Author Topic: CF Pers and national political involvement  (Read 10078 times)

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Offline career_radio-checker

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CF Pers and national political involvement
« on: November 28, 2005, 19:25:01 »
I have a question. Would there be a conflict of interest if I volunteered at my MPs election campaign / Ottawa office?
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Offline xFusilier

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2005, 19:29:39 »
I don't know if there would be a conflict of interest per se, but there is a general idea that serving members of the military, much like public servants, should not engage in party politics.  I believe this stems from the idea that they are servants of the crown and the crown must remain removed from the vulgarity of partisanship. 

Offline ambex

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2005, 19:33:29 »
Iam no expert but I dont think there would be a problem with you helping out, maybee if you were running in the election itself there would be a problem.

Just watched the government "fall" on cpac.
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Offline aspiring officer

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2005, 19:36:08 »
I think I remember something about members are not to be members of any Political party as must show that we are obedient of the party in power no matter our politics. I'm not sure if volunteering would count as that though.

From seeing the Sympatico MSN news section, the election will be expected on 23 Jan in the new year.

Offline Britney Spears

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2005, 19:41:42 »
I haven't looked at the pam for this, but I don't see any problem with you being involved in the election proccess, as long as you don't represent your opinions as being the official opinion of your unit or the CF; i.e. don't go about doing it in uniform or some such.

Oohh, If I get to vote, it will be my very first election as a new(ish)Canadian citizen!  :D  But who should I vote for? I am really a little lost on this, as I don't know much about Canadian Politics or the histories of the parties...  ???
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Offline Goober

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2005, 20:08:59 »
I'm sure you can volunteer for Elections Canada, or even get paid to work there. They run the elections, and they are not party biased.

Offline career_radio-checker

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2005, 21:49:19 »
Thanks for the input. I will have to consult my chain o' command for further details. Guess I should have done that before I gave my name into the volunteer hat at my MP's Ottawa office... aaaaaah crap   :brickwall:
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Offline Dizzy

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2005, 22:22:25 »
I can't recall the QR&O, but I believe full time members of the armed forces are not permitted to work for political parties. It doesn't mention reservists.
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Offline career_radio-checker

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2005, 22:43:52 »
My judgement is that by volunteering for my MP I would be proactive in the system which I swore an oath to protect while at the same time I would be safe from accusations of partisanship or conflict of interest because I am renduring my time without cost or benefits. I just have to behave and stick to my home constituency and not be an advocate for the military. Agree or disagree?
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Offline NavComm

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2005, 02:37:22 »
I will consult with my unit, but my civvie boss will be running for a left wing party in the upcoming fed election. I built his website last time, now after reading this thread I wonder if I'm allowed to do that? Is that partisan? Is that against the ruling party? Oh my. I thought we are free to affiliate with any party as long as we don't publically diss the reigning party? I'm going to have to call my unit on  this one. Oh by jesus, I don't want to do that website if it interferes with my CF career!

Offline NewCenturion

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2005, 03:00:23 »
My judgement is that by volunteering for my MP I would be proactive in the system which I swore an oath to protect while at the same time I would be safe from accusations of partisanship or conflict of interest because I am renduring my time without cost or benefits. I just have to behave and stick to my home constituency and not be an advocate for the military. Agree or disagree?

Instead of banging your head against a wall over this, why don't you make like the sneaker commercial and "Just do it". There are regulations concerning CF members' involvement with political parties but IMO who cares? If you feel strongly enough to become involved in the political process my hat's off to you. I plan on joining a political party myself.
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Offline Monsoon

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2005, 09:24:20 »
It is permitted for CF members to belong to parties and volunteer on campaigns, much as it is permitted for us to vote.  If you are volunteering, it should not be in the capacity of a "CF member", but as a private citizen only - i.e. don't go on walkabouts with your candidate in uniform or make a point of advertising your job.  CF members may not seek elected office because of the inherent conflicts of interest involved; I believe it is customary for active reservists to go into the Supplementary Holding Reserve while campaigning and to go back into the PRes if they lose.

Offline kincanucks

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2005, 09:33:43 »
General guidance found here:

http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.ca/admfincs/subjects/cfao/099-09_e.asp

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Offline 3rd Horseman

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2005, 14:12:44 »
Hamitongs has it right.

