NDP & Grit riding associations race to avoid deregistration – Feedback

Defeated Green Party candidate and perennial political gadfly Michael Marshall, who has been hounding his party’s executive to comply with financial disclosure rules, finds the legislation governing riding associations too complicated—and a damper on participation.

Elections Canada is asking the parties if the added complexity of their new election legislation is reducing the number of people willing to get involved in the political process. Part of the reason for the lower voter turnout is because, in many ridings, only one or two parties are truly competitive—and the complexity of election laws is one reason that many riding executives are so weak—no one wants to take on thanklessly complex jobs that may send them to jail.

Elections Nova Scotia communications director Dana Philip Doiron hinted Friday that the Elections Act and the Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act need tweaking. In an interview Friday, he said the legislation offers no guidance on how a party that has been deregistered—as the Greens are on the brink of being—can be reregistered.

“It’s a bit of a work in progress,” he said. “There are some holes in the legislation.”