My application to the courts is that the current laws violate Section 3 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
My application, should it be successful, would finally overturn a long standing injustice for independent candidates, and diminish the stranglehold that political parties have over our democracy by returning a level playing field for all those who seek public office.
My application would permit independent candidates to accept donations at anytime for their election which at present is unlawful and a privilege only enjoyed by candidates of recognized parties.
It would also end the unfair and unjustifiable advantage that political parties have created for themselves and diminish the ability for parties to hold hostage or coerce discipline from members who place their constituents above party allegiance.
Our current Election Finance laws have served to obstruct the introduction of new people with new ideas to elected office, and frustrate representation of constituents by unduly limiting any challenges to the status quo. I believe these laws are both a distortion and corruption of our democracy.
Political Parties have an important and even an integral role in our Legislatures and Parliament, but so to do others who are independent of partisan influence. This application does not seek to undo the party system, but to broaden out forms of representation.
The public has been sending a message that they are not satisfied with our current party system. The growing apathy for all things political among the public is a direct result of a system that puts party interests above the public interest.
The cult of leadership that party politics has become, and the tedious representation it creates, are an embarrassment to the spirit and tradition of representative government and often works outside of public interest.
That’s why I have served a Notice of Application with the Court; I am challenging the Constitutional validity of the laws that make it almost impossible for most people to participate in our democracy the way the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms intends.
My Charter challenge is to ensure that people can have the representation they want, whether that candidate is a member of a party or not.
-Randy Hillier, Independent MPP
Case for Reform
The need for electoral reform and to create a level playing field for independent members has been discussed, examined and broad consensus has been found, but not fully enacted.
Many rights for elected representatives have been usurped by parties and dominated exclusively for partisan outcomes in government. The following documents starting with the "Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing", The Lortie Commission of 1989; Modernizing Electoral Process by Elections Canada, and finally the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform all recommend that these discriminatory practices against independent members be removed.
The information is clear, it is time level the playing field in politics.