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Put off by the mainstream parties? Don't worry, you have voting options

With talk of referendums and recalls, populism is popular among the less mainstream parties vying for your vote
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As the Conservatives, New Democrats and Liberals slug it out in ridings across the province ahead of the June 7 election, there's a host of other parties and candidates vying for your vote.

As the Conservatives, New Democrats and Liberals slug it out in ridings across the province ahead of the June 7 election, and the Green Party continues efforts to grow its support, there's a host of other parties and candidates vying for your vote.

The Consensus Party, for example, has candidates in both Nickel Belt and Sudbury. It occupies the conservative/populist side of the political ledger, and is an offshoot of the Ontario Reform Party. Its leader, Brad Harness, used to lead the Reformers in the province.

Consensus MPPs, according to the party policy document, “should be not leaders, but rather, your representatives. And also under this system, imagine large important decisions being made by you through referendums ... Now, that is democracy in action, and populism in operation.”

In Sudbury, the Consensus candidate is long-time local politician Mila Chavez Wong, a former city councillor, and Kevin R. Brault, who ran for city council in 2014. Read more about Consensus here.

Another fringe party, the None of the Above Party, has some things in common with Consensus, such as a belief in more frequent referendums to decide issues, a move away from partisan politics and having MPPs vote according to what their constituents tell them, rather than party policy.

“In the first 100 days, we would pass every bill where there is agreement or consensus among most MPPs from all the parties elected,” their platform says. “Then within the first six months, we will send out a plebiscite information package on everything proposed by the government and its opposition, to voters who must reply within 30 days for the House to consider. We will consult experts.”

In Sudbury, former Green Party candidate David Sylvestre is running for the party, while newcomer Baily Burch-Belanger is running in Nickel Belt. Neither candidate has an online presence we could find. Read more about the party here.

Ending party politics and electing MPPs who only do what their told is a popular theme in this election: the Northern Ontario Party, which is running a candidate in Nickel Belt but not Sudbury, also calls for direct democracy.

“An elected NOP MPP will be required to vote on issues in parliament on what their constituents wish him/her to vote,” the party platform says. “There will be no party whip. We will develop a standard polling method that we commit to using prior to all votes in the provincial legislature.”

The party also wants to eliminate property taxes for 10 years for  manufacturing businesses that set up somewhere in the North, and capping public-sector salaries at $350,000. Local author Matthew Del Papa is the NOP candidate in Nickel Belt. Read more here.

The Libertarian Party is running candidates in both local ridings. They, too, are big on referendums, recall legislation and getting rid of partisan politics. James Wendler is carrying the party banner in Sudbury, while James Chretien is the party's Nickel Belt candidate. Read more here.

And finally, the most fringe of all fringe candidates is J. David Popescu, a fixture in local elections for decades. Popescu is best known for running in mayoral, provincial and federal elections to promote his extreme version of Christianity. On more than once occasion, his statements at local debates on sexual orientation issues have led to hate crime investigations.

Popescu doesn't have a website.


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