Conservative Leadership: The Rules

Conservative Leadership: The Rules

More on the Conservative leadership race:

  • Members will again use a single secret ballot to rank their preferred candidates.
  • Each of Canada’s 338 electoral districts is worth 100 points regardless of membership size — a controversial rule in the past for some party members. Points are assigned based on a candidate’s percentage in each district. A majority of points (16,901) is required to declare a new leader.
  • If no winner emerges in the first round, the lowest candidate is dropped and the second preferences on their ballots are reassigned to the remaining candidates. The process repeats in subsequent rounds until a winner emerges.
  • Eligible voters must be Conservative party members as of 5pm ET on March 28, 2017. (Except for previous members whose membership lapses in the 60 days prior to voting; they can pay their renewal fee “at the door” and become eligible to vote.)
  • Candidate registration fee: $50,000 non-refundable in two installments
  • Candidate compliance deposit: $50,000 for good conduct
  • Candidate spending limit: $5 million (not including fees and deposits). No money can be provided by Parliament or riding associations. Nor corporations, unions, non-residents, or other groups prohibited by the Canada Elections Act. In 2004 the limit was $2.5 million.

Leadership Rules: Conservative Party of Canada

Other key rules:

  • Members must vote at a polling station in their “place of ordinary residence” as defined by the Canada Elections Act: “the place that has always been, or that has been adopted as, his or her dwelling place, and to which the person intends to return when away from it.”
  • It could pay to register new members: candidates receive $5 for each membership submitted to the party before Oct. 28, 2016. But the candidates will owe $5 for memberships submitted after Feb. 28, 2017.
  • Candidates will have access to party membership lists dating back to 2008.
  • Candidates must have been members for at least six months and fill out a contestant questionnaire that includes support for the party’s “founding principles” from the 2005 convention. They need 300 members in at least 30 ridings and seven provinces/territories to provide an endorsement.

-Andrew Thomson