Monthly Archives: September 2008

Crossing The Floor – It’s My Seat – I’ll Join Who I Want

3. Elected MPs Crossing The Floor – After Having Been Elected As MP For One Party They Become Members of Another Party

I’ll Sell My Seat To The Highest Bidder! I Can Do This Because:

“It’s My Seat! I’ll Do With It What I Want!”

“Crossing the floor” means to leave one’s political party and join another, or in a more general sense, to vote against one’s own party.  It is also a clear betrayal of the voters that elected the MP.  Given that many people vote for the candidate because he/she is a member of a party, “crossing the floor” is a clear betrayal of the voters. It is a signal that the MP does NOT recognize the interests of the voter.  If an MP feels that they must leave a party, he/she should sit as an independent and NOT cross the floor.

The following MPs believe that they were NOT elected to represent the ridings that elected them.  They “crossed the floor”. In so doing, they treated their constituents with the ultimate contempt.

Perpetrators have included: David Emerson, Belinda Stronach, Wajid Khan, Scott Brison

(good video coverage)

Candidate fired by Liberals – Rises as Independent – Bedard

The Background – Media Release From The Liberal Party About Their Candidate Simon Bédard:

“September 11, 2008

Statement from Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion

Today I announce that I have asked for and received the resignation of Simon Bédard as the Liberal Party of Canada’s candidate in the riding of Québec.

Clearly, Mr. Bédard agrees that the statements he has made regarding First Nations people are not compatible with the beliefs and values of the Liberal Party of Canada.

While Mr. Bédard has clearly indicated that he no longer holds those views, the Liberal Party of Canada’s proud tradition of support for our Aboriginal communities must not be overshadowed by these comments.”

First, he was the Liberal candidate

“A Liberal Party candidate in Quebec City who drew fire for past comments about Mohawk warriors in the Oka Crisis has resigned from the federal election campaign.

Simon Bédard, a former radio host, tendered his resignation as candidate in the Quebec riding after Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion asked him to withdraw from the race, according to the party website.”

To read the complete article:

Then, he became an Independent.

“Some people thought I would go and hide after what happened, well that clearly isn’t the case,” Bedard told reporters.

“I met a lot of people who told me: ‘You dare say out loud what we think.’ That was a revelation to me and that made me change my mind,” he added.

Bedard said being an independent candidate will allow him to speak his mind freely. In his speech, he took a swing at his former party’s weak campaign in Quebec and at the Conservatives for cutting in culture subsidies and promoting tougher measures for young offenders.”

See also:

Party candidates tight-lipped plus commentary

Sometimes it’s better to say nothing and let people assume you know nothing, rather than to say something and remove all doubt!

Starting this week, the candidates will be appearing (or at least we hope) on Goldhawk live. On the evening of September 30, during the “Don Valley East” discussion (by the way the Liberal candidate failed to appear), a caller asked why only the main party candidates were invited to appear. Goldhawk, answered that it was all perfectly fair. Go figure.

Check out the following schedule and keep track of which of the party candidates do NOT appear.

Are you interested in talking to and hearing directly from your local candidate?  Some are frustrated by the apparent absence of their candidates – as indicated by the following sentiment.


“I can’t believe I’m the only one who noticed the invisibility of our elected leaders when questions were being asked – generally a spokesman for the party or non-elected talking head took their place. Candidates should be legally bound to take questions from their electorate at election time (and any time we demand it – they work for us after all) but presumably we never considered having to legislate common sense politics until now. No person who actually values democracy would vote for anyone who would not attend an all-candidates meeting in their riding.”


The following article, that appeared in the September 27 Star, suggests a number of party candidates are not talking to the voters. Although the article by Linda Diebel of the Toronto Star focuses on the Conservative Party, it appears to be a problem with party candidates in general.

But, first here is a comment on this article from the Toronto Star – October 1:

“Conservative spokesperson Kory Tencycke said that there is no reason that Conservative candidates should be talking to the national media; they should rather focus on local matters. Following this logic, Conservative MPs should also not vote on matters of national interest.”

Now, on to the article:

“Tory candidates tight-lipped

The PM’s communications director says there’s no reason local Conservative candidates should be talking to national media.

Instead, their “priority is in the local ridings” they represent, Kory Teneycke said last week.

A more pressing problem, however, appears to lie with local Tory candidates who won’t appear at local events or speak to local media.

In Parkdale-High Park, Conservative Jilian Saweczko declined to participate in a CBC all-candidates’ debate one morning last week and skipped a CTV coffee house chat that evening. She has ignored messages from the Star for two weeks and organizers of an upcoming all-candidates’ debate have not yet been able to get her commitment.”

To read the complete article:

Conservatives want independent to stop advertising

Independent candidate ordered to stop putting up signs

An independent Calgary candidate has been ordered to temporarily stop putting up his election signs due to similarities to the Conservative party posters.

