By: Kody Fairfield
The ideas of liberty have run deep through the veins of the American populace, since its founding as a nation. Breeding iron-born leaders with deep commitments to limited government, individual rights, and fiscal responsibility, arguably more so than any other place on earth. But the world does have freedom fighters, outside the United States, and they are working just as hard to bring a freer world to their people.
1. Nigel Farage- MEP United Kingdom Independence Party (United Kingdom)
Nigel Farage, of England, takes freedom head-on from his seat as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). He is a founding member of United Kingdom Independence Party, and one of the heads of the recent #Brexit movement that led a winning referendum for the UK to leave the European Union. Nigel is bombastic and brash in his tactics toward big government, making him a force to be dealt with in the UK and in the EU. A fun fact about Nigel is that he has said he sees Rand Paul, Senator from Kentucky, as his “political soulmate.”
2. Daniel Hannan- MEP Conservative Party (United Kingdom)
Daniel Hannan, has fought for liberty from his seat as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), representing the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, since being first elected in 1999. In 2009, Hannan was awarded the Bastiat Prize in journalism, from the Reason Foundation. An award levied to journalists who “explain, promote and defend the principles of the free society.” Continuing on into 2016, Hannan has been a prominent leader of the successful #Brexit referendum in the UK. His passion, articulation, and fearless leadership bode well for Liberty’s future in the UK.
3. David Leyonhjelm- Senator Liberal Democrat Party (Australia)
David Leyonhjelm is a senator in the Australian Parliament, elected in 2013. He is arguably the first true Libertarian candidate ever elected in Australia. In his maiden speech, Leyonhjelm invoked John Locke, spoke of limited government, and lambasted frivolous spending alongside encroachment of government in social lives. In Australia, he has been compared to the likes of Ron Paul. It was noted that upon his election, a group of voters had been heard saying that “there is finally going to be someone in Parliament worth voting for.” He is strong on guns, strong on liberty, and strong in his convictions. Sen. Leyonhjelm looks to be the dawning of freedom in Australia.
5. Tim Moen- Leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada (Canada)
Tim Moen of Alberta, Canada, though having lost his election for Parliament in 2014, is still a player for team liberty. His ability to utilize social media and dank memes to expand and explain libertarianism in his native country have proven to be extremely fruitful. Since his election as leader of the LP of Canada in 2015, their party has seen tremendous growth, funding and activism. As this trend continues, Moen looks like he will lead the fight to win, not only seats in the Canadian Parliament, but the hearts and minds of the Canadian people.
6. Otto Guevara- Deputy ML (Costa Rica)
Otto Guevara helms from San Jose, Costa Rica. He is currently a deputy representative, but has run for president four times under the Movimiento Liberatrio banner, which he founded in 1994. Guevara has been leading from the front for liberty in his country, saying “We seek to unabashedly defend the ideas of liberty, head on.” Under his leadership, he has seen his party grow to large numbers, even taking 20 percent of the presidential vote in 2010. Do to his gravitas and intellect, Guevara has never had issues getting media attention in his country, angling his message to the youth, saying “They are more individualistic…They seek to uphold the right to choose on all policy issues.” It would appear that at least in this part of Latin America, there may be hope for a better, more free Costa Rica.
7. Natalia Diaz- Deputy ML (Costa Rica)
Natalia Diaz is from San Jose, Costa Rica, where she represents her district as a Movimiento Libertario, deputy representative. Upon her election, she was the second youngest legislator in the country, and she is the lone female to make this list, but that doesn’t take anything away from her ferocity in defending freedom’s principles. She is a fiery and beautiful young woman, a deadly combination when you need to attract the youth to your movement. She has been rumored to run for Costa Rica’s Presidency in 2016, and with quotes like “In the Libertarian Movement, we believe in less state intervention, and that the individual should decide what is best for him. No one can impose on others what they should do.” It would be hard pressed to find someone better to be the face of Movimiento Libertario going forward.
8. Andrey Shalnev- Deputy Council RLP (Russia)
Andrey Shalnev sets liberty flames ablaze from his home in Russia. He is the Russian Libertarian Chairman (yes…that exists) and in 2014 he won a deputy council position representing the Pushkino District. He was only the second-ever Libertarian candidate to win office in Russia. Shalnev, being from the home of authoritarianism, knew that what he was doing was risky, as current “President” Vladimir Putin doesn’t take well to opposition or minority parties, but he knew the strife to let freedom ring was worth it. Since 2011 when Shalnev became chair of the LP of Russia, he has helped build the Adam Smith Forum in Moscow, which is now Russia’s largest Libertarian event. Clearly, anyone brave enough to challenge an authoritative government’s status quo is someone who has his convictions built on bravery. Shalnev has his hands full, but he looks like he is down for the cause to grow and change the culture of the Russian people from coercion to liberation.
9. Vishal Singh- Swarna Bharat Party (India)
Vishal Singh is the president of the ONLY classically liberal party inside of India. Singh talks about how even though the country was liberated in 1947, it never came to adopt freedom. He rails against the socialist goals of the government, and its perpetuation of crony capitalism. Singh says that his party, the Swarna Bharat Party is the only one in India which looks to protect and defend all Indian people’s freedoms. To that point, he is often critical of India’s Prime Minister Modi, saying things like he came to power “with the slogan of limited government, but all his actions are diametrically opposite to what he was saying during elections.” Its obvious that Singh has a passion for freedom, and that he is determined to change the hearts and minds of those in India.
10. Petr Mach- MEP Free Citizens Party (Czech Republic)
Petr Mach resides in Prague, Czech Republic. He represents the Free Citizens Party, a party he created in 2009, as a Member of European Parliament, and has done so since 2014. His party, FCP, espouses classical liberal ideas and Austrian economics. Writing for Reason.com, Mach has stated that there is no libertarian case for the European Union, expressing that “it is better for the government to be closer to the people and for it to have a competition.” Along with this thinking, and post #Brexit in the UK, Mach has been pushing #CZExit, the Czech referendum to leave the EU. Hopefully overtime, the people of the Czech Republic will see that the leader they need to take them into the future is already on their door step. With Petr Mach, the torch of liberty burns brightly.