"Baaaaa, baaaaa" might be the two words for which Sarnia-Lambton candidate Andrew Falby is best remembered when the provincial election is over.
The 37-year-old Freedom Party member told those who attended a Rotarian luncheon in Point Edward that they are part of a society of sheep --- Ontario --- and blindly follow an overabundance of rules set by civil servants.
"A society of sheep must in time beget a company of wolves. Everyone stand up and sing the new national anthem ..."
That is when Falby bleated twice and added another page to local political history. A club member objected strenuously, but the writer of a subsequent letter to the editor called it "the first honest political statement I have heard in a number of years."
Falby is not your typical politician. He is bearded and a bit scruffy, and his hair is unstylish. He walks with a wooden sailor gait, and unlike most politicians, cheerfully greets only those he knows. On the day he was interviewed by The Observer, he wore a worn and wrinkled rugby shirt and dockers pants.
"I'm not about issues. I'm about changing society as a whole."
Falby isn't fond of summations and sound bites. He said Canada's new national anthem was only one part of his speech, and that voters should demand that politicians use more substance to their campaign platforms.
"Think about it," he said with a tone of urgency. "We're picking people after a five minute speech and a half hour of answering questions to take care of a $60 billion budget. It's ridiculous. You're not getting a complete thought.
It isn't easy to sum up what Andrew Falby is about, but he does it with this phrase.
"I want people to think about the big picture. I'm not doing this to win votes. I'm doing it to shock people."
He doesn't campaign because he has to renovate during the day, adding that he earns less than a welfare recipient, many of whom receive $520 per month. He said he prefers to hand out "Atlas Shrugged" over his party's platform.
"I'll go out and buy a copy of that book for whoever tells me they want one," he said. "I think it's must reading."
Falby said novelist Ayn Rand's 1,000 page book confirmed his thoughts that man is a heroic being and needs incentive to improve.
He was a baker on a Texaco ship, and enjoyed docking at Sarnia. He moved to Sarnia when he was 19 years old, and bought his first house. He became a landlord of over 100 buildings with his best friend, Herman Martens, before the two of them had to end their business.
He said the NDP government's rent controls and excess social housing in Sarnia led to a lack of demand and less money for small businessmen like himself on its that "generating a profit was an evil."
And the choking of the small businessman and stifling of society continues, he said.
"Capitalism in its purest form doesn't allow control because it's based on laissez-faire, free trade. You can't do this when a collective controls. By that I mean the government over-legislating. We started off with 10 commandments and now we have a million laws.
"Did you know that you can't whistle or sing past eight o'clock at night on the streets of Sarnia?
"This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. It's ridiculous.
last updated on April 28, 2002