The Conservative party is seeking a court injunction on Roger Richard’s signs erected throughout the Calgary Northeast riding.

The signs use the same shade of blue, similar white lettering and a red banner in the top left-hand corner. Richard’s signs also have the word “Conservative” printed on them.

On Thursday, a Calgary justice barred Richard from raising any new signs or handing out campaign literature until a decision is announced on Monday. Signs already posted can remain.

To read the complete article:

No Independent = No Interest In The Riding

Why Independent ?

When you are hiring an employee do you expect them to work for you or their ‘people’? When you elect an MP, do you expect them to work for you or their party? You elect them, you pay them, but whom do they represent? Which is better for you?

Catherine Whelan Costen

The question is simple:

Do you want an MP who is responsive to the interests of those in the riding?


Do you want an MP who is NOT responsive to the interests of those in the riding?

Consider the following comments about Toronto Danforth:


I emailed Mr. Layton two weeks ago asking him when he would be in our riding so that I could have a chance to meet with him. In that email, I expressed my wish to discuss what his goals were for Toronto-Danforth specifically. I explaining that we understood his platform for Canada, but we had needs too and what direction would that take?

To date, I have yet to even receive a reply. I now have to wonder what possible good could come from voting for a Candidate who can neither provide for his own constituency, or even has a plan to do so. His website is full of credentials which have little or nothing to do with Toronto-Danforth or any accomplishments he has provided for us.

So before you vote, ask all of our riding Candidates what their thoughts are on our riding…. Not just the country. This neighbourhood is very diverse, but issues like the waterfront (for example), and the increased crime due to crack cocaine usage in our neighbourhood have been left on the backburner for far too long.

I think it is time we voted for someone who is willing to fight for the people who send them to Ottawa. To date, I have seen little effort on Mr. Layton’s part to provide Toronto-Danforth with anything more then the status quo. Why then should I believe he will be better suited then his running mates to run a diverse nation like Canada when his efforts here have been so futile in his own backyard.”

The answer is: Vote Independent!

Independent candidate enters federal campaign

Independent candidate enters federal campaign

Published: September 23, 2008 5:00 PM
Updated: September 23, 2008 6:31 PM

As an independent candidate, Jason Draper believes he’ll be able to represent constituents in a way party politicians can’t.

“I would certainly be able to reflect the desires of the constituents,” he said.

If elected he won’t be tied to party politics, and says he would be able to work towards a government based on principles, not parties.

“Under the Independent Party, members are permitted to think, speak, and vote according to their conscience. They are expected to make decisions based on sound principles, and not be persuaded by popularity. Members agree that correct government first favors principle above popularity, and then seeks to make those principles popular,” he said in a news release.

To read the complete article:

Prominent tory backs independent

A prominent Alberta Tory is publicly supporting the Independent candidate who is running against the Conservatives in the federal riding of Edmonton-Sherwood Park.

Peter Elzinga, who was president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in the 1980s, chief of staff to former Alberta premier Ralph Klein and an MP, MLA and provincial cabinet minister, is throwing his support behind Jim Ford.

Ford, a longtime party loyalist, is running as an Independent because he was unhappy with the way the national party handled the nomination of Conservative candidate Tim Uppal in November 2006.

Elzinga admitted he wrestled with his decision, but in the end decided to support Ford, who’s been his friend for more than 30 years.

To read the rest of this article:


Independent candidate determined to make every vote count

Independent candidate David Page admits he’s a long shot, but he’s determined to make every moment count

It would be easy, were you of a certain disposition, to laugh at David Page, the independent candidate for Parliament in the federal riding of Ottawa West-Nepean.

Laugh at his chances of winning (he is running against John Baird and David Pratt). Laugh at his Don Quixote campaign (he has a MySpace page and business cards). Laugh at the earnestness of his long-shot campaign (he was the first independent candidate in Ottawa to be registered by Elections Canada, and that’s because he hounded them to take his cheque).

So, go ahead and laugh. He chuckles a bit himself.

“What are my chances of winning this election, of becoming the Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean?” he asks, sitting in a coffee shop at Carlingwood Mall. “I suppose I should caution you to not bet heavily on it.”

To read the complete article see:

Election Financing Unfair To Independents

When it comes to financing, independent candidates are subject to discrimination.  For example:

“… should he end up running as an Independent, Mr. Casey and his staff have found that current regulations governing election financing place restrictions on an Independent candidate’s ability to raise money.

Other candidates in my riding can all raise money now through their riding associations, but I am not allowed to raise a penny until the election starts,” he said. “In a campaign it is hard to raise money. I mean, you are running a campaign and trying to get elected.”

