1. Universality / Equality: We want every Canadian voter to be able to determine how the Online Party representatives will votes in parliament. Equal access to this process is available to all “Registered Voters” — that’s anyone who verifies their eligibility to vote in Canada simply by mailing us a completed Elections Canada Form (a one time requirement). Each Registered Voter’s vote is weighted equally and counted and in real-time by the website application.
Notes: (1) On the verification form, write ‘Independent’ if you have no party affiliation. If you want to become a member of the OPC in addition to a Registered Voter, just specify the ‘Online Party of Canada’ on the verification form. (2) Please double check that the information you send is correct by using Elections Canada’s Voter Verification online tool. OPC users who cannot be verified via the Elections Canada form will be granted a ‘Guest’ status and allowed to vote on political issues. Guest votes will be counted separately and shown for reference purposes (but won’t count towards the ‘Official Position’).
2. Non-Partisanship: We are a non-partisan party. No one has to be a member of the OPC to have an equal vote on our Official Position. We welcome all other groups and political parties to take part.
3. Free Speech: Any OPC user may freely express their opinion, as protected by Canadian Law. We aim to empower this freedom as much as possible through our website, such as by allowing comments, blogs, polls, and votes. Every Registered Voter’s vote is recorded and posted in real-time. Votes can be changed at any time, based on latest information, persuasion, or as each voter think’s best — while one’s voting history remains recorded (especially important for public profiles, such as showing a Representative’s past voting history on a given issue).
4. Participatory Democracy: Seated in-between Representative Democracy and Direct Democracy, our principle of Participatory Democracy doesn’t require the electorate vote on every bill or piece of legislation (as is the case with direct democracy) yet it always gives the final say to Canadian voters. This preserves the virtues of representative democracy while mitigating the dangers of simply trusting our elected representatives with all of our consolidated voting powers. With our principle of Participatory Democracy, OPC officials are responsible to set the default ‘Official Position’ on every issue, essentially in the manner of representative democracy. Yet, that default ’Official Position’ is always subject to a majority vote — a vote that’s open to all registered voters, calculated in real-time online and based on simple majority (50%) + our ‘Quorum‘ and ‘Tolerance Margin‘. This way voters always have the power to: (a) determine their representatives’ actions in Parliament or, if they prefer, (b) allow their parliamentary affairs to be managed for them.
5. Leadership: Grassroots-style, enabled by the Leadership Team and the Representatives. Leaders and Representatives can try to persuade others to support their position by presenting arguments through profile postings, commentary, blogs, etc., but ultimately the Registered Voters decide for themselves. Representatives are either nominated by the Leadership Team or by the Registered Voters, while the latter holds final authority by a majority vote.
The Leadership team determines internal administrative issues and is under the direction of the Party Leader, who can appoint and remove members of the Leadership Team at his or her discretion. The Leadership Team nominates the Ethics Officer who may form an Ethics Panel to review complaints and may trigger action against any member of the party, according to the limits set in the party’s Constitution and Canadian Law.
Note: Concerns relating to corruption, fairness, “gaming our system,” and so on may brought to the party’s Ethics Officer who will review such concerns and, based on demonstrable evidence of serious conflicts of interest, may form a panel to decide the appropriate course of action.
6. Accountability: All official OPC party positions are always bound to principle #4 – Leadership - and, in addition, all party leaders and representatives are also subject to a special document we’ve created called the Accountability Oath. We believe this binding oath of office is key for democratic accountability and is sorely missing from our current democratic system (where, after election day, officials lack accountability to the electorate).
7. Transparency: We believe that the public has a right to have access to virtually all information regarding public affairs and that this access should utilize the speed and accessibility of the internet. This includes legislative drafts, budgeting details, public contracts, public servant compensation, taxes, contributors’ rates, and so on. Transparency reduces corruption and builds a solid foundation for public trust in government and the political system.
Note: Party Leaders and Representatives must have their user profile set to ‘Public’.