  In the last election I ran as a candidate for nomination to my party and had several military members helping out. 
    You can join a political party (just not the commy one) and I encourage you to be a member of a political party. You must be as said before out of uniform and not use your rank unit or name of the CF in any conversation or correspondence no matter how innocent you think it is. I would not suggest you pass it by your unit chain of command as they may have differing views and that will affect your future even if they are wrong. See you on the campaign trail!
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Offline NewCenturion

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2005, 16:24:44 »
It is permitted for CF members to belong to parties and volunteer on campaigns, much as it is permitted for us to vote.   If you are volunteering, it should not be in the capacity of a "CF member", but as a private citizen only - i.e. don't go on walkabouts with your candidate in uniform or make a point of advertising your job.   CF members may not seek elected office because of the inherent conflicts of interest involved; I believe it is customary for active reservists to go into the Supplementary Holding Reserve while campaigning and to go back into the PRes if they lose.
Hamitongs has it right.

   In the last election I ran as a candidate for nomination to my party and had several military members helping out.  
      You can join a political party (just not the commy one) and I encourage you to be a member of a political party. You must be as said before out of uniform and not use your rank unit or name of the CF in any conversation or correspondence no matter how innocent you think it is. I would not suggest you pass it by your unit chain of command as they may have differing views and that will affect your future even if they are wrong. See you on the campaign trail!

According to QR&O 19.44

No member of the Regular Force shall:
   
  (7) (a) take an active part in the affairs of a political organization or party;
   
 
  (b) make a political speech to electors, or announce himself or allow himself to be announced as a candidate, or prospective candidate, for election to the Parliament of Canada or a provincial legislature; or
     
  (c) except with the permission of the Chief of the Defence Staff, accept an office in a municipal corporation or other local government body or allow himself to be nominated for election to such office.
 
I don't know how it works for Reserves
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Offline Hunter

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2005, 19:17:41 »
I will consult with my unit, but my civvie boss will be running for a left wing party in the upcoming fed election. I built his website last time, now after reading this thread I wonder if I'm allowed to do that? Is that partisan? Is that against the ruling party? Oh my. I thought we are free to affiliate with any party as long as we don't publically diss the reigning party? I'm going to have to call my unit on   this one. Oh by jesus, I don't want to do that website if it interferes with my CF career!

Speaking from my own experience - my dad is a politician and in civvie land I'm a web developer - you are allowed.   And government employees are allowed to take membershp in political parties, volunteer for campaigns, and display lawn signs.   There was a time that this was not exactly forbidden, but it was frowned upon.   As far as working (and being paid) for a political party, I believe the rules depend on the department and position held.

I would encourage everyone who reads this to volunteer this time around. But like Jumper said don't do it in uniform.   Choose who you like and then get involved.   Deliver some brochures, put up a sign, wear a button.   Be part of the solution, not the problem.

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2005, 19:54:44 »
The rules are the same for both Regular and Reserves:

Quote
19.44 - POLITICAL ACTIVITIES AND CANDIDATURE FOR OFFICE
(1) For the purposes of this article:
"political advertising" means advertising, the purpose of which is to gain support for the election of a candidate for federal, provincial or
municipal office or to gain support for, or to encourage some action in support of, the maintenance or change of a policy that is the
responsibility of government at the federal, provincial or municipal level; (publicité à caractère politique)
 
"political canvassing" means an activity by which an individual approaches another individual to gain support for the election of a candidate for federal, provincial or municipal office or to gain support for, or to encourage some action in support of, the maintenance or change of a policy that is the responsibility of government at the federal, provincial or municipal level; (sollicitation politique)

"political meeting" means a meeting that is planned for a specific time and place and is designed to promote political action by those attending; (réunion politique)

"political speech" means a speech, the purpose of which is to promote political action by those to whom it is addressed. (discours politique)

(2) Except as otherwise authorized under the Canada Elections Act (Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter E-2) or any other statute of the Parliament of Canada, a commanding officer shall ensure that any activity that takes place on a defence establishment, including a base or unit, under his command does not affect the actual or perceived political neutrality of the Canadian Forces and, in particular, no commanding officer shall:

(a) except as provided in paragraph (6), allow a political meeting to be held or a political speech to be delivered on a defence establishment;

(b) allow the display of political advertising anywhere on a defence establishment in areas exposed to public view; or

(c) except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), allow political canvassing or the distribution of political advertising, other than by mail, anywhere on a defence establishment.

(3) Subject to paragraph (7), paragraph (2) does not apply to any activity that takes place within the confines of a married quarter in Canada.

(4) A commanding officer shall permit political canvassing and the distribution of political advertising to single quarters and married quarters if, having regard to security and privacy requirements, the canvassers or distributors can be given access to such quarters.

