electoral district association

An Electoral District Association or EDA is a unit of a Canadian federal political party narrowly concerned with problems associated with running one candidate for the House of Commons. Ideally each such party has 308 of these as of 2005, as there are that many MPs. Minor parties have dormant or no EDAs between elections, because they have only a few functions and the party hub needs scarce talent.

By contrast to the hub, EDA functions are quite strictly determined by the Canadian federal electoral system and the Elections Canada rules regarding campaign finance, and party candidate protocol and member protocol. Typically, any deviation from such standards is grounds for a party hub to disband EDAs that deviate. In the special case of a GPC EDA, the Friends of Crookes can disband any of these for no reason in defiance of the GPC Constitution on its own whims.

Because election timing is so uncertain under federal minority government, and a snap election puts such strain on EDAs, especially if they must nominate candidates and the more so if there are multiple people who seek nomination, EDA management can be tricky.

The key constraints is what must be in place before the writ drop commences the election campaign. Typically each party's election protocol specifies exactly what must happen in the week or two immediately following that.

Each district must have

  • Funding: it will soon be tax return season. Get out there to your friends and aquaintances and get some loot (only possible if you have an EDA)
  • Nominations: people must seek nominations before there can be a candidate and the member protocol must accomodate anyone supporting any such hopeful
  • Candidate: If you are an EDA, have your nomination race now Candidate Nomination HowTo Candidate Hopefuls HowTo
  • 1000$ nomination fee
    • ...or if they expect this fee to be paid "for them".
  • 100 nomination signatures (50 for large and remote ridings) You can start before the writ so get going and definitely collect 50% more than you need as the returning office will disqualify some Nomination Forms
  • Campaign Financial Agent: line somebody up to act as the campaign financial agent or "officient agent" or "chief agent". This is a different office than the FA for your EDA but it can be the same person
  • To budget campaign and plan campaign is critical: even if you eventually fail to reach your goals have one in place so you can follow a plan

Each district should have:

  • A web service at least good enough to distribute brochures under predictable memorable URIs. Call your local Internet service provider and see if they will give you one for free. Most broadband service contracts come with free web service.
  • At least one campaign brochure. Act locally, find yourself a local print shop. You will be suprised at the support your receive for shopping in your neighbourhood
  • A bag sign is a thin plastic bag that is easily disposed of, or stored for re-use, after elections - it stretches over thin black wire posts that are near invisible
  • newspaper ads - coverage in most papers is reserved to those buying ads
  • A reliable campaign phone where the candidate can be reached or messages can reliably reach him or her
  • Issues remaining in the public mind from the past election, and whatever issues become important during election - both possibly quite different than what issues equal to the parties, media and public at large.


Most parties have instructional capital to help EDAs to campaign, e.g. a Campaign Handbook, Campaign Example, Candidate Handbook, Official Agent Handbook, and a secret list of bagman, hatchetman, mad dog candidates.