Mike Riehl said it was disillusionment with the mainstream political parties that led him to the Libertarian Party.
Riehl, 28, who works in business development for Guelph-based Inbox Marketer, is the Libertarian for the Guelph Riding in the June 7 election.
“I’ve always been fairly politically active my whole life in terms of my family, so in recent years … I decided my views weren’t necessarily being represented as much as I would like, so I found the Ontario Libertarian Party who represented me quite well,” Riehl said.
The Libertarians are hoping to run a full slate of candidates in the election, Riehl said, and are about 75 per cent of the way there.
Riehl’s uncle joined the Libertarians when the party started in 1979. Talking with him led to an interest in the party’s platform.
“Value in the individual. Believing in responsibility and private property. The individual taking ownership of themselve,” Riehl said.
“More of a limited government and not relying as much on a government to take make decisions on behalf of individuals.”
Government is too involved in people’s lives, Riehl said.
Riehl said he works with a lot of small businesses in his professional life and sees the challenges those businesses are facing.
“They’re seeing a lot of government interference in them being able to run successful small businesses. I think there needs to be more of a voice for the little guy,” he said.
Riehl was the only one of eight local candidates that didn’t attend Thursday’s all-candidates forum at the Italian Canadian Club.
He said he was still sorting out his paperwork to represent the party and wasn’t able to take part.
Originally from Cambridge, Riehl has lived in Guelph with his spouse for two and a half years.
“I’ll be talking to people, getting the platform out there. I know the Libertarian Party isn’t the most well known party out there,” he said.
More information on the Libertarian Party’s guiding principles can be found on the party website.