open Secondary menu

A Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct for Political Parties as a Potential Tool to Strengthen Electoral Democracy in Canada

Research Study

Prepared for Elections Canada by:
Dr. Paul G. Thomas
Professor Emeritus
Political Studies
University of Manitoba

December 2014

Printable PDF version


This study was commissioned by and received the support of Elections Canada. However, the author is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information, the content of the analysis and the opinions that are expressed.

The author would like to thank Mr. Marc Mayrand, Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, for the opportunity to conduct the study and for his advice on the scope and format of the project.

Mr. Alain Pelletier, Director, Policy and Research, and Mr. Belaineh Deguefé, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Integrated Services, Policy and Public Affairs, provided valuable advice and logistical support for the project.

Prior to the study being commissioned, some work had been done within Elections Canada on the topic, and access to this preliminary material provided a foundation for the research. Thanks are extended to the professionals in the agency who did the initial work and provided advice on the draft of this report.

At all levels of Elections Canada, there was respect for the independent nature of the study.

Additional advice came in the form of a discussion of the draft report at the meeting of the Elections Canada Advisory Board that took place in October 2014.

Finally, the author benefited from the knowledge and advice of Mr. Lorne Gibson, former Chief Electoral Officer of Alberta and former Deputy Chief Electoral Officer of Manitoba. That province is the only Canadian jurisdiction where there is an operating code of conduct for political parties.

Thanks and appreciation is extended to everyone for their help and informed advice.