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The state-of-the-art in what is best for children of divorce. Every parent, judge and family law attorney must view this video to save their children from the ravages of divorce.
Click Here to Learn More.

"Peace, Freedom, and a few less fat bastards eating all the pie."
        -Edmund Blackadder III
Explanatory notes for the 1996 election platform of the Libertarian Party of British Columbia.

Presuming shared responsibility between both parents for their children, by law, is not only fair to men and more civilized for children, it's also to women's advantage. Until women and men share parenting, there is little possibility they'll be able to share other political, intellectual, economic and social opportunities.

Whether shared custody means dividing the month evenly between parents or splitting the arrangement otherwise, there's no pleasant result for any child caught in the strands of divorce. Making the situation worse for children, by encouraging parental legal battles is not a rational solution. We do not claim that genuine joint equal custody is a panacea, but overall it is better for children and parents than the status quo and most importantly: it respects the fundamental principles of justice and equality.

Because half of all marriages end in divorce, thousands of children in British Columbia now live with a divorced parent. Women receive child custody in nine out of ten uncontested divorce cases, fathers rarely contest what is usually presented to them as a foregone conclusion in all but the most unusual cases.

The Libertarian Party of British Columbia proposes a change in family law to bring about the presumption of Genuine Joint Equal Custody. Parents might divorce each other, but neither of them divorces their children... and both parents would be presumed able and willing to continue to share child-raising responsibilities after a divorce.

With genuine joint equal custody, no parent would have the humiliating experience of being declared a 'secondary care-giver'. No parent would be forced into being a mere visitor in his own child's life. According to Webster's dictionary, "visitation" means an official visit, as for inspection, or special dispensation of divine favor or wrath. Why reasonable people would expect decades of financial (or any other) cooperation from a parent awaiting special dispensation to take his own child to the zoo boggles the mind.

If men are talented enough to be doctors, lawyers, architects and college professors, they are sufficiently talented to be equal parents.

Twenty years ago, in the early days of the feminist movement, it was assumed that shared parenting must be the norm. In later years, responding to conditioning which has convinced many women their chief value is as mothers -- producers and tenders of children -- many in the feminist movement have taken the position that it's to women's advantage to fight for sole custody of children. Certainly, it is to the advantage of unprincipled politicians to advance that view and to ignore the rational alternatives. Emotions run high in this issue, and no politician can afford to alienate a vocal pressure group.

The political attempts of the NDP, the Liberals and others to fight against equal-parenting by fathers is self-defeating for women. Winning sole custody and defeating the libertarian movement's efforts to establish genuine joint custody as the norm are Pyrrhic victories indeed.

Please note that The Libertarian Party of British Columbia is NOT against women. What we are against is arbitrary and capricious discrimination against parents and children by government decree, whether from Liberals, Conservatives, Reform or NDP. Women who become noncustodial parents face exactly the same kinds of problems that visitor-fathers face, and this will occur more and more as women gain the economic equality that has long been (rightly) sought.

Contrary to the the scurrilous criticism of Liberals, NDP and conservatives who would maintain the status quo, we are NOT advocates of child abuse -- we are very much AGAINST child abuse. Libertarian Party of British Columbia members want the courts and social agencies to recognize that many vindictive and insecure ex-spouses make bogus allegations of abuse during custody battles. Recent speeches in the Senate of Canada by Senator Anne C. Cools support our contention that perjury of that sort is common, and knowingly tolerated in Canadian courts by various court functionaries.

We are opposed to the overuse of the adversarial court system for resolving custody disputes. We think that mediation of these disputes is vastly superior, but mediation is most effective when the mediating parties negotiate from a position of relative equality under the law. We are advocates for children, because too many children are suffering from the consequences of the courts tearing one parent out of the children's lives and making that parent a "visitor" and a remote wallet. We believe that is unjust and unfair. It harms children and ultimately weakens the family foundations of our society.

From broader social point of view, the deadly effects of father-absence on everything from school failure to crime to teen pregnancy are well-documented. We need to reverse this trend soon, because the likelihood that any given youngster will grow up with two parents -- diminishes every day. The Libertarian Party of British Columbia will directly, and forthrightly deal with effects of parental deprivation.

From a personal, emotional perspective:

The loss of children, when you take a person's child, that is a loss, that is a bereavement of a similar magnitude to the death of a child. It is not something that should be done lightly, and in our courts today, it is being done, very, very lightly with absolute impunity and with no regard for the consequences to the child now or in the future, or to the father. What good is the father to a child if he is a broken man. They know he can't support the child, he can't emotionally bond with the child. The child is the greatest loser all the way through.

The ultimate sadness is that we know what works: Two parents, and a legal presumption of genuine joint equal custody. The political will to address this issue currently exists in ONLY ONE political party: The Libertarian Party of British Columbia.

Ken Wiebe
Leader, Libertarian Party of British Columbia

The BC Libertarian Party is running over 20 candidates in British Columbia's 75 Electorial districts. Vancouver Island has five declared candidates running under the Libertarian banner, including party leader Ken Wiebe in Saanich South.


Ken Wiebe, Leader
BC Libertarian Party


Wayne McLaren, Campaign Manager for Ken Wiebe

May 13, 1996