With no affiliation to a registered political party, Casey has also found restrictions in the amount of money any single contributor can give to his campaign. “I can only receive a maximum contribution by any individual of $1,100 for an election,” he said. “But because of the way the system is, my competitors can each get a maximum of $5,500 from a single contributor because they can get $1,100 each year between elections, and I can only raise money during an election.” ”

Read the complete article here.

Surely this situation must be remedied. We are grateful for the following suggestion from Kirk Schmidt:

Also, because of the fundraising rules difference between independents and parties, I have come up with a proposal for change in rules, which I am including in this email as well, if it interests you:

1. Independents must be registered with Elections Canada in order to raise funds. The nomination form must be filled out properly, including the 100 signatures of residents of the riding, and Independents must have appointed an Official Agent and Auditor. Once completed and verified by Elections Canada, Independents will be qualified to fundraise. Elections Canada can verify the nomination paper without the need for a local Returning Officer.

2. Funds raised outside of an election period should be made out to the Receiver General to be held in trust for the candidate. Any tax receipts will be produced by Elections Canada, and not to be given out by the candidate.

3. Should the Independent decide not to run, any monies received in trust for that candidate will become property of the Receiver General.

4. At the outset of the election, the monies held in trust will be transferred to the candidate within the first few days (48 hours? 72?), and he/she will be able to get tax receipts from the Returning Officer to provide to people who contribute within the electoral period.

5. Any campaign surplus will be remitted to the Receiver General to be held in trust for the candidate. In the case that the candidate becomes a candidate for a party, the funds held in trust will be transferred to the constituency association. Should the candidate not run in the subsequent election, all funds will be forfeited to the Receiver General.

6. With respect to interest generated from any monies held in trust: There are several options here. Given that normally the consituency association would hold the account and produce all tax receipts during a non-electoral period for a party-endorsed candidate, it would make sense for a portion, if not all, of the interest generated be used to mitigate expenses incurred by Elections Canada. However, depending on how pre-writ expenses are treated, this could also change. For example, if candidates are expected to take out a loan to cover pre-writ expenses, incurring interest for that loan, then it would serve that all interest generated by coffers (minus fees for EC?) should be the candidate’s. However, if the candidates can submit their expenses to EC periodically (quarterly or, even monthly), and funds can be remitted to the candidate (or vendor) for out-of-pocket expenses (out-of-pocket is handled officially by the candidate becoming the ‘vendor’), then perhaps it would serve as argument for EC to keep the interest generated. This is all up for debate.

Points 1, 2 and 3 are designed to ensure that we mitigate the number of ‘false’ independents. 1 requires the independent to do at least some leg-work, and 2 and 3 ensures that there is no financial gain to the candidate by running and then dropping out. 2 maintains fairness and transparency by providing a similar mechanism to a constituency association, and, being an organization designed to promote proper electoral processes, serve as a good governing body for trusts.

Point 4 is to ensure that there is a seamless change between pre-election financing and elecoral financing for the independent.

Point 5 addresses the fact that any surplus generated by the campaign, including the remittance of the candidate’s deposit, as well as the portion of paid election expenses returned to the candidate if they receive a certain percent of votes, typically gets given to the Receiver General and is no longer of use to the candidate. This provision would allow the candidate to run again, using the funds that they earned in the previous election to act as a starting point for their campaign. This is an advantage seen by party-endorsed candidates because they can remit all surpluses to their constituency association.”


Kirk Schmidt
Independent Candidate for Calgary West

Independent candidates ready to take on parties

You won’t find Kirk Schmidt’s election campaign office in a rented storefront plastered with election signs. No, his headquarters are out in the garage of his Calgary home.

“It’s a mess,” Schmidt, 26, told CBC. “There’s a lot of signs, a lot stakes, piles of polling information.”

The yellow and black lawn signs are the tools of Schmidt’s independent campaign in the riding of Calgary West, where he is aiming to unseat Conservative party incumbent Rob Anders, who has won four times in a row.

A computer analyst with mainly “small-c” conservative views, Schmidt said he wants to give voters an alternative to the status quo. 'I figured I'd put myself forward as an independent because I don't necessarily subscribe to any of the major parties,' says Kirk Schmidt.‘I figured I’d put myself forward as an independent because I don’t necessarily subscribe to any of the major parties,’ says Kirk Schmidt. (Courtesy of Kirk Schmidt)

“I figured I’d put myself forward as an independent because I don’t necessarily subscribe to any of the major parties,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll agree with one, sometimes I’ll agree with the other.”

“There are plenty of people in this riding who believe the same way, or else are conservative but don’t like the incumbent,” he added.

“I just want to see change in the representation in the riding,” he said.

Regardless of their place on the political spectrum, independent candidates are at a disadvantage financially when it comes to competing against the major parties. Independent candidates can raise only $1,100 per donor, and can only issue tax receipts during the actual election campaign. Political parties can raise $1,100 each year from each donor, meaning their war chest is much richer.

To read the rest: