Thursday, October 25, 2012

Conservative MP keeps Etobicoke Centre Seat

The Supreme Court of Canada has released its ruling which rightly allows Conservative Member of Parliament Ted Opitz to retain his seat in Etobicoke Centre.

It is essential to note, before the media or Opposition attempts to weave this into an issue which it is entirely not, that this had nothing to do with the fake “robocalls” scandal.  This massive mishandling of the election is completely the fault of Elections Canada, due to rampant “procedural errors, record-keeping, how people registered to vote when they weren't on the list” and questions on whether records were properly kept.

The Liberal candidate asked the Supreme Court “to disqualify the votes of several Canadian citizens on account of administrative mistakes, notwithstanding evidence that those citizens were entitled to vote.”

The Supreme Court refused, saying “There is no allegation in this case of any fraud or wrongdoing.”

The full text of the split 4-3 ruling is available online.  Interestingly, Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin wrote the dissenting opinion suggesting the election be overturned.

These are a few other interesting points in the ruling:

  • Why did the Chief Electoral Officers of British Columbia and Alberta act as interveners on behalf of the Liberal candidate, Borys Wrzesnewskyj?  The case involves an Ontario riding and both the Conservative and Liberal candidates are from Ontario.  Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer was also a respondent, so what business or interest does the Alberta or B.C. CEO’s have in this case?

  • If voter registration certificates were never completed, that would constitute an “irregularity.” However, since the certificates were completed but lost, this is not an irregularity.

  • Registration certificates not signed by the person registering to vote is an irregularity, but did not affect the election result.  This could simply be a “clerical mistake.”