Graydon Pelley’s Newfoundland and Labrador Alliance has taken its final step toward becoming the fourth registered political party in the province ahead of the coming general election.
On Tuesday morning, Pelley announced he has submitted a list of signatures over 1,000 long in support of the party’s bid to Elections Newfoundland and Labrador.
“It’s an historic day for everybody in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Pelley, to a room of about ten supporters at the Capital Hotel in St. John’s.
Now, Elections NL is reviewing the application from the prospective party and will confirm whether the NL Alliance will get official party status. No timeline has been given for the review just yet, but Pelley says he expects the wait won’t be long.
Originally, petitions to Elections NL were only able to be submitted in person or via mail, which Pelley says slowed the process at the beginning, but Elections NL started accepting petitions electronically, which helped speed up the process.
Pelley says the party’s focus is changing how governments represent the people they serve.
“The NL Alliance was founded based on the fact that our party system is broken and needs to be fixed,” said Pelley.
“We have to change the way we elect officials for the House of Assembly. We believe first past the post has to go. We have to stop electing governments with 30-35 per cent support. The only way to do that is the change the process.”
“The NL Alliance was founded based on the fact that our party system is broken and needs to be fixed." — Graydon Pelley
Once ratified by Elections NL, the party can begin recruiting candidates and building a war chest ahead of the election. Any prospective candidates will have to submit a $100 fee with their application — something seen with the other political parties as well. The Liberals also have a $100 nomination fee, for example.
In 2015, Pelley ran against Premier Dwight Ball in the district of Humber-Gros Morne for the Progressive Conservatives when he was still president of that party. Pelley says he hasn’t decided where he’s running but expects to announce soon.
On the war chest, the NL Alliance will self-impose a donation limit of $5,000 for donations to the party. Currently, there are no limits to the size of donations to political parties in the province. But, Pelley says he wants to take that further in the future.
“We’re just saying that this is a commitment that we’ve made. No other party is willing to commit to this. I would personally like to see companies or union donations to political parties at zero,” he said.
Pelley says more details about the party’s path to the 2019 general election will be announced soon.