or House of Commons, is not aware of the reality that the use of bullying, as well as other unsavoury tactics, which might well be frowned upon outside the confines of a political arena, are, for better or for worse, deemed to constitute acceptable behaviour; within the confines of a political arena; that person will not get my vote. The P.C. Party made the appropriate decision when they rejected both Mr. Bennett and Mr Cabana. Perhaps if the electorate were less apathetic, when it comes to being part of the political process, we would not need to endure the antics of a Brad Cabana, Ron Paul or Wayne Bennett, whose only qualifications for elected office would appear to be fat wallets and over inflated egos. Fortunately, the fact that both Mr Cabana and Mr. Bennett have been rejected as leadership Candidates demonstrates the reality that, as the folk song says, “you can’t fool a Newfoundlander.”

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 04, 2014 - 15:49

    The back room boys are running the show.

  • Charles
    April 04, 2014 - 13:09

    "This story has been revised to correct information." Try more revisions. It seems to me that it may take several to remove the misinformation still included. Regards, Charles

  • darryl harding
    April 04, 2014 - 10:00

    u liken wayne bennett's behavior to Ron Paul?? printing that sort of foolishness isnt going to make anyone pay for your online paper.... just my opinion.... wicked...stick to reporting the news and stop trying to create it... wicked

  • Jordan
    April 04, 2014 - 09:43

    The problem with these guys is that as long as they are in the race, they are associated with the party. They are representatives of the party. Bennett had to go to the curb because he is a fool. You cannot have fools with itchy trigger fingers ready to self-implode at any minute associated with the party. Someone else is going to have to put out the fire, might as well throw water on it now before it gets any worst (which it did this am when he referenced Mt. Cashel). As for Cabana, I think the nonsense he has gotten himself into since he showed up in our beautiful province is evidence enough that putting his flame out early was the right move. The way these guys are over-sensationalized is more of a problem. Seems anyone can get a soapbox to stand on if they be a jackass for long enough.

  • James R. Malone
    April 04, 2014 - 07:16

    This candidate has compared himself to Mt Cashel victims, has compared the PC party to the Catholic church in that scandal, made incredible remarks about Muslim people, and that's just the start. And this is who the telegram decides to plant the flag of free speech on? This is rather shameful. What makes this really dark is that it is an unsigned editorial. Support freedom, but don't sign your name? Ugh.