This is an opportune time to strengthen the nomination procedure. If reforms that would require national parties to run candidates in all national riding's becomes law, they we could see the Honourable Brousseau's example repeated everywhere.
Those reforms were first floated to deny regional parties like the separatist BQ seats in the Canadian House of Commons. If they had to run candidates in every riding, it's reasoned that the BQ would find it extremely difficult to maintain its ability to participate in federal elections at all.
This, in conjunction with the removal of the per vote subsidy would effectively eliminate the Bloc from federal elections permanently.
The fact that Quebeckers have chosen to remove the Bloc themselves doesn't mean they aren't broken or won't be back later. This is a reform worth investigating, but it will also have other side effects.
The Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Marijuana Party and the Communist Party will feel the impact in addition to the Bloc. Most people won't miss any of those but consider that the Reform Party may not have been so successful in that environment. A law like that may encourage stagnation and stifle the renewal and rebirth of new parties.
For new and weaker parties to be successful they will have to run phantom candidates the way the NDP ran Ruth Ellen Brousseau. She has admitted to never visiting her riding even once and may not have even filled the requirement for nomination. This could become standard practice.
Good electoral reforms measures include:
- creating new riding's to account for population changes
- remove per vote subsidy
- Federal Parties must run candidates in every riding
- MPs crossing the floor should trigger a bi-election
- mandatory vote laws
- paid to vote laws
- online votes
The case of Ruth Ellen Brousseau begs for changes to be made. The nomination process should be strengthened while other ideas are also considered. There have been many calls for reform, some of them good and some of them not so good. A committee should investigate all of these ideas and update our system.