A Canadian citizen has become a protest candidate in the riding held by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper even though he is barred from voting because he has lived outside Canada for too long. Nicolas Duchastel de Montrouge is now one of seven people taking on Harper in Calgary Heritage after spending more than a week collecting the requisite 100 signatures from riding residents. “It was hard but we made it happen,” Duchastel de Montrouge said Monday from suburban Seattle where he lives. “I am the only candidate I think that resides outside Canada.” Duchastel de Montrouge’s registration as an Independent comes as two other long-term expats prepared to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to restore their right to vote from abroad.
In their application for leave to appeal expected to be filed Tuesday, Gill Frank and Jamie Duong are asking the top court to decide whether stripping the vote from Canadians who have lived abroad for more than five years violates their charter rights.
“This case impacts the voting rights of over a million Canadian citizens,” the application says. “Moreover, it engages fundamental issues concerning the meaning of citizenship and democracy in Canada.”
The case bubbled onto the election trail recently when Harper stumped with former hockey great, Wayne Gretzky, who has long lived in the U.S. and could not vote under the law.