New face joins the race

B.C. election: Little-known AID Party runs candidate.

Johanna Zalcik

Johanna Zalcik


Putting a face to a fifth name on the ballot may be difficult for Shuswap residents when they vote May 14.

According to Elections BC, Vernon resident Johanna Zalcik of the little-known Advocational International Democratic Party of B.C. (AID) will be competing against BC Conservative Tom Birch, Green Chris George, NDP Steve Gunner, and Liberal Greg Kyllo.

Contacted by Black Press, Zalcik initially declined being interviewed, noting she is a private person. She did consent to answer a few questions by email:

Q: Why did you decide to run as a candidate in Shuswap?

A: My decision to run in the Shuswap is because I live here.

Q: What are the major issues of concern for you?

A: A major issue for me is care for the elderly; we need more homes.  The elderly are waiting too long to get into long-term care.

Q: What is your primary local issue of concern?

A: Schooling is another major issue, we need to teach financial literacy and functionality in our schools.

Q: Can you please tell me a bit about yourself?

A: Our family moved from Edmonton to the Vernon in 1989, where my husband retired, and I worked at the Bay We built a home in the Bella Vista area. four years ago  we moved to Desert Cove, where I also retired.

Asked what the AID party stands for, Zalcik provided two documents, one with the party’s platform, which is national in tone, as well as the party’s education platform. The first document states government might best serve the people by becoming a republic, dividing democratically elected representatives into two separate bodies, and elected lower and upper house, each with distinct advocational roles. The lower would advocate administration of government, while the upper would be an advocate “of a nation whose principal purpose is limited to approving particular legislation into law.”

The platform calls for a “process of random merit selection,” or “lottery” as an alternative to the current voting process, that would permit individuals, “best described as passive observers, to attain positions within public office, democratically, without personal financial cost or the rigours of running for office.”

The education platform calls for a five-and-a-half day school week, with a focus on “financial literacy and functionality with a charitable endpoint.”

According to Elections BC, the AID party’s first financial report was in 2006, when it declared more than $1.8 million in assets. In 2007, the party received donations totalling close to $1.7 million from another relatively unheard-of party, the BC Patriot Party, whose founder Andrew Hokhold is from the Vernon area.

The AID party failed to file a financial report with Elections BC for 2011. For 2012, however, the party declared more than $5 million in assets and a total income of $378,736. By comparison, in 2012  the BC NDP declared $3.2 million in assets, and an income of more than $7 million, and the BC Liberals $5.2 million in assets and an income of more than $10 million.

In 2011, the Patriot party declared just under $50,000 in total assets, but more than $1 million in liabilities and $1.7 million in expenses. The Patriot Party has not named a candidate for the Shuswap, and last ran candidates in 2005 (Hokhold in the Shuswap and Tibor Tusnady in Vernon-Monashee).