Be a Candidate

To make an old sentence politically correct, “Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of the party.” 

In the 2007 general election, the Party ran 25 candidates, received about 9,000 votes and very modest media attention.  We ran candidates in 2 provincial by-elections.  We’ve had booths at the Manning Conference in Ottawa and at Word On The Street in Toronto, to increase our visibility and obtain leads for more members.  Members have organized monthly Pub Nights in 7 cities.  We are increasing our presence on the Internet through Facebook, Twitter and Meetup. 

In the 2011 general election the Party ran 51 candidates and more than doubled our vote count to over 19,600.  You can read more about it here.  Then in 2013 we ran a "mini-full slate" of candidates in all five by-elections held on August 1st and we are running candidates in both by-elections to be held on February 13, 2014. The current Liberal minority government means that the next election could happen any time.  Our plan is to be ready for an election in the spring of 2014 and to maintain a state of readiness until the election is called.  

In order to keep the momentum going, we want to increase the number of candidates and our vote count again. The longer it takes for the current government to be defeated, the more candidates we should be able to run. Our objective is to run a Libertarian candidate in every riding - a Full Slate.  This will increase our visibility with the media and hopefully result in more coverage of the Party and our platform.  As a result, more people will discover the Libertarian Party and some of them will join us.  We are already attracting a number of disillusioned conservatives and young people looking for a real alternative to the socialist parties. 

Since you are on this page, you’re obviously interested in being a candidate for the Party. That's great, not only will you be helping the cause, but you will be ensuring you have someone to vote for if you run in your own riding. If we already have a Libertarain running in your riding, you can help out our Full Slate project by running in a riding with no Libertarian Candidate.

If you have not already joined the party, you will need to sign up as a Voting Member. You can do this online or you can complete and mail the Membership Application to the address on the form with a donation to cover your membership fee (and more if you would like to make a contribution to our election campaign).

Ultimately it will be up to you to decide how much time and effort you want to put into your campaign.  It takes only a few hours to get your name and the Party name on the ballot. Once on the ballot you may act as a ‘paper’ candidate that does very little during the campaign, maybe just one or two media interviews.  We expect half of our Full Slate will be paper candidates.  If you want to be more active, you can participate in All-Candidates meetings, distribute pamphlets, put up signs and knock on doors.  We hope that at least half a dozen candidates will be very active.  Whether you plan to be a paper or active candidate, you may wish to ask for donations from friends, neighbours, and even your family! 

To find out more about being a candidate, we strongly advise that you join our Wiki. Only party members may join the Wiki. You would then have access to our New Candidate Guide and to our 52 page Internal Platform which you will find here once you have joined.

If you have done all that and are ready to run, please complete the "Candidate Application" form and return it to the Party. You will be put in touch with the Campaign Director and Regional Coordinator for your electoral district. 

During an election campaign, the Party will provide advice, generic pamphlets, and generic signs upon request.  This will take money.  We estimate we will need $30,000 just to support 90 candidates.  For another $15,000 we should be able to run radio ad campaigns in smaller markets like Barrie-Simcoe and Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph if we have candidates in all or most of the ridings in that market.  In addition to money, it will take effort to get signs and pamphlets prepared and delivered to candidates.  We need people with a little financial experience to be Chief Financial Officers (CFO's) for one or more candidates.  If you would like to work 'behind the scenes' send us a message.   

Elections are our best opportunity to get our message out.  While the term “libertarian” is heard more often, there are still lots of people who don’t know that we exist or what the term means.  We need your help to change this.  Please use our online donation page to contribute $500, $300, $200, or whatever you can afford, to our campaign through PayPal.  If you prefer to send a cheque, mail it to the address here.  Do it now, to ensure you take advantage of the refundable Political Tax Credit.  You will get back 75% of the first $399 contributed in a year and 50% of the next $931. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at 416-283-7589, or toll free at 1-855-ONT-LIBErty (1-855-668-5423) or via email to  

PDF icon Candidate Application Form144.99 KB


The Ransberger pivot is an excellent way to deal with hostile questions.  For example, "No government schools? Do you want a nation of illiterates? Don't you care about our children?" Of course you do. But remember: when people ask hostile questions, they often are questioning your motives. They assume you disagree with their concerns, they think you have different values, and they may even believe you have bad intentions. You need to turn this around, or do a 'pivot.' There are four steps;

  1. Stay calm and listen to what the questioner is asking.
  2. Ask yourself what the person is really concened about. What does he really want. Make an educated guess.
  3. If you want what he wants, strongly express your desire for the same outcome. Show your questioner you share the same core values on this issue.
  4. Explain why you believe a libertarian solution to the problem is better than the government's solution.

 The first three steps take practice.  The fourth step requires educating yourself on a wide variety of issues.

You can get more ideas on how to use this technique here.

You need signatures from 25 voters in the riding.  It's a good idea to get 30-35 since some of them may not be on the voters list. It is also a good idea to get your nomination papers in well before the deadline in case the RO disallows too many names.  You will have an opportunity to collect more signatures before the deadline (2:00 PM September 15). 

The following suggestions were submitted by Phi Bender, a frequent candidate for the Party. 

  1. Best opportunity is when people are not in a hurry - they're more likely to stop to speak with you. One good examples is outside Tim Horton's (plaza location) on an early Saturday morning. People were having a lazy stroll, and were willing to chat. Outside the LCBO (different plaza in Guelph) on a Friday evening. Work is over, just starting to relax. As it got closer to closing time, people were more hurried - they wanted to get in and out quickly, going to a party or something. 
  2. These were smaller local plazas, not large regional malls with inside the mall store access (and many tourists and peole from outside the riding). Still good traffic but it was local.
  3. Self-serve gas bars worked well. People won't leave the gas pump to get away from you.  One candidate collected 42 signatures in just under 2 hours. 
  4. Choose gas bars, LCBO, etc, that are well inside the riding, and not on a highway, to limit the chances of getting someone outside the riding. 
  5. Take a map of the riding (from the Elections Ontario web site) in case someone wants to see if they are in the riding.  However don't worry if they don't know or aren't sure.  That's why you are getting extra names. 
  6. Take a supply of election pamphlets in case someone wants to know more about the party. 
  7. Dress well, wear a tie. Dress like a politician - lots of examples in the news every day. They don't want to speak to an unshaven person wearing blue jeans.
  8. Be polite, don't be a pest.

Happy hunting!  :)

Libertarian candidate Adam Hyde had a great writeup in the Niagara Falls Review.

Darcy Neal Donnelly, our candidate in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, was able to collect 74 signatures in less than two hours "pirating local mall traffic." Here's how he asked for their signatures.

"Would you give your permission to put my name on the ballot so that other voters might have more choices?" Accept their answers.

Notice he didn't say, "Would you give ME your permission..." And by not trying to persuade the ones who say no, you have more time to approach other people.

And while 74 was more than double the number of signatures he required, that many more people may recognize his name and possibly vote for him.