Fairness for Independents09 Aug 2013
Our political system makes it difficult for independent candidates to run for public office successfully. Donations raised by an independent candidate are forfeited to Elections Canada after the election is over. They are then forced to start over in the following election, a problem not shared by political parties who can create large stores of funds at the riding association and party level.
The following policies have been approved by the Political Council and will be sent to the membership to be voted on:
-We propose allowing independent candidates to raise funds in the two months leading up to a scheduled general election provided the candidate submits the names of their official agent and their auditor to Elections Canada beforehand. Should the independent candidate receive a party’s nomination, they must hand over all money raised during this period to Elections Canada. All funds will be subject to the same reporting rules as those raised during the election itself.
-Additionally, 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 this manner will belong to Elections Canada.
-Finally, we would reinstate the ability of independent MPs to introduce significant amendments at a bills report stage. As independent MPs do not currently get a vote on committees, this would allow for a more fair playing field.