PRESS RELEASE: Pirate Party Stands Up for Independent Candidates


Fox Creek, AB - December 8th - On Thursday & Friday of last week representatives of the Pirate Party of Canada attended the General Meeting of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties organized by Elections Canada. As part of the party’s continuing efforts to improve Canadian democracy we presented a letter outlining necessary changes that the party feels need to be made to Canadian election laws to end the systematic disadvantage faced by Independent candidates.[1] We also invited one of the House of Common’s Independent MPs to take one of our two spots at the meetings as, by law, no representatives of Independent candidates are invited. This is in spite of the fact that reforms to election rules and regulations greatly affect Independents. While the Independent MP was contacted on too short of notice to attend this time he did express an interest in being informed of future meetings. The Pirate Party for its part will keep one of its spots available for representation by Independents until Parliament amends the law and allows Elections Canada to create a more permanent method of representation for them.

The purpose of these meetings is both for Elections Canada to explain changes being made to how elections are conducted and for parties to give advice and make recommendations on election and political financing matters to the Chief Electoral Officer. Every registered political party is permitted to send two representatives that have speaking privileges and a observer (with advance notice).

“Independents are often thought of as irrelevant to Canadian democracy. This is largely because the rules render them so. They face limitations that party candidates do not and no effort has been made to improve their situation”, says James Wilson, Leader of the Pirate Party of Canada. “In 2011 three Independents came in second place and in the past have generally managed to win one or two seats per election. James Ford, in the riding of Edmonton—Sherwood Park, raised $34,907 in 2008 and an even more impressive $43,356 in 2011. In both cases he had to forfeit any leftover funds to Elections Canada after the campaign was over. The party candidates meanwhile were able to transfer their leftover funds to their party’s riding associations. This is but one systematic disadvantage Independents face”. Canadians have repeatedly said they want MPs who represent them before their party. The Conservatives, Liberals & NDP have responded instead by tightening party discipline. It is time Canadians had the realistic option to vote for candidates that will truly represent them.

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 .


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