It will be interesting to see what the impact of a full slate by the Libertarians might have on the election. The one group of Conservatives, above all others, that Stephen Harper has disappointed are libertarians. People had hoped for a secret libertarian agenda once the government had a majority but quickly found out this was not going to happen.
My expectation for the 2015 election is that most libertarians would have decided to stay home or reluctantly voted for the Conservatives. With a full slate from the Libertarian Party of Canada there is a place for people to protest the status quo and have it reflect their values.
|Tim Moen, leader of the Libertarian party|
Managing to run a full slate is not easy. Since the 1965 election the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives(3) have always run a full slate. In the last 15 election the only new parties to run full slates were the Canadian Alliance in 2000 and the Greens in the last four elections. If the Libertarians were to manage a full slate, they would be only the third new party to do so in 50 years.
The Green party came onto the national scene in 2004 because of the tireless work of the new leader at the time, Jim Harris. He managed to organize the Greens well enough for the 2004 election that the party did run a full slate. If this had not happened the Green Party of Canada would not be what it is today.
Not only have few parties managed to run a full slate, there are only five other parties that have even managed to run more than 100 candidates in the last 50 years. The Libertarians are already at 45 candidates, I have no doubt they will easily break 100 candidates, but can leader Tim Moen get them close to 338?
If Tim Moen does manage to get the party to a full slate they will become a factor in the election. As much as I am a vote splitting skeptic(4), the Libertarians could be enough of a factor in close races that they could cost the Harper Conservatives a few seats.
It will be very interesting to see how the Libertarian party plays out in this election.
Here is the list of fringe parties that managed to run more than 100 candidates but not a full slate in the last 15 elections
- Party Election Number Percent. % of vote
- Green 2000 111 36.9% 0.81%
- Natural Law 1997 136 45.2% 0.29%
- Natural Law 1993 231 78.3% 0.63%
- National Party 1993 170 57.6% 1.38%
- Rhino 1980 121 42.9% 1.01%
- Marxist-Leninist 1980 177 62.7% 0.13%
- Marxist-Leninist 1979 144 51.1% 0.12%
- Marxist-Leninist 1974 104 39.2% 0.17%
Major Parties since 1965 that did not run full slates(5)
- Party Election # of Cand. MPs
- Bloc 2011 75 4
- Bloc 2008 75 49
- Bloc 2006 75 51
- Bloc 2004 75 54
- Bloc 2000 75 38
- Reform 1997 227 60
- Bloc 1997 75 44
- Bloc 1993 75 54
- Reform 1993 207 52
- Reform 1988 72 0
- Social Credit 1980 81 0
- Social Credit 1979 103 6
- Social Credit 1974 152 15
- Social Credit 1972 164 15
- Rall. créd+Socred 1968 104 14+0
- Rall. créd+Socred 1965 163 9+5
(1) With 45 candidates nominated, this places the Libertarians ahead of the Greens who have 44 candidates nominated as of today
(2) By full slate I do not mean 100% of the seats, but relatively close, within 10 or so seats of running in all of the seats
(3) By Conservatives I mean the PCs till 2000 and the CPC since 2004
(4)I think the impact of vote splitting is very much over rated. In most cases it is not going on and very few seats are won or lost based on it.
(5) Major meaning they won seats in the election, were holding them or won them in the next one.