It’s My Party

Back in the day, did you ever admire the Rhino party for their chutzpah? Or perhaps you have a serious socio-political agenda to promote? Well, if we go into our next federal election soon, your time may never have been better to start your own political party!

Yes, my friends, we’ve all heard that it takes a minimum of 50 candidates to create an official political party in Canada. Well, not any more!

Currently we have a window of opportunity to create a new party with only one candidate! That’s right, you heard me correctly.

In 2003 the rule was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada in Figueroa v. Canada, [2003] 1 S.C.R. 912; 2003 SCC 37. According to Craig Forcese and Aaron Freeman in their new book The Laws of Government: The Legal Foundations of Canadian Democracy (Irwin Law, 2005, page 90) :

The Court suspended its judgment for twelve months, allowing Parliament to formulate an alternative rule. However, Parliament did not pass legislation to deal with this issue until just before the June 2004 election. The result of the rushed, last-minute process was a provision allowing registration of a party so long as it runs a candidate in a single electoral district, in addition to meeting some other administrative requirements such as having at least 250 electors as members.

The legislation referred to is An Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act, S.C. 2004, c. 24. The legislation has a sunset clause (s. 26) that will take effect mid-2006, meant to give Parliament time to have a better look at the issue. Forcese and Freeman speculate the number of candidates needed to create a party should be twelve (page 90 in their book). However, thus far I don’t see any amendments to the number of candidates (see Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, c. 9, s. 370).

Therefore, the time could be ripe for kicking off a new party or two! What about the “Slaw Party”?


  1. I’ll bet I know what everyone will want to bring to the “kick-off potluck”!