Skip to content

Want to vote 'None of the Above.?' You'll get your chance in Nipissing this election

The None of the Above party leader has promised a local candidate will represent it in the June 7 provincial election

We've probably all looked at the list of candidates for various elections and thought, "none of the above."

But now it appears Nipissing riding voters will get the chance to vote that way during the provincial election in June.

None of the Above Party leader Greg Vezina told BayToday that he will definitely have a candidate running in Nipissing, and hopes to have one in all 122 ridings this election.

The None of the Above Party is, according to Elections Ontario, one of 21 registered parties in the province. The list ranges from the three main parties to others including the Pauper Party, the New SexEd Party, and the Vegan Environmental Party.

One of the main beliefs of the NOTA Party is direct democracy in which people decide on policy initiatives directly without representatives like MPP's. 

Greg Vezina , formerly from North Bay, lives and runs his party from his home in Mississauga and had listed well-known local lawyer Dick Tafel, who wrote a book on direct democracy called, "You can control your governments."  as a candidate.

Trouble is, Tafel knew nothing about it when contacted by BayToday. 

"I have no idea what that's about," Tafel told BayToday. "They certainly didn't ask me about it. I don't know how they got me in there. It's a mistake.

"I'm too old. I'm 85 now and that's too old to be getting involved in this sort of thing."

That won't deter Vezina, who has now taken Tafel's name off the list.

"We have other people who indicated they want to run in the riding," he said when contacted by phone. "He's the guy we wanted because he's fought for direct democracy his whole life.

"There's other people interested but I told them we had a candidate already. I'll have to get back to them now, maybe have an open nomination."

Vezina says Canadian elections are rigged against smaller parties.

"If you want democracy you should go to Russia because there they don't arrest the leaders of the small parties when they go to all-candidates debates like we do here. I've been arrested for asking to be heard at an all-candidates debate on city property in an election. 

See: Democracy, eh? Not when small political parties are routinely shut out of meaningful participation in elections.

"Everywhere else in the world the major parties are getting creamed so bad that new parties, in nine years, are forming majority governments. But in this country, where we supposedly have democracy every newscast is started with 'the three main parties and three main leaders.'"

Vezina says the exceptions are in the north and south of the province.

"There the journalists realize there are more than three parties, but everywhere else in this province there's only three parties and three leaders.

"I'm a little frustrated that we live in a joke democracy. I supported Trudeau in '68 and actually believed we were going to end up with participatory democracy and I believed that instead of us swimming to the level of Korea that we'd try and bring everybody else up to ours. 

"I used to be a good conservative for years. I was a founding candidate and chief agent of the Green Party. I got so fed up with party politics after the 2014 writ was dropped, a week into the campaign I started the None of the Above Party because I want referenda and recall. I want party policies, that party members adopt, to be binding. I want local control of nominations.

"I'm going to keep tilting at the windmill that we can get better, not worse."

In Nipissing, the PC's will be represented by incumbent Vic Fedeli, the Northern Ontario Party by its leader Trevor Holliday, and Libertarian Bond Keevil.

Henri Giroux is widely expected to run for the NDP, while no-one has yet stepped forward for the Liberals.


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
Read more