42nd General Election

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2015 Federal Election Platform

See Policies2015 wiki page

2015 Federal Election Candidates

The riding links in the following table will redirect to resource pages for those ridings. These pages may include candidate profiles, media links, web page links, collateral, riding information, post-election reports or other materials. Candidates and volunteers for these ridings are encouraged to add the information that they collected throughout the campaign. This information will aid in preparation for the next election in 2019. Thank-you.

2015 Federal Election Results -- By Riding

Riding Province Candidate Votes % +/- Placement
Edmonton Strathcona 2015 Alberta Ryan Bromsgrove 201 0.4% X 6/10
Red Deer Mountain View 2015 Alberta Scott Milne 312 0.5% X 6/6
Vancouver East 2015 British Columbia Shawn Vulliez 188 0.3% X 7/8
Vancouver Quadra 2015 British Columbia Trevor Walper 83 0.2% X 6/7
Parry Sound Muskoka 2015 Ontario Duncan Bell 122 0.2% X 5/7

2015 Federal Election Results -- By Party

Party Seats Votes +/- Candidates Riding Average
Liberal 184 6,930,136 338 20,503.4 39.5%
Conservative 99 5,600,496 338 16569.5 31.9%
Bloc Québécois 10 818,652 78 10,495.5 4.7%
NDP 44 3,461,262 338 10240.4 19.7%
Green 1 605,864 336 1803.2 3.4%
PC 0 4,472 8 559 0.0%
Libertarian 0 37,407 72 519.5 0.2%
Christian Heritage 0 15,284 30 509.5 0.1%
Forces et Democratie 0 8,298 17 488.1 0.0%
Democratic Advancement 0 1,187 4 296.75 0.0%
Rhino 0 7,349 27 272.2 0.0%
Animal Alliance 0 1,761 8 220.1 0.0%
Radical Marijuana 0 1,626 8 203.3 0.0%
Pirate 0 906 (2,292) 5 181.2 0.0%
Communist 0 4.382 26 168.5 0.0%
Seniors Party 0 158 1 158 0.0%
Canadian Action 0 429 3 143 0.0%
ATN 0 136 1 136 0.0%
Marxist-Leninist 0 9,105 70 130 0.0%
The Bridge 0 121 1 121 0.0%
PACT 0 90 1 90 0.0%
United 0 57 1 57 0.0%

2015 Leader's Report

Creating and Running an Effective Informed Grassroot Movement – a closing report for the 2015 Federal General Election

Introduction

This report is prepared as a leader’s closing report for the 2015 Federal General Election. The report includes a reflection on the last election and some recommendations for the party going forward.

Candidates

The main challenge this election was fielding candidates to run. There were a lot of inquiries from people who want to run as a candidate and have never been involved in politics. However, a lot have backed out due to the $1,000 Elections Canada deposit required for a candidate to run. There were approximately 20 to 30 people who contacted us about running and lost interest upon learning of the deposit requirement. Some also expressed concern about the shortage of time to get the required 250 signatures of consent to run from their local constituents. However, the overwhelming reason is the $1,000 deposit and not having personal funds to spare to pay for the refundable deposit.

A flaw in our candidate selection process is the tendency to appoint candidates for a riding very early on and without competition. This is mostly due to a desire to ensure there are as many candidates running as possible. All of the candidates pre-appointed to their riding ended up not running. Most did not bother to communicate the fact that they no longer intend to run despite several attempts to contact them. Some gave indications they would run, but eventually dropped out. This process could hold up major riding where there are potentially more supporters who could have stepped up if given enough time. Another negative consequence of locking-in candidates early is the lack of activity in that riding since everyone expects that candidate to organize and others are not sure how they can contribute.

Complicating the effort to field candidates was multiple campaigns by a few individuals to convince officers and members not to run a single candidate. The rationale was strategic voting and the need to hold and wait. Proponents include people who pretended to want to be candidates just to talk to officers of the party, then went on to campaign for not running a single candidate. If we had not run any candidate then the party would have been deregistered by Elections Canada for failing to meet the major objective of being a registered political party, i.e. to support and run candidates in elections (especially for General Elections).

This report recommends some measures for nominating candidates that is not centred around an individual. This election has shown that locking in a local campaign around one person could cause inactivity and lack of progress at the local level. Another advantage of having an open nomination process (with backup candidates ready to fill-in in short notice if needed) is the additional protection against political/character assassination, infiltration, or corruption in a campaign.

Leadership Structure

Since our first General Election in 2011, the leadership have undergone several changes and often not in a very organized fashion. The internal party requirement for an annual election caused more instability as each new leader tries to revamp the whole infrastructure to their preference. This has caused our forum to be down for an extended period of time effectively killing any momentum we had right after the 2011 General Election. Several active participants left, never to be seen again.

One common item of feedback from the public, who are casually observing the party’s progress, was there does not seem to be progress and nothing seems to be happening, so they’ve stopped following. There is often disagreement among officers on what the best route forward for the party is. It ranges from an overly cautious approach of not doing anything while waiting for perfection, to putting draft and unrefined policies out to be vetted through crowdsourcing. Volunteers who step up are often unsure how they can help and await instruction from a disorganized head office. There was also frustration from some members and the public about the lack of communication on policies and unfolding events. Sometimes there are objections by officers to issue any policy at all until it is perfected. This seems to give the impression of a lack of position on issues. While it is understandable that a policy must be carefully vetted and it takes time to craft a good detailed and specific policy, the better approach is to crowdsource or let local organizers create their own detailed policy and just provide a general Core Policy as a guiding principle.

