Consider the following:
“Since 1972 the candidate’s party has appeared after his or her name on the ballot. A candidate wishing to be endorsed by a registered political party and have the party’s name appear on the ballot must include a letter of endorsement signed by the leader of the party or by a designated party representative.
Otherwise the prospective candidate must include whether he or she wants to be designated as “Independent” on the ballot or to have no designation at all appear on the ballot. In Canadian federal elections most candidates are judged by their affiliation with a political party. It is difficult and rare for an Independent or unaffiliated candidate to be elected.”
Last week, in a discussion of various candidates (none of them were in Toronto Danforth) I expressed my admiration for a particular candidate. The person I was talking with immediately said:
“That’s ridiculous” the party that this candidate is with has no chance of winning – to vote for that candidate is to waste your vote. (I think the only clear waste of vote, is not to vote at all. but that is a different discussion.)
If you consider the history of democracy in Canada, you will see that:
In the beginning, all MPs were independent – meaning no party affiliation.
Then, MP created voting coalitions – and political parties were formed. At this point, it appears that the party became more important than the individual MP.
Now, the party leader appears to be more important than the Party. It is amazing how much of this election has been focused on the party leaders.
It’s as though the candidates don’t matter very much. That is probably why he Conservatives appear to be shielding their candidates from debates and interviews. (Although Kevin Moore, the Conservative Candidate in Toronto Centre did appear on Goldhawk last night.)
The Elections Act defines an Election Expense, as an expense for one of the: Candidate, the Party or the Party Leader. When you vote, do you vote for the Candidate, the Party or the Leader? If these are separate considerations, should the Party Affiliation be placed beside the name of the candidate on the ballot? Why not put the name of he Party Leader?