Independent Candidates that Stand for Electoral Reforms
The very act of standing as an independent candidate is a call for electoral reform, bucking a system that says independents don’t stand a chance and that only the candidates of the cartel parties are worthy of a vote. Some candidates in this election made a point of highlighting the negative role played by parties in both the electoral and political processes.
In the Toronto riding of Davenport, Nicholas Alexander said he was running because people understand “how divisive parties and politicians have been” and he wants to end this divisiveness by fostering “a sense of togetherness” in the riding.
Ottawa Centre candidate Thomas Borcok called for a Citizens’ Assembly for electoral reform and said that it must be sufficiently funded to conduct a thorough study and have its recommendations known. His website stated, “Democracy in Ontario is languishing. Between … the first-past-the post system and the unchecked hyper-partisanism which sows divisions … our government is failing us.”
In Haldimand-Norkfolk, Bobbi Ann Brady said her experience in provincial politics tells her that people “have lost hope.” Her website says that internationally, “voters are turning away from traditional political parties as they feel elites and special interests have infiltrated and highjacked the process.” She appealed to voters to “work together to fix this crisis [of democracy] by sending a clear message our vote will not be taken for granted. We cannot continually reward political parties for mistreating the very people they serve — it’s time to reclaim our power.”
Laura Chesnik in Windsor-Tecumseh said electoral reform demands people involving themselves in politics and speaking in their own name. Both during elections and between, she sees the solution to problems facing society in the emergence of worker politicians like herself. She opposed the entire system of parties coming to power, arguing that the role of political parties should be to politicize the people. The electors, not political parties, she argued, should nominate and select candidates from amongst their own peers. She strongly opposed parties being financed by the state and believes that public funds should be used to finance the process, not political parties.
Chesnik also called for reforming the legislative assembly itself. The premier would be elected by MPPs. As for the position of lieutenant governor, she stated that the representative of the Crown should be eliminated, and “Royal Assent” to legislation should be replaced with one of the MPPs being elected with a mandate to ratify legislation adopted by the provincial assembly.