This report recommends streamlining the head office structure to meet the bare essential auditing and bookkeeping costs to satisfy the Canada Elections Act and Elections Canada requirements. The aim is to reduce the cost and avoid the party or movement from being bogged down in costly bureaucratic rituals. Emphasis should instead be on organizing locally without waiting for permission or instruction from the head office. The Core Policy will serve as guidance on expectations for someone starting a local movement from the grassroot level up.

Core Policy and Decentralization to Focus on Organizing Locally

Policy is another constantly changing area. The officers before the election year worked the hardest to get into the details of policies and meticulously debated and went over facts and consequences of each proposal. Finding time to go through a large amount of suggested policies was a challenge for officers who already have more than a full load of day job tasks put before family and personal time. Nevertheless, not all policies necessarily survive with a change of officers. New leadership have their own focus on what is important.

This report provides a draft of Core Policy not much different from common sentiments among the pirate movement around the world. The draft Core Policy recommended here tries to strike a balance between a motherhood statement and vague Core Policy, and being too detailed and specific. Efforts were made to avoid making it so restrictive that it becomes inflexible. The Core Policy tries to capture the basic essence of a conscientious and humane approach based on communityship and compassion rather than cut-throat every-person-for-themselves greed. It is not about idealism or left or right ideology, instead it is about valuing human decency while being fiscally responsible and sustainable.

A Core Policy should provide a clear understanding for newcomers and supporters on the approach that the movement would naturally take in crafting a policy or for finding solutions to an issue. The Core Policy should allow anyone to proceed towards organizing locally and coming up with their own local or national policies, without waiting and wondering if it will be sanctioned by the party. These policies can then be shared with others through an online platform such as the party’s Wiki. Others can adopt existing policies crafted by local organizers across Canada, or they can express dissent and provide improvements or explain the rationale behind their opposition. Existing platforms and policies could be added to an online repository of policies for candidates or local advocates to adopt or improve upon.

With a focus on evidence based policy making and critical thinking, we can create an informed grassroot under a decentralized structure where the people are trusted rather than treated as uninformed masses to be looked down on by the people in power.

Decentralization with a clear Core Policy could minimize problems often encountered by an upstart political movement or party. Issues include infighting due to being too accommodating to people from extreme political spectrums, sometimes breaching the respect for the Rights & Freedoms policy common to the Pirate movement. Other harmful actions include people maneuvering for power causing division and destroying an organization. Power grab and egomania could damage party morale. It is not a true grassroot movement if one or a few people can take control and be above other people in the movement. Nor would it meet expectations for a bottom-up movement if people do not feel like they are empowered enough to pursue their own initiatives.

This report also outlines a process that gives members the ability to override or veto the officer's actions. This has always been the case in the Canadian Pirate Party but a lot of people are often unaware of this.

Outreach & Raising Awareness

The free radio and TV ads during the campaign period proved successful. Several inquiries to run as candidates came from people who have heard our radio ad and seen our TV ad. A lot of people heard about our party for the first time, this indicates we have a long way to go just in raising awareness even about our existence. We need to organize early and often.

As proven by the challenges faced when fielding candidates, our base tends to be working people with neither much extra time nor money to spare. As stated in the 2011 Federal General Election leader’s report, we need local organization to raise funds beforehand. If we are successful in that, then whoever turns out to be the candidate in that riding for the next election will at least have some funds to use as a deposit.

The use of lawn signs has some success in raising awareness. Just putting lawn signs out in areas where the party does not have a base yet, has elicited inquiries from the local press. Some members have suggested the use of cheaper and more environmental friendly lawn signs (e.g. spray painting a piece of cardboard), while not as durable as campaign signs, they are cheap and easy to make with a stencil or outline cutoff. However, a limitation of lawn signs is that they are subject to local bylaws, and some towns or municipalities would require a deposit before it can be posted, and it can only be done during an election season.

The best outreach is still to organize locally through meetups or ongoing informal hangouts. As a movement without a lot of funds, and whose base consists of the working class without a lot of spare time, we need to rely on creative and innovative means of reaching out to large numbers of people locally in a inexpensive way. The party needs to explore and come up with creative or unconventional guerilla promotion tactics. Nothing replaces face to face interaction, especially for a new party. Most successful candidates are often those who did lots of door to door and face to face conversation.

Acknowledgment to the silent supporters

While the report mostly lays out room for improvements, it is worth noting that the party has lots of silent supporters who have extended a helping hand whenever called upon. During a time of need, whether it is a server causing issues or a deadline to be met during the campaign season, help often arrives from people who offered their time despite a heavy workload in their everyday life. All the officers and members, past and present, will always have the party’s gratitude and be part of the root that keeps this movement growing.

Addendum

Core Policy Proposal

Decentralized Grassroot Party Structure

Shadow Election Results

The following results are provided by shadowelection.ca and are meant to help the party determine where to focus more of their effort next in the 43rd General Election.

Party Seats Votes +/- Candidates Riding Average
Conservative
NDP
Bloc Québécois
Liberal
Green
PC
Christian Heritage
Marijuana
Pirate
Rhino
Libertarian
FPNP
Animal Alliance
Western Bloc
Canadian Action
Communist
Marxist-Leninist
United

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