The campaigns will have until Monday at midnight – approximately 96 hours – to analyze the names and submit any challenges to the list
The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) now has a record amount of 675,000 members, according to a preliminary list sent to all leadership campaigns on Thursday evening.
“Canadians are responding to the leadership race in unprecedented numbers. We have crushed all records for prior political participation in Canada,” said Ian Brodie, chair of the Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC) for the Conservatives’ leadership race.
From the unofficial beginning of the race in February until the membership cut-off on June 3, the CPC sold more than 613,000 memberships on different platforms according to party officials.
More than 583,100 of them were purchased either directly on their website or through individual campaign’s portals that led to the party’s website, and approximately 30,000 were purchased by other means such as direct mail, telephone sales or in-person submissions by campaigns.
The CPC reported approximately 45,000 multiple purchases by either active members who wanted to make sure they would be eligible to vote, people who purchased across multiple channels or people who were not sure if their first transaction went through.
There were also approximately 6,500 non compliant sales that were eliminated by the party because they did not respect the rules. That could include people who purchased a membership on a pre-paid credit card or who bought memberships for others that are not in their household.
“In the frenzy of the leadership race. It’s normal to draw in people who don’t know all the ins and outs of party finance rules,” said Brodie of the situation.
The party had previously told all campaigns that they would have access to the preliminary list of members on July 4, at the latest.
Instead, they’re sending it on Thursday evening and letting scrutineers from each campaign spend their long weekend to analyze the names and submit any challenges. They will have until Monday at midnight to do so – approximately 96 hours – to challenge the names.
“They might want names removed if they think someone’s been listed improperly. They might also ask for someone to be added to the list if they think a name has been missed,” described Brodie. “This is a normal part of every leadership campaign.”
Decisions on the challenges can be appealed to the party afterwards, and the final list will be released once all the challenges have been disposed of.
Because of the record amount of memberships, mail-in ballots will be sent to members over the course of the next several weeks and the party is already advising members not to panic if they do not receive theirs at the same time as their family members, for instance.
All ballots are expected to be received by the party in early September, as the new leader will be announced in Ottawa on September 10.
The 675,000 members in this leadership race is unprecedented and represents more members than the two previous contests combined: 259,000 members were eligible to vote in 2017 and the number was slightly higher in 2020 with 269,000 eligible members.
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