paper candidate

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

paper candidate (plural paper candidates)

  1. An election candidate with little chance of winning, who is added to the ballot for publicity and to increase the number standing.
    • 1928, James M. Beck Election Case, First District of Pennsylvania: Hearings before the Committee on Elections No. 2, House of Representatives, Seventieth Congress, First Session: By Authority of House Resolution No. 9, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, OCLC 13324978, page 126:
      Mr. Kent. I never knew of any actual Democratic opponent to a Republican candidate for Congress in Philadelphia for a number of years, but there may have been some "paper candidate" set up.
    • 1997, David [Edgeworth] Butler; Dennis Kavanagh, “Constituency Campaigning”, in The British General Election of 1997, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Press; New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0-312-21079-3, page 211:
      One Labour candidate in a safe seat believed that his Liberal Democrat opponent was nothing but a ‘paper candidate’, while the Conservatives’ candidate in Scotland reported that his local party had been asked ‘not to canvass but to send people to key seats’; the opposition parties did likewise and were ‘almost nowhere to be seen’.
    • 2003 November 7, Don Boudria, House of Commons Debates, Official Report[1], Ottawa: Edmond Cloutier, Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery, ISSN 0704-559X, OCLC 876268579:
      The concern is that groups, including advocacy groups, could register as parties simply by fielding a paper candidate and complying with reporting requirements.
    • 2006, The Parliamentary Monitor, number 135–138, London: Parliamentary Communications, ISSN 1351-6183, OCLC 31465308, page 74:
      A contest appears inevitable, even if he is running against a paper candidate such as Lynne Jones, and the chancellor has put in the groundwork necessary to mount a spirited and successful campaign.

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