CPC scores another Election Act victory

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMdojo.tao.ca
Tue Feb 20 19:18:28 MST 2001


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         CP of Canada, CPC scores another Election Act victory
       ----------------------------------------------------------
           From: Communist Party of Canada, February 15, 2001
         http://www.communist-party.ca  , mailto:pvoice at web.net
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Dear Comrades and friends

 This is big news. The Communist Party of Canada has scored another
victory  in the fight for democratic rights for all Canadians.  In 1991
the Canadian federal government *illegally* changed the Canada Elections
Act, to strip the rights of  smaller political parties to organize,
contest elections and in fact, even exist.

The requirements for legal political status were changed. The new rules
were,  to be registered as a political party, a party must field at
least 50 candidates in a federal election and must also be put up  a
*non refundable* "deposit of 5,000 dollars for each and every one of
their candidates. If a candidate did not receive at least 10% of the
votes in his or her riding, the deposit would be forfeited to the
government.

 Further, failure, to meet *any* of these requirements would
automatically result in decertification of the political party.  Upon
decertification , a party would not only lose its tax status, but would
actually be shut down by the government! It's offices would be closed,
its assets and bank accounts seized! Essentially, it would be banned
from doing political work!

This draconian legislation was supported by all the major parties in the
House of Commons, (including, the self proclaimed, "social democratic"
NDP) and was passed unanimously. While the Communist Party was the main
target of this legislation, it applied to any and all, small political
parties and to virtually any group without the finances of big business
and the corporations behind them. It was an assault on the democratic
rights of all Canadians and particularly the working class and the poor.


The Communist Party of Canada, in fact was "decertified" under this act
and had it's assets seized. The CPC (which has steadfastly fought for
democratic and working class rights since it founding in 1921) fought
back with what limited resources that its members and friends could
muster. It has been challenging this act in the supreme courts of
Ontario and of Canada. Along the way, the party has won most of it's
arguments and had most parts of the act declared illegal and
unconstitutional. The government's tactic has been to appeal and appeal,
and delay. The following press release from Party is the latest in this
ongoing struggle. For further information please visit the Communist
Party of Canada's web site at www.communist-party.ca

"Comrade" mart
 "Spiders, working together, can tie down a lion" Ethiopian proverb



For Immediate Release
C-9: Another Victory in a Long Struggle, says Communist Party

The Communist Party reacted positively today to the introduction of C-9,
a new federal bill to further amend the Canada Elections Act to bring
the legislation into line with an Ontario Court of Appeal ruling on the
identification of political parties on election ballots.

Last August, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower Ontario court
ruling that the current Elections Act was unconstitutional in that the
threshold requiring a political party to field 50 or more candidates in
order to have the party identifier placed on the ballot was too high.
The judgment arose in the case of Figueroa vs. the Government of Canada,
a constitutional challenge undertaken on behalf of the Communist Party
of Canada and its leader, Miguel Figueroa, which has been before the
courts since 1993.

The Court directed Parliament to lower the threshold within six months.
Under C-9, that threshold will now be lowered from 50 to twelve (12)
candidates in a general election.

"This victory is a further vindication of our long struggle for
democracy," CPC Leader Miguel Figueroa said. "We have challenged many
parts of the Elections Act as being undemocratic, unconstitutional and
blatantly discriminatory against smaller political parties. The courts
have confirmed this, and now – once again – the federal government has
been forced to admit it and amend the Act."

Earlier court rulings threw out several other unconstitutional
provisions in the Elections Act, such as the Draconian measure that
allowed the Government to seize the assets of de-registered political
parties, and the withholding of one-half of candidates’ deposits for
those garnering less than 15% of the vote in a riding. The Chrétien
government was forced to remove these clauses in the recent overall of
the Canada Elections Act.

The Communist Party is continuing to appeal another aspect of the
Ontario Court of Appeal ruling, which upheld the 50 candidate-rule as
the threshold for full party registration. Only registered parties may
issue tax receipts for political donations, and may access free and paid
broadcasting time during election campaigns.

The Communist Party itself regained its registered status in the
November 27, 2000 federal election when it fielded 52 candidates, but
the CPC is maintaining its court challenge because it believes the
current threshold is unreasonably high and discriminatory. The Party has
sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and is still
awaiting word from the Court if the case will be considered.

=30=
For further information, contact Miguel Figueroa, CPC Leader at
416-469-2446.

*End*



--
Macdonald Stainsby

check the "ten point platform" of Tao at: http://new.tao.ca

"`Order rules in Berlin.' You stupid lackeys! Your
`order' is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will rear
ahead once more and announce to your horror amid the brass
of trumpets: `I was, I am, I always will be!'"

-Rosa Luxemburg, 1918.







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