Candidates can still win despite withdrawal
A number of candidates have decided to withdraw from the federal election campaign, for various reasons. Several backed out before the nomination deadline of Sept. 22, and their names were simply removed from the list of candidates, and their deposits refunded.
But what happens if a candidate withdraws after the deadline?
According to Elections Canada, the person who has withdrawn continues to be considered a candidate like any other. Once that deadline has passed, says Grace Lake, spokesperson for Elections Canada, nothing will be changed.
"So, if candidate X did not withdraw prior to the official deadline, then he or she is still a candidate."
That means the candidate must still comply with federal election finance law for the duration of the campaign — and that voters can vote for that person come Oct. 14.
The candidate's name and party affiliation will still appear on the ballot. Even if a party disassociates itself from a candidate, it cannot remove that association from the ballot.
The candidate's former party cannot choose a new person to run on its behalf.
In fact, the candidate could change his or her mind, and resume campaigning at any time — but without the party's blessing. Most parties require candidates to sign an agreement to uphold party standards and policies. If that agreement is broken, the party may distance itself, and the candidate will not be allowed to use party resources, or claim party affiliation.
Should the candidate win, he or she would have to sit as an unaffiliated MP, or find a new party. In the extremely unlikely case that a candidate wins despite having withdrawn, that person would then have to officially resign as an MP if they did not want serve in Parliament.
The only time Elections Canada will change the ballot is if a candidate dies after the deadline. In that case, the election in that riding is cancelled, and a byelection is called for a later date.