Fringe Parties are obscure, and many have been around for a very long time. Elections Canada has listed 22 of them running in the last election. Here is a list of 12 of them that were on ballots somewhere in Canada yesterday, with short comments.
The “Rhinos” first ran as a joke in the ’60s. One of their promises currently is to make illiteracy Canada’s third official language, suggesting little has changed. It is a great way to spoil your ballot, and still say to people that you voted. Not on this list is a party called the “Absolutely Absurd Party”, a party who wrote into their platform (yes they had one), a motion to replace the Canadian Department of Defense with “a team of crack Rock-Paper-Scissors commandos.” The Absolutely Absurd party de-registered themselves for this election. The Rhinos did not, and ran 28 candidates nationwide yesterday in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.
The Communist Party has been around for a very long time. Currently, their website appears to give the impression that they have defined themselves in terms of their hatred of crappy right-wing policies. It is not clear as to whether they have any kind of platform, but they ran 28 candidates across all provinces except Newfoundland and PEI. Two candidates were elected as Members of Parliament back in 1943. They were banned for awhile and re-surfaced in the 1950s.
What is the difference between the Communists and the Marxist-Leninists? Who knows? Both parties have been around for several generations, and the question reigns perennial. But their website indicates that they have run more than 25 candidates over several provinces this election. They show their expertise with social criticism and make some good points, but it falls far short of a platform.
We have registered parties ranging from the far left to the far right. The Libertarians have been around for some decades, and their definition of “libertarian” is to liberate capital and business with laissez-faire economic policies. So, this is considered far right. They ran 24 candidates.
Sounds good, nice website, but despite the fact there are registered with Elections Canada, their website triggered virus detection on my PC, and messed up my Firefox browser. Thus, it was not clear as to whether they ran any candidates, or what their platform is. The information provided by Elections Canada suggests that nearly all of their activity appears to be confined to the Greater Toronto Area.
Canada’s Fourth Front
You must admit, the name of the party sounds pretty dramatic, but as an anticlimax to this drama, the website is down. Would have been nice to write them up here, but alas, no-can-do. They are running a grand total of 7 candidates. Elections Canada has them as based in Toronto.
Veteran’s Coalition Party
The Nova Scotia and Alberta-based Veteran’s Coalition Party are a party promoting the abstract values of “truth, duty and honor”. However, I have trouble seeing that as a platform. They ran 25 candidates anyway.
Christian Heritage Party
A party headquartered in Ottawa which CBC reports is running 15 candidates and is focused on social conservatism. They promote a Christian world view, which means they will fight a war against anything they see as contradicting it. Examples are defunding the CBC, and abolishing pro-choice.
This is, as the name suggests, a single-issue party, based in Montreal, aimed at greater access to marijuana. The fact that they see this as the single defining issue in the age of covid and global warming may not ring so true after they come down. They are running 4 candidates.
Animal Protection Party
Another single-issue party, this time aimed at protecting animals. I have said in another article, writing about a similar-themed party that we indeed live in an age where animal rights seems to be more of an animating issue than human rights these days. But I also stated in that article that Mother Nature does not run a democracy, and that we need animals and plants more than they need us. This Toronto-based party was running 39 candidates in yesterday’s election.
Nothing spells Western alientation like a Bloc-style political party for Western Canada. The Alberta-based Mavericks are running 25 or so candidates, just in BC, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
A Montreal-based party that pre-dates Canada’s existence. It was started in Lower Canada from an assembly of Francophones and Irish Anglophones, both of whom distrusted the British. They are currently a right-wing party who stand for Quebec nationalism and sovereignty. The latest instance of this party was re-started by Donald Proulx in 2019. They are running two candidates, according to their French-only website.