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NDP candidate

The New Democratic Party is a single institution with a unified membership between its Canadian federal political party, a legal fiction called New Democratic Party of Canada, and its provincial and territorial counterparts. One cannot join or become an NDP candidate for any of these parties without joining at both levels.

Accordingly, the most unusual requirement for an NDP candidate in any Canadian federal election or Canadian provincial election is that a candidate at one level must join a party at the other level. The party also works closely on municipal elections and openly advertises party affiliation of municipal and even school board candidates, sometimes (if elections coincide) on the very same signs as provincial and federal candidates.

The NDP does not permit the NDP Leader to select star candidates and appoint them directly to a candidacy. It requires NDP EDAs in the appropriate federal electoral district to approve of them, which of course is a process that a federal or provincial/territorial leader can pressure.

However, because an NDP candidate does not have the freedom to select his or her own campaign manager, but must use the EDA executive as the campaign team, relying on external pressure on this executive to gain a candidacy tends not to work. Gretchen Schwarz, for example, a former GPC Party Chair, joined the NDP and was used by Jack Layton as evidence of NDP leaning to green politics. However her NDP riding association in the Gatineau FED failed to support her strongly, and she left the party shortly thereafter.

NDP candidates released interim contribution information during the Canadian federal election, 2006 including information on all NDP donors. The largest donor to any candidate the NDP ran was Canadian pop band The Barenaked Ladies who are open NDP supporters.