Should the name of the party be placed beside the Candidate on the ballot?

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?


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