PRESS RELEASE: Pirate Party Wants A Fair Deal For Independents

Fox Creek, AB – February 14th

As independent MP Brent Rathgeber told the CBC on Tuesday, the proposed modifications to election laws will make running as an independent candidate even more difficult than it already is. The current system already stacks the odds against these types of candidates and the proposed changes significantly increase that difficulty. A hurdle that independent candidates already face is the requirement that all remaining funds at the end of the election must be surrendered to Elections Canada. This handicap is placed upon independent candidates alone and is not shared by candidates running under a party banner. As a result of this, while party candidates can retain these funds for the next election, independents are faced with having to rebuild their entire funding with each election.

Currently, elected MPs that take a public stand against their party, their leader, or their party’s position on any number of issues are left with a choice to make: leave their party, risk being ejected by their leadership for standing their ground, or backing down on the issue. With the proposed changes, and the current rules, MPs will find if even more burdensome to leave their party, whether by their own choice or not, and thereby further strengthening party discipline.

In response to these issues the Pirate Party of Canada has a solution. We propose a new system by which money raised by independent candidates before the end of an election will instead be held in trust by Elections Canada until the next Federal election. If the person runs again as an independent candidate, the money that is held in trust will be returned to them for use in their campaign. If the person decides not to run at all or runs  as a candidate under a party banner, the money held in trust will be forfeited to Elections Canada in whole. All interest accrued from money held by Elections Canada in the interim will belong to Elections Canada.

“With these changes, candidates will be able to compete on a more even playing field”, says James Wilson, Leader of the Pirate Party of Canada. “To be honest, if a race came down to an independent candidate and a Pirate candidate I would, of course, prefer the Pirate to be victorious. However, elections should be about which candidate has the platform most acceptable to the voters in their riding and not who has the rules stacked in their favour. Winning the race because you have an inherent advantage over your opponent is neither fair nor honourable.” The Pirate Party of Canada values the independent voices in Parliament, whether they’re independent by choice or by circumstance. We urge Parliament to work towards giving them a fair deal.

The Pirate Party of Canada is a federal political party focused on thoughtful information policy reform, genuine democracy, civil liberties, and the freedom of the Internet. You can find out more online at .


One comment for PRESS RELEASE: Pirate Party Wants A Fair Deal For Independents

  1. “(…) Winning the race because you have an inherent advantage over your opponent is neither fair nor honourable.”
    And there lies the problem with the actual government: it doesn’t abide by the rules; it doesn’t play fair and it’s far from being honourable.

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>>>Pourquoi le Parti Pirate?<<<

Why Pirate Party?

1. Open Democracy

One of our main founding principles was Open Government. This means an Open Data policy with proactive disclosure and free access to government data. This will allow anyone to scrutinize and catch any error, negligence or corruption early on. Open Government also means increased transparency, and giving constituents real voices. This can be achieved with electoral reform .

2. Mincome / Basic Income Guarantee (B.I.G.)

Unemployment and income inequality is on the rise and we risk a breakdown of social cohesion without a system for resource distribution as we face increased automation. We're shifting from a bureaucratic culture of constant work-demands to a culture of passion, joy, and learning for the sake of learning.

Mincome will lead to cost savings and create a sustainable economy. See our press release for how that can be achieved.

3. Autonomy and Decentralization

We believe that the world works best when individuals are making informed decisions. It is our goal to get all information to all people, so they may be more informed voters, consumers, participants, and teachers. We do not need to force information culture & the hacker ethic onto people we can simply allow them to choose access. We believe the right to choose our identity, name, and appearance is inalienable.

4. Copyright and Patent Reform
Copyright and patent's main purpose was for propagation of culture and innovation. Our current copyright and patent laws are continuously being corrupted due to lobbying by copyright and patent monopolist. These monopolist refuses to innovate and provide wider access and pass on the savings from the new lower distribution cost. Instead the copyright and patent terms keeps getting extended to benefit the few to the detriment of the public interest. The opposite should happen. Copyright and patent terms should be shortened since our new information infrastructure (i.e. the internet) have brought us cheaper and faster means of distributing media contents and information. Mandatory licensing, owner's rights to a non-DRM product, open access to research data and shorter copyright term are some of the natural changes that is needed if we want to create a more open and progressive society. This will ensure future artist and innovator are not hampered by patent and copyright gatekeepers who uses rent seeking law for anti-competitive purposes.

Human beings increasingly have a moral duty to share information with one another. Libraries are stuck in the last century, enforcing artificial scarcity on digital content. If libraries were upgraded for the modern age, we would no longer need filesharing. And let's face it, watching and listening to whatever you want to is fun. It breaks down arbitrary global borders of access and creates a global culture defined by people- not by corporations.

At the Pirate Party- we believe more information leads to better decisions. We believe that more voices leads to better compromises. We believe in Canadians.

Our democracy need a serious upgrade and Pirate Party aims to change politics to the way it should be.