“With my lifestyle, $100,000 is literally five times the amount of money I’ve lived off in the last seven years with my nomadic, gypsy-like lifestyle,” the independent candidate told the Star.
“That’s a ridiculous amount of money for my personal consumption, and I think it would mess up some of my values having that much money. So I would be invested in giving it away.”
The independent candidate, who is running against four people in the Nelson-Creston riding, is aiming to appeal to young voters and those who have given up on the system. And he has a plan to unseat incumbent MLA Michelle Mungall.
“Through my research I found that 43 per cent of people aren’t casting their vote, so that’s 12,000 votes uncounted for. If I can encourage two thirds of those people to vote for me, then all I need is a few NDP and Green voters to come over. I do think that’s possible.”
O’Leary is hoping to reach out to people who feel disenfranchised.
“A lot of people are becoming more aware that our social economic system doesn’t really work for people. We’re condemned to a life of forced slavery through mortgages and the bills we’re swimming in,” he said.
“I’m looking to create an alternative way to go about living, a way that people can have more free time to do what they enjoy and they’re not confined to working as much as they do.”
He figures his youth is an asset.
“I’m not a politician, I’m a problem-solver. And I can relate to a lot of people because I do a lot of things — I’m a musician, a game designer. I’ve been going to festivals and organizing events, doing live action games for kids where I teach them about self-control and respecting other people’s boundaries.”
According to him, “there’s a large community of people throughout the province who see what I’m capable of, and see how I can lead a group of people.”
To solidify his intent to give away half his salary, O’Leary has created a contract and plans to get voters to sign it. In the meantime, he’s hoping to reach out through YouTube videos and a social media campaign centred around his website thinkindependently.blog.