Jonathan Dean has a vast array of ideas on how to change politics, business and government in Nova Scotia, and he plans to bring them to the people of his Halifax-Clayton Park riding solely by knocking on doors and handing out business cards.
The 45-year-old investment researcher is one of four independent candidates in the upcoming provincial election. He’s also leader of the Atlantica Party, an unregistered group of about 15 members, which he describes as a “pragmatic libertarian” party aimed at fixing the “democratic deficit” of the current political system.
“The reason why we formed the party was not to become another mainstream party,” Dean said. “We’re more interested in starting a movement from outside the system to bring change to the way our democracy works here in the province.”
According to their website, the Atlantica Party’s proposals include allowing voters to directly elect a non-partisan premier and giving constituents the power to “fire” their MLA, so as to “free the legislature from government manipulation.”
“The entire political process has become unmoored from the wishes and the voice and concerns of citizens,” Dean said.
Also high up on the party’s to-do list is the pursuit of a unified Atlantic Canada. Dean said uniting Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador into a single province would make government and health care cheaper and more efficient.
The extensive list of policy proposals on the party’s website also includes legalizing marijuana and prostitution. Dean said these moves will help deal with organized crime and help protect sex trade workers, but for him it boils down to matters of personal freedom.
“It’s your body, you should be able to decide what you put into it,” he said.