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October 28, 2017 2:51 am

UNBC Prof Discusses Independents

Saturday, August 22, 2015 @ 3:55 AM

Prince George, B.C. – What are the pros and cons of being an independent candidate?

The issue has gained relevance this week with the entry of independent Sheldon Clare into the election race in Cariboo-Prince George.

UNBC political science professor Dr. Gary Wilson says the first challenge for independents is getting elected in the first place.

“When we see independents sitting in the House of Commons or even in provincial legislatures, it’s because they’ve often been kicked out of the party,” he says.

“They’ve gone against the party line, gone against party discipline, and they’ve been removed from caucus so they sit for the remainder of their term as an independent and have a lot of difficulty getting reelected when the next election comes around simply because they don’t have the backing of their party.”

He says the challenge is usually financial. “Political parties have sort of centralized fundraising systems and then dole that money out to candidates. Now obviously in the case of the NDP and Liberals they’re going to be focusing on ridings they’ve had a chance of winning but the candidates here will still benefit from receiving some funds from their parties.”

So where does that leave an independent?

“Someone like Sheldon Clare, who has a fairly high profile within the community and has supporters will be able to do some fundraising but I don’t think will be able to challenge the mainstream parties.”

And even if an independent manages to overcome the odds and get elected, he says it’s debatable how effective they can be.

“When they get to Ottawa they’re not part of a caucus of like-minded MPs belonging to the same party so they’re free riders in a sense – they can vote however they want to because they don’t fall under this very strict system of party discipline and can vote according to the will of their constituents.”

But on the other hand he adds “they’re one vote among 300 odd (338) votes so there’s not enough independents really to form a block of independents. So they don’t have the same sort of influence that an MP connected with a party, especially a government party will have.”

So who has the most to lose by Clare’s injection into the race?

“My gut reaction is that the Conservative candidate (Todd Doherty) would be challenged the most but you never know. It really depends on the issues that he brings up during the campaign, in the debates, in the media and so on. He may challenge Conservative positions but at the same time challenge the Liberals and NDP positions as well.”


I think the increasing amount of economic angst out there is increasing the desire for change to our “same old same old” system of “politics as usual” where a wide variety of individuals, groups of individuals, and companies get to extract special privileges for themselves from the average taxpayer (through the political process) while the same average taxpayer is sleeping (up until now anyway) at the switch.

The following is from article dated Mar 7, 2014:

“The prime minister’s office is refusing to reveal how many staffers make more than $150,000.”

PMO won’t say how many staff earn $150K, citing privacy

(Remove the space between http and : and put into your computer’s address bar)

http ://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pmo-won-t-say-how-many-staff-earn-150k-citing-privacy-1.2563891

Stevie puts secret police on the public and makes everything in government secret . Then one of his brown shirts shouts down the press for asking questions . Oh Canada , where have you gone ?

Does anyone actually believe any other party will be any different, really. Hey how come the liberals aren’t still in?

Well i guess that makes perfect sense. The current government is proven to be incompetent and corrupt so we should vote for them because seamutt says the others aren’t any different.

Deflection, ignoring the question, again how come the Liberals are still not ruling? What happened?

The liberals are no longer in power because ten years is enough for any party. Power plus time breeds corruption.

In a minority parliament the independent can have a lot of influence… Much more so than a backbench MP of an opposition party would have.

If PG elects a conservative again that is what they will be. Backbench opposition MP,s with no power of their own… Just party discipline to parrot the party line from party insiders that operate behind closed doors.

In answer to seamutt, I think any of the other parties are better than the conservatives under Harper’s control. The liberals aren’t still in because they behaved in much the same way as Harper is now behaving. They did learn their lesson though and have turned the corner. Still, I think that Mulcair is a better choice than Trudeau. I think the Liberals need several years as the official opposition before they can be fully trusted again. One thing is certain: Harper absolutely cannot be trusted.

I don’t think it will make one bit of difference which party gets in…
if it is a majority government we will be exactly where we are now only a different clown leading the parade…
they claim that a minority government takes so long to get things done… well I prefer that to a government dictating what they are going to do and do it with impunity..
besides they are paid 12 months a year they can work 12 months less holidays… and holidays aren’t 11 of those 12 months.
let them earn their pay.. I have to and so do you…..

There may have been some problems the Conservative Government however this particular Government is not corrupt. If you think they are then give some examples. Further more constantly slagging the Government of the day just because you lost the last 3 elections is getting boring.

One would think that some of these posters could have more to say about the election than dumping on Harper. Perhaps they are limited in their ability to see the big picture.

Lets take for example Mulcair when he was a Liberal in the Charest Government he was praising the work and Government of Margaret Thatcher, who as we all know was a right wing Conservative. So here we have Liberal Mulcair praising a Conservative and their policies. Later he tried to get a job with the Conservatives, (didn’t ) and finally was able to get on with the NDP.

Now how does he explain his praise for the Thatcher Conservatives when he is approaching the big Unions in Quebec for their support.

Lets dwell on some on these so called National Leaders for a while and see how they stack up to Harper.

Charles. There is no privacy when it comes to what the leader of the Opposition gets. Salary $157,731.00 as an MP. Additional $75,516.00 as leader of the opposition, and the of course free housing, etc; at Stornaway. So $233,247.00 in salaries, plus perks.

Not bad for a Liberal/Conservative lover/NDP’er.

Forgot to mention the fact that Mulcair was a Member of the Quebec National Assembly for 13 years. (1994-2007) as a Liberal, and of course he will get an MNA Pension.

So not bad considering.

Charles wrote:-“I think the increasing amount of economic angst out there is increasing the desire for change to our “same old same old” system of “politics as usual” where a wide variety of individuals, groups of individuals, and companies get to extract special privileges for themselves from the average taxpayer (through the political process) while the same average taxpayer is sleeping (up until now anyway) at the switch.”

You’re always going to have that no matter what system of ‘politics’ you have so long as the ‘economics’ under which any political system operates is flawed. Instead of looking at the ‘physical’ aspects of anything that might be desirable, and seeing if it is actually possible to do it, we look instead at the ‘financial’ aspects in regards to whether or not there is enough ‘money’ to do it. If ‘money’ is not REFLECTIVE of actual physical reality, and increasingly it is not, and instead of being able to always be sufficient to match it, is perpetually insufficient, and artificially kept that way, you’re always going to have people fighting over trying to get a sufficiency to do what they want to do.

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