(5) The Chief of the Defence Staff may authorize the broadcast, through Canadian Forces broadcasting facilities, of free-time political broadcasts.

(6) In exceptional circumstances, and where no practical alternative location can be found, the Minister may authorize the use of a defence
establishment or any part thereof for the conduct of a political meeting or the delivery of a political speech.

(7) No member of the Regular Force shall:

(a) take an active part in the affairs of a political organization or party;

(b) make a political speech to electors, or announce himself or allow himself to be announced as a candidate, or prospective candidate, for
election to the Parliament of Canada or a provincial legislature; or

(c) except with the permission of the Chief of the Defence Staff, accept an office in a municipal corporation or other local government body or allow himself to be nominated for election to such office.


(8) No officer or non-commissioned member shall organize or take part in a political meeting on a defence establishment.

 NOTES
(A) Examples of meetings or speeches that might be considered to be political meetings or political speeches are those that are designed to:
(a) solicit votes for a candidate in a federal, provincial or municipal election
(b) solicit funds to support a candidate in a federal, provincial or municipal election or a political party; or
(c) organize a lobby to maintain or change public policy at the federal, provincial or municipal level.

(B) An example of a meeting or speech that might not be considered to be a political meeting or political speech is a meeting or speech that is designed to impart information but does not require or expect any specific solicited political action to follow as a result.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline career_radio-checker

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2005, 23:02:56 »
Quote
19.44 - POLI


POLITICAL ACTIVITIES AND CANDIDATURE FOR OFFICE
(1) For the purposes of this article:
"political advertising" means advertising, the purpose of which is to gain support for the election of a candidate for federal, provincial or
municipal office or to gain support for, or to encourage some action in support of, the maintenance or change of a policy that is the
responsibility of government at the federal, provincial or municipal level; (publicité à caractère politique)
 
"political canvassing" means an activity by which an individual approaches another individual to gain support for the election of a candidate for federal, provincial or municipal office or to gain support for, or to encourage some action in support of, the maintenance or change of a policy that is the responsibility of government at the federal, provincial or municipal level; (sollicitation politique)

"political meeting" means a meeting that is planned for a specific time and place and is designed to promote political action by those attending; (réunion politique)

"political speech" means a speech, the purpose of which is to promote political action by those to whom it is addressed. (discours politique)

(2) Except as otherwise authorized under the Canada Elections Act (Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter E-2) or any other statute of the Parliament of Canada, a commanding officer shall ensure that any activity that takes place on a defence establishment, including a base or unit, under his command does not affect the actual or perceived political neutrality of the Canadian Forces and, in particular, no commanding officer shall:

(a) except as provided in paragraph (6), allow a political meeting to be held or a political speech to be delivered on a defence establishment;

(b) allow the display of political advertising anywhere on a defence establishment in areas exposed to public view; or

(c) except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), allow political canvassing or the distribution of political advertising, other than by mail, anywhere on a defence establishment.

(3) Subject to paragraph (7), paragraph (2) does not apply to any activity that takes place within the confines of a married quarter in Canada.

(4) A commanding officer shall permit political canvassing and the distribution of political advertising to single quarters and married quarters if, having regard to security and privacy requirements, the canvassers or distributors can be given access to such quarters.

(5) The Chief of the Defence Staff may authorize the broadcast, through Canadian Forces broadcasting facilities, of free-time political broadcasts.

(6) In exceptional circumstances, and where no practical alternative location can be found, the Minister may authorize the use of a defence
establishment or any part thereof for the conduct of a political meeting or the delivery of a political speech.

(7) No member of the Regular Force shall:

(a) take an active part in the affairs of a political organization or party;

(b) make a political speech to electors, or announce himself or allow himself to be announced as a candidate, or prospective candidate, for
election to the Parliament of Canada or a provincial legislature; or

(c) except with the permission of the Chief of the Defence Staff, accept an office in a municipal corporation or other local government body or allow himself to be nominated for election to such office.

( No officer or non-commissioned member shall organize or take part in a political meeting on a defence establishment.

 NOTES
(A) Examples of meetings or speeches that might be considered to be political meetings or political speeches are those that are designed to:
(a) solicit votes for a candidate in a federal, provincial or municipal election
(b) solicit funds to support a candidate in a federal, provincial or municipal election or a political party; or
(c) organize a lobby to maintain or change public policy at the federal, provincial or municipal level.

