None Of The Above nominates 50th candidate for provincial election
Ontario’s provincial election is approaching with what looks to be a highly contested campaign. While the Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP remain expected to put up a fight, the None Of The Above direct democracy party (NOTA) is committed to reshaping democracy in Ontario.
Founded in 2014 by Greg Vezina, NOTA commits to using the three Rs if elected: Referendum, Recall, and fundamental electoral and legislative Reforms that will give the voter more control over the politicians they vote into office.
NOTA has no central platform and no central authority. Prospective MPPs running for election with the party are to abide by the principles of direct democracy as the core rule rather than to a party policy guideline.
When polled, Ontarians demonstrated that they support direct democracy, where the people have more involvement in the legislative process. Under Canada’s Westminster system, direct democracy is an alien concept; Canada is instead a representative democracy where elected officials are supposed to represent the wills and intentions of their constituents.
Proponents of direct democracy criticize the system for several reasons. The first is that their MP, MPP, or councillor do not entirely represent voters in any given riding. Instead, a plurality most often elects them due to Canada's multi-party system. Also, those who did not vote for their representative may not feel heard by the body politic. On top of this, the voter is stripped of the ability to chime in or vote on legislature being passed by elected officials. So, parliament may pass unpopular laws with no support from the voting public. Voters do not have a say in what is and is not passed into law until election season, when the populace can vote lawmakers out of office. Direct democracy relies on the referendum as the primary tool, so the public votes on legislation themselves, not representatives.
Direct democracy has deep historical roots in Athenian society during antiquity. Switzerland is the world’s most prominent user of the system, where voters regularly cast ballots on referendums regarding policy issues ranging from military service to the building of new schools. This democracy occurs at all levels, from municipal to federal.
During the 2018 provincial election, the NOTA party received over 16,000 votes. They were combined with over 22,000 intentionally Declined ballots. This fact shows the general frustration with the Ontario legislative assembly’s mainstream parties and the democratic process itself. Elections Ontario did not publish the total of declined ballots in the 2018 election, nor did they inform voters of the option to Declined ballots for the third election cycle in a row in 2018 according to group Democracy Watch.
The None of the Above Party has nominated 50 candidates for the upcoming 2022 provincial race. After just two election cycles, the number of candidates is unparalleled in fourth-party politics. The Green Party only achieved this many candidates after five elections, and the Libertarian party after eight.
The only other political party in the province’s history with more growth in such a short time than NOTA was the United Farmer Party in 1919’s general election.
The None Of The Above party, direct democracy party, is currently taking applications for more candidates the upcoming election to apply, go to the website: https://nota.ca/ontario/candidates/
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