Saturday, May 19, 2012

Canadian Democracy is found, in Etobicoke Centre

Yes! Yes! Yes!

The results are in on the Court Challenge for the disputed Federal Election in Etobicoke Centre, and Harper Party MP Ted Opitz has received an eviction notice from the House of Commons.

The Lawyer representing the Liberal Incumbent, Borys Wrzesnewskyj had argued that 181 ballots were in dispute and the Judge hearing the case, Justice Thomas Lederer set aside 79 ballots.

The ballots set aside included some from people who had voted outside of their own polling station but who were in fact stroked off the list at their home polls, showing they had apparently voted twice.  Other ballots set aside included several instances where the voters arrived with no voter’s card or identification but were allowed to vote anyway.

There were other ballots set aside for people who had voted outside of their home polling station and even voting outside of their home riding.

Now the Judge did say that there were no indication of the Opitz campaign doing anything wrong but because there were 79 ballots set aside, and the difference in the election was only 26 votes the Vote was declared null and void and there will need to be a new election.

A Harper Party spokesman, Fred DeLorey complained that the ruling threw the “democratic decision” of the 52,000 who voted “into doubt”, but what of the people who had voted for Wrzesnewskyj?  I think this throws a harsh light on the Harper Party attitude.

There is no way to prove who these improper ballots were for but the fact that they exist shows that the result is in question.  If he had said that they had hoped for a different result but would respect the verdict of Justice Lederer, that would have sounded much better to my ears, how about yours?

Justice Lederer said in his ruling that Canadians must have confidence in our electoral system and that "If that confidence is diminished, it follows that our interest in, and respect for, government will be similarly diminished. It surely follows that if people who are not qualified to vote were permitted to do so, or if there is a concern that people may have been permitted to vote more than once, confidence in our electoral process will fade."

This is an important issue folks.  Too many people do not vote now because they feel their vote doesn’t count or worse, that none of the candidates are worth voting for.  We can’t afford to have the view that it doesn’t matter because the result is predetermined and will be made to happen by any way they want.

This includes “robocalls.” 

Wouldn’t you think that a Party that boasts about being the “Law and Order Party” would be the first to want tighter rules governing how elections are run and how the votes are cast?  Wouldn’t they be the ones insisting that the Officers at the Polling Stations are properly trained and able to perform their duties properly?

Now the Harper Party may wish to appeal this, I hope they don’t.  It would show that they don’t care about the truth of the vote… that they don’t care about Democracy in Canada.

We take pride in the fact that we are asked to send observers to oversee elections in countries where they are still learning how to be Democratic.  It is sad to think that we need observers as well…

I have no doubt that should this election be rerun, that it will be under the microscope and well it should be.  [I refer to the possibility of an appeal here]

All elections should be.

You see Mr. DeLorey the issue is not about the 52,000 who followed the rules and voted properly, the issue is the 79 votes that Justice Lederer set aside.

Some of these people appear to have voted twice-that is illegal.

Some of these people voted in a riding they do not reside in-that is illegal.

Some of these people voted without proper identification-that is illegal.

Justice Lederer is speaking for the 52,000 who followed the rules.  Their right to elect a representative has been taken from them by the actions of 79 people.

The choice is your Mr. DeLorey.  It is the same choice facing the members of the Stephen Harper Party.

Do you choose to stand with the 52,000 who followed the rules, who