(B) An example of a meeting or speech that might not be considered to be a political meeting or political speech is a meeting or speech that is designed to impart information but does not require or expect any specific solicited political action to follow as a result.

Ok so I read this in detail and the jist is pretty simple.
1. Don't compromise the neutrality of the forces (easily done by not advertising the fact that you are in the CF and not being in Uniform while working for the MP. Basically, treat it as an 'affair' and don't let the two ever meet.)
2. No campagning on DND property (of course)
3. Commanding officers can hold debates on base as long as they invite all the parties (tee hee. that means he has to invite the communist party)
4. No Regular Force member may be politicaly active. (unfair if you ask me but that's the loop hole i don't want to get my neck in. Some of you say it applies to ALL members but others say I can because I'm a reservist.)

I have questions I'd like to contact my colon o' command but because of what 3'rd horseman said I feel that I can't/shouldn't.
comments?
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2005, 23:15:52 »
I did ask my chain of command (WRT Municipal elections actually), and the answer was a resounding NO except for running for municipal office.

Attending all candidate meetings, asking questions,and voting are very clear areas you can go into.

Working for/with a declared candidate during the election is murky, but I would advise to use common sense and discretion. Don't forget, other people out there know you are a service member, and even if you don't identify yourself as a CF member, you might get "outed", with possible negative consequences.

Regular readers will be well aware that there are some politicians/political parties that I would sooner kick in the conjones, but for what's left of the democratic process to work, we at least should respect the rules and work within them.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Joe Blow

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2005, 02:35:25 »
Quote
(7) No member of the Regular Force shall:
(a) take an active part in the affairs of a political organization or party

This would seem to include things like taking part in riding association votes for things like sending delegates to convention X. or supporting policy initiative Y..  or voting in leadership elections and things like that..  Which is all pretty much what being an active member of the party is all about. 

So.. am I allowed to take an inactive part in the party then, and just hang-10 with my name on the register for the sake of being there?  This line seems to remove the option of meaningful partisan political involvement beyond voting.

They really should have mentioned this during the recruiting process.  Maybe I'll take a don't-ask-don't-tell approach to this one.  ..At least until someone tells me that I am responsible for knowing the contents of  QR&O article 19.44.

..Anyway, I don't need to worry about it for 15 more days.  ;D
« Last Edit: December 01, 2005, 03:16:21 by Joe Blow »
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2005, 01:05:19 »
Like I said, there is a grey area here, but if I were you, I would declare your intention to your chain of command, ensure you stay firmly inside your arcs (no uniform, never get involved in discussions about CF policy etc.), and perhaps minimize the possibility of accidents by taking some sort of position where you stay inside the office and stuff envelopes or post pictures on the web site.

You may have the best of intentions, but most political parties play very rough these days, and if the opposition thinks they can score points against your "team" by using you or your afilliation with the CF against them, don't think for a second they won't. (One party thinks it's OK to steal $100 million tax dollars, so you are just road kill in the big scheme of things).

Remember, be careful out there.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline NavComm

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2005, 16:38:31 »
Thanks everyone for replying. I haven't been online much in the last few days, so I apologize for the delay in getting back to this thread.

I went through my chain of command and I've gotten the ok because it's a civilian contract. I'm not promoting the candidate one way or the other, I'm just doing a website, which I've done in my civvie life many times. So it came right down from the CO that it's ok for me to do it.

BTW I don't vote in the candidates riding, I don't know if that matters or not.

Offline COBRA-6

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Re: CF Pers and national political involvement
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2005, 04:00:44 »
During the last election a senior reserve officer from my CBG was a candidate. He went on ED&T while campaigning. As long as you make no mention of being a CF mbr you're good to go.
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Offline ZKC

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Being a Registered Member of a Political Party
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2017, 00:02:36 »
*Sorry in advance if similar posts have been made before I couldn't find them/didn't know the right terms to search*

Is there any policy against a caf member becoming a registered member of a federal political party? I remember that we were told in basic to not publicly express our political opinion, but the details just faded into memories with all the powerpoints...

Cheers

Offline ZKC

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Re: Being a Registered Member of a Political Party
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2017, 00:18:03 »
You are a Reservist?

CF Pers and national political involvement 
http://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,36903.msg302554.html#msg302554
Yes I am, thank you Mariomike I found the answer in that thread. Always helpful :)

Offline mariomike

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Re: Being a Registered Member of a Political Party
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2017, 07:49:13 »
Yes I am, thank you Mariomike I found the answer in that thread. Always helpful :)

You are welcome. Good luck!  :)