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municipal protocol

A municipal protocol establishes the role of Canadian provincial political parties in any municipal elections held in their respective provinces. Under the Canadian Constitution this is wholly a provincial matter, and rules vary on whether provincial parties can get directly involved in municipal elections, put the party name on the ballot, or even visibly and explicitly endorse candidates.

rules vary by province


In BC municipal elections, for instance, it is very common to have very public endorsements of municipal candidates. In ON municipal elections it is discouraged, but happens anyway, especially among the TO NDP which often puts municipal, provincial and federal representatives all on signs together (if the elections coincide).

rules vary by party


Many parties give municipal politicians preference in standing for provincial or federal posts. This is up to each party's candidate protocol. For instance, in some parties it is reasonable to have unelected people stand aside to let elected Municipal Councillors (who have proven their appeal to at least some voters) stand for the party.

interacts with other protocols


Any party's local protocol and position protocol on strictly local issues is going to be strongly affected by its desire to have a presence, or not, municipally. Local groups with strongly held positions are often a source or support base for a candidate with a background in municipal politics.

Also, since younger candidates generally have a much better chance at municipal office, the school protocol is particularly important as a way to recruit people to run for Council, gaining the experience they need to ultimately participate in the federal candidate protocol - seeking nomination and standing in an EDA's nomination race. This can be even simpler than student politics.

may involve survey


A municipal candidate survey based on citizen initiatives, such as Imagine Halifax ran in 2004, is one way to bring issues of concern to a provincial party to the public's eye and identify Councillors or Municipal Council candidates with positions similar to those of the party. This need not be done directly by a party but can be done by a front group.

GPC version not detailed yet


The GPC municipal protocol and associated impact on GPC candidate protocol is only now being worked out - see those pages for details of how these would interact with other GPC protocols.