Speaking of candidate nominations …

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Take note, Conservative hopefuls – the process of winning your party’s nomination has become distinctly more onerous since the last election – and among the laundry list of new requirements – a thousand dollar “good conduct bond” deposit is now required, as well as at least 25 signatures from local party members – are a couple of changes that seem at least indirectly related to the current dispute with Elections Canada.

A candidate must now agree to “enter into any reasonable financial arrangements with the Conservative Party of Canada concerning the payment for the provision of campaign services by the Party to the candidate” before even being allowed to run for the nomination, and must also sign a confidentiality agreement promising “not to publicly disclose any information concerning the conduct of the application process” (articles 5 and 3b ii, respectively).

Here are the current – as of July 2007 – candidate guidelines:

3. APPLICATION
a. In these Rules, “Nomination Contestant” means a person who has made a valid application under the requirements of this section (Applicant), who is interviewed by the CNC pursuant to section 4b, for whom no report is made to the NCSC that there may be cause to reject the Applicant, and who is not rejected by the NCSC.
Anyone making an application to be a Nomination Contestant must meet the following eligibility requirements at the time of application, failing which the application may not be accepted for processing by the NCSC or the CNC:
i. the Applicant must be eligible to be a candidate under the Canada Elections Act;
ii. unless waived by the Director of Political Operations in consultation with the President of National Council, the Applicant must not have been an unsuccessful candidate in both of the two prior federal general elections;
iii. unless waived by the Director of Political Operations in consultation with the President of National Council, the Applicant must have been a member of the Party for at least six (6) months prior to filing his or her application.
b. Any eligible person wishing to be an Applicant shall provide the CNC with an application consisting of the following documents, substantially in the form set out in the Schedules to these Rules where so indicated:
i. A completed and signed Nomination Contestant Questionnaire (NCQ)
(Schedule A);
ii. A signed Confidentiality Agreement, in which the Applicant agrees not to publicly disclose any information concerning the conduct of the application process (Schedule B);
iii. A copy of the signed consent to act as the Applicant’s financial agent pursuant to section 478.06 of the Canada Elections Act (Schedule C);
iv. An original copy of a current Certificate of Conduct (obtained through the RCMP or local police detachment);
v. Signed authorization for the Party to conduct a credit and criminal records check (Schedule D);
vi. A consent letter to Elections Canada, stating that if nominated, the Party has permission to receive information on the status of their electoral campaign return (Schedule E);
vii. A Nomination Form containing:
1. the Applicant’s name, address, telephone number(s) and email address;
2. the Applicant’s written consent to be a Nomination Contestant;
3. a nomination petition signed by at least twenty-five (25) current EDA Members who reside in the electoral district in which the Applicant wishes to run and who were members at least twenty-one (21) days prior to signing the Nomination Petition; (Schedule F)
viii. A signed declaration stating the agreement of the Applicant that:
1. the National Candidate Selection Committee has authority to disallow his or her candidacy on any grounds it sees fit, which rejection may be appealed to National Council pursuant to these Rules. National Council’s decision shall be final and binding and not further appealed
or challenged;
2. he or she accepts, and agrees to advance, the policies, principles, goals and objectives of the Party;
3. membership information provided by the EDA or Party will be used only for the purpose of campaigning for the nomination, and not for any other purpose;
4. use of the Party logo is not permitted in campaigning for a nomination;
5. if they are successful in winning the nomination, they will participate in training session(s) conducted by the Party on how to run an effective federal election campaign and will agree to enter into any reasonable financial arrangements with the Conservative Party of Canada concerning the payment for the provision of campaign services
by the Party to the candidate. (Schedule G)
ix. Completed forms authorizing the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Department of National Defence to release any available information through the Privacy Act to the Party concerning any offences, infractions, or pending matters involving the Applicant under an Act, regulation, or Code enforced by those departments; (Schedules H-K);
x. A $1000 certified cheque payable to Conservative Fund Canada from the nomination campaign bank account. This amount serves as a Good Conduct Bond. Provided the Applicant has adhered to these Rules, the Bond will be returned to the financial agent of the Applicant or
Nomination Contestant or candidate, as the case may be (and as such will not constitute a contribution or transfer from the Applicant), as follows

1. for any Applicant who is not accepted as a Nomination Contestant, upon completion of the nomination process;
2. for a Nomination Contestant other than the person who becomes the candidate, upon the completion of the next federal general election;
3. for any person who obtains the nomination and thus becomes the candidate for that Electoral District for the next federal general election, upon obtaining such nomination.
The proceeds of forfeited bonds will be transferred to the EDA.

For comparison, the guidelines that were presumably in place during the last election, as excavated from the archive org cache, circa May 2005.

NOTE: It is possible, but seems unlikely, that the rules were amended before the 2005 campaign. I wasn’t able to find any update to the guidelines posted between May and January 2, 2006, which was the deadline for nominations, but it’s hard to see why the party would initiate such a major change to the process on the eve of an election, especially considering the fact that many of the candidates had been nominated months earlier, in anticipation of a spring election.

5. APPLICATION PROCESS
a.
Any person wishing to be a Nomination Contestant (Applicant) must provide the CNC with an application consisting of the following:
i.    A completed and signed Nomination Contestant Questionnaire (NCQ) (Schedule A);
ii.   A copy of the consent letter from the Financial Agent obtained by the Nomination Contestant pursuant to Section 478.06 of the Canada Elections Act. (Schedule B);
iii. A copy of a current Certificate of Conduct (obtained through the RCMP or local police detachment);
iv. Authorization for the Party to conduct a credit check;
v.   A copy of the consent letter from the Nomination Contestant to Elections Canada, stating that if nominated, the Conservative Party of Canada has the permission to receive information on the status of their Electoral Financial Return;
vi. A Nomination Form containing:
1.   the Applicant’s name, address, telephone number(s) and email address;
2.    the Applicant’s written consent to be a Nomination Contestant;
3.    the name, address, phone number and signature of a member of the EDA who agrees, if the application is approved, to move the nomination:
4.   the name, address, phone number and signature of a member of the EDA who agrees, if the application is approved, to second the nomination.
vii. A signed declaration from the Nomination Contestant acknowledging that the IC has sole authority to reject his or her Application.
viii. Acknowledgement of the policies, principles, goals and objectives of the Party.

UPDATE: In response to a reader request, a link to the current guidelines for Liberal candidates-in-waiting, which does not require that a potential nominee sign a confidentiality agreement, or agree to enter into any “reasonable” financial arrangement with the party.

As yet, I’ve been unable to find similar guidelines for the Green Party, the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois, but will update this post if that changes.

NOTE TO NEW DEMOCRATS, GREENS AND MEMBERS OF THE BLOC QUEBECOIS:

I’ve tried to track down your respective parties’ eligibility rules and guidelines for the nomination of candidates, but I’ve come up short. If you can provide a helpful link, or a copy of the document itself, please let me know. I’m now wildly curious as to whether the Conservative Party is the only one that requires potential nominees to sign a non-disclosure agreement and commit to “any reasonable financial arrangement” that the party proposes.




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