Party of Canada
Le Parti de démocratie du Canada
The Political Party that Respects the Wisdom, Fairness and Generosity of Canadians
Le Parti Politique qui Respecte la Sagesse, l'Impartialité et la Générosité de Canadiens
The Elections Canada Declaration Form
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(Check Against Delivery)
In 2004, parliament gave royal assent to Bill C-3. This Bill gave ordinary Canadians a new way to engage their fellow Canadians in general elections.
Briefly, with the signatures of 250 Canadians, a new federal political party can be registered with Elections Canada. That party can then run candidates in general elections. This new law makes democracy more available to anybody with a good idea they want to bring forward.
So far, several parties have successfully registered using this new law:
Pour traduire la page cliquez un drapeau!
I always figure its founder probably registered the Animal
Rights party by standing outside an animal shelter for a day and a half. But our
question should be: When will a new party arise to bring some serious democratic
reforms for "all" Canadians to the election campaign agenda?
Well, we’ve been trying. Soliciting support for small,
furry animals is apparently easy compared to our fight for democratic reform!
Anyway, the new law has many procedures to be followed in order to register successfully the new political party.
Anyone who knows anything about "party building" knows all the complex challenges of creating a competitive political group.
But – is all of this necessary right up front? Does Elections Canada require that a new political party has to be everything the other, established parties are – right out of the gate?
Do we need to run 307 candidates? Do we need to run in every province? Do we need thousands of members, millions of dollars?
In fact, under the new rules, the first and most important step is the gaining of 250 supporters.
Thus, I introduce you to the "Elections Canada Declaration Form" – the "piece of paper". [HOLD UP FORM]
From this one-page form can flow major change in the way politics is done in Canada – I hope, the "Maple Revolution"!
You can have the greatest candidates all lined up. You can have a million dollars in the bank. But before they consider registering a new political party, Elections Canada wants to know ahead of everything else that some – in this case, 250 – Canadians already support you.
Given my past participation in political parties, I have access to virtually all the reference tools and templates we need to build a political party. Just check out the Party website and our history, and you’ll see I personally have the drive and willingness to sacrifice my own resources – time and money – on this cause. But it all starts with the 250 "pieces of paper".
Let’s look at this document. The section at the top simply names the political party, in French and English, and takes your name and address:
Below is the declarative section that you sign. Notice that it says you are a member of the party and that you support its application for registration:
Well, I say you’re a member as soon as you sign the form. The original goes to Elections Canada, but we’ll retain a copy as our "membership form".
What the Declaration is, really, is an expression of support. They may not even come from people who’ll vote for us – although we must run at least one candidate to qualify for registration, that may leave 306 ridings across the country in which we don’t run candidates. Elections Canada states only that we need 250 Canadian supporters – they don’t have to be in any one riding.
In fact, for your information, we already have members in three provinces.
Oh, the cost to sign this form? Absolutely zero.
It’s a government form – we can’t charge you a fee for signing a government form.
Maybe after we register we’ll have a membership "fee" as do all the other parties – I’m sure our fundraising people will force that on us. So, $5 or $10 – I don’t think we’ll go as high as the Liberal Party, $25.
Right now, I’m the person most responsible for this organization. But in its wisdom, Elections Canada doesn’t allow such a thing as a "political party of one".
So, aside from the 250 declarations of support, we need an auditor, a chief agent, a leader and directors of a board, and at least ONE endorsed candidate. The Electoral office also wants to see some party by-laws, constitution or policies.
Given the list of parties already registered under Bill C-3, Elections Canada obviously isn’t being particularly judgmental about the electoral potential or value of the party applying for registration. Correctly so, it’s their job only to make sure all of the applicant’s "ducks are in a row", legally and financially.
But above all, Elections Canada wants to see those 250 "pieces of paper".
With those 250 declarations of support we’ll be able to run a campaign in the next federal General Election.
With the status of registered Party comes all sorts of obligations, but also advantages including the opportunity to attend debates, get media air-time and coverage, and of course the party brand designation "on the ballot". It’ll be easy to find the executives, whom we can appoint in acting capacities just to get the paperwork in, but the "pieces of paper" are what enable this endeavour to move forward.
My goal is to create a small, tight organization that has all that’s needed to run competitively in "one" riding! Getting the initial supporters lined up, preserving the trademarks, website domain names, and so on, are my modest contributions. To take this Party forward – to do justice to the important objectives of bringing democratic reform to Canadians – we’ll need people with far more vast experience and knowledge than mine.
I’ve told many that the only "role" I have put my dibs on, after party registration occurs, is as the "C.E.S." of the Party.
(Chief Envelope Stuffer)
It’ll be a lot of fun trying!
So won’t you help?
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