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Friday, October 14, 2011

Follow up with Elections Ontario on Liberal Party Vote Buying

A few weeks ago I wrote about Nikki Holland, the Ontario Liberal Party's (now former) Vice President and head of Political Operations, and her "jokes" about how she flagrantly broke the law by buying homeless people cigarettes in exchange for votes.

Holland admitted that she made those remarks (see original article noted above), but insisted that she was just "joking."  And even Premier Dalton McGuinty said her comments were inappropriate.  I don't know if they were jokes or not, but the fact that Holland would make such remarks in the first place warrants an investigation by Elections Ontario.

That's why I contacted Elections Ontario, and today I received this response:

Good Morning Mr. Dickin,

I am writing on behalf of the Chief Electoral Officer to acknowledge the receipt and acceptance of your complaint dated October 1, 2011.

I believe the alleged comments to which you refer are drawn from media coverage.  We take such allegations very seriously. If you have personally witnessed such activity or have other first hand information beyond that contained in the media coverage you reference, please provide that information to us.

Sincerely,

Melanie Martin-Griem
Manager, Chief Electoral Office
416-326-9775

Elections Ontario   0Helections.on.ca  
1.800.677.8683  Fax: 416.326.6201
To which I responded:
Hello,

The comments were indeed reported upon in media coverage.  While I did not personally hear Ms. Holland make those remarks, she has since acknowledged that she did make the remarks, but that they were just jokes.  Even the Premier noted that her comments were inappropriate, and Ms. Holland resigned because of the controversy surrounding her comments.

The gravity of her statement is alarming.  As an Ontario voter I'm concerned that a senior officer working for the political party currently forming the government would make such callous statements about illegally buying votes to win an election.  They call into question the legitimate election of the Liberal Party, and that is why I believe Elections Ontario should investigate.

Sincerely,
Daniel Dickin
Stay tuned for updates.  If you're as concerned as I am about the Liberals' disregard for a legitimate elections process, contact Elections Ontario's Chief Electoral Officer and raise the same concerns as I have.