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Democratic Nominations

Tired of party bosses overriding local democratic nominations so they can put forward their preferred candidate?

One of the myths about proportional representation is that MPs will be “appointed” by a party. When it comes to PR systems for Canada, this is absolutely false. With PR for Canada, all MPs are elected by voters! Read more in this Fact Check.

Making Local Candidate Nominations Democratic

In our current first-past-the-post system, candidates are sometimes appointed by party bosses – even against the wishes of local party members, who are denied a vote to choose their own candidate.

Sometimes the party leader wants their star candidate to be assured of the nomination without having to face competition.

Currently, the federal Liberal Party protects all incumbents from facing any challengers. So long as they fundraise enough money for the party, they are protected from competition.

Candidates in federal elections who get 10% of the vote receive a public subsidy (rebate) of 60% of their election expenses up to the approved limit. Why should parties qualify for election expense rebates for a candidate who was not democratically nominated?

Fair Vote Canada supports democratic nomination of all candidates – and financial consequences for cases where they fail to comply. 

Our Policy On Democratic Nominations

Promote changes to the electoral finance system to require registered federal parties that wish to receive subsidy to nominate candidates democratically, that is, by vote of all their members living in the riding with valid memberships as of a specified cut-off date, or by vote of delegates elected by vote of all their members living in a community or district with valid memberships as of a specified cut-off date.

What about  parties who don’t have enough people wanting to run for them to require a nomination race in a particular riding?

Small parties – or parties that are weak in a particular area – may need to appoint candidates in some ridings. These candidates usually spend little and are very unlikely to get the 10% of the vote required to qualify for rebates of 60% of election expense. This policy applies rebates of candidates’ expenses, not to rebates for all national party expenses.

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