To: Chief Electoral Officer, Elections Ontario
My name is John Pacheco. I am the Family Coalition Party candidate in Ottawa West Nepean. The purpose of this communication is to file an official complaint against the current finance laws as they apply to independent candidates.
Although my complaint does not affect me because I am running for a Party, I wish to make my objections known.
As you know, no campaign may incur expenses or accept donations before the writ for an election is dropped. However, candidates who have the benefit of running for political parties can effectively have their parties or constituency associations incur expenses for the benefit of their campaign. Their supporters can, in turn, finance these expenses by donating to the constituency association or Party.
If the candidate is running as an independent, however, he will have to wait until September 10 to incur any costs for his campaign since he has no Party or Constituency Association.
As you can appreciate, this puts the independent candidate at a severe disadvantage in the campaign since the candidates for the political parties have already effectively stocked their inventories with election signs, brochures and other campaign assets before the writ is dropped.
For instance, it can take 5-14 days to order and receive election signs. With a 30 day campaign (Sept.10-Oct.10), this effectively cuts out significant exposure time for an independent candidate’s signs to be available to the public.
In my opinion, this restriction is unfair and needs to be changed for the next election. A very simple solution could be to allow each campaign to collect donations and incur expenses 14 days before the writ date (which is now set by law), while maintaining a blackout on advertising or promotion until the writ date. This way all candidates are playing by the same rules.
Ottawa West Nepean