Dr. Dawg

Guelph footnotes

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vote mob.jpg

1) Elections Canada has spoken:

While the initiative at the University of Guelph was not pre-authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer, the Canada Elections Act provides that electors may apply for and vote by special ballot. A special ballot coordinator, appointed by the local returning officer, oversaw the activities at the University of Guelph. All information at our disposal indicates that the votes were cast in a manner that respects the Canada Elections Act and are valid.

Some are unhappy with the part of the ruling that precludes any more campus-based special balloting. But I take Election Canada’s point: if their internal procedures call for pre-authorization after consultation in order to satisfy the concerns of the parties, this obviously can’t happen now. As reader (and former DRO) James Bow said on a earlier thread, however, nothing precludes students from organizing vote-mob walks to the nearest EC office to cast their ballots. Nor does it rule out campus voting of this kind in future elections.

2) Before this incident took place, I would venture to guess that most Canadians didn’t know the difference between a special ballot collection and an advance poll. I was certainly one—I learned more about the Canada Elections Act in 24 hours than all I had known about it previously, largely thanks to the tweets of Kady O’Malley, who dug quickly and furiously into the primary sources.

But Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, surely knew better, or at least was briefed better. Yet even after the ruling he insisted on talking about the “rules for advance polling” which are quite a different thing. Now the Conservatives, without breaking stride, are applauding the Elections Canada decision. Spin, spin, spin. (And I realize that this mixed metaphor has spun completely out of control.)

3) Today’s Globe & Mail quotes witnesses to the effect that young Conservative hooligan Michael Sona made a grab for the ballot box and had to be deterred by Elections Canada officials, who physically blocked him.

Why has he not been charged under the Canada Elections Act, Section 167 (2) d: “No person shall wilfully destroy, take, open or otherwise interfere with a ballot box or book or packet of ballots?”

4) Finally, why do scandals keep on eating up other scandals? The G8 pork-barrelling is, to quote Andrew Coyne, “serious, serious sh-t.” It comes complete with not one, but, as we now learn, two quotes taken out of context by the Cons. Yet it seems to have largely vanished from public or at least media consciousness, replaced by the Guelph mess and the Helena Guergis non-issue.

Watch for Guergis-gate and Guelph-gate to get replaced in turn when fresh Conservative malfeasance emerges, as it almost certainly will. May 2 is still a long way off.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on April 16, 2011 10:17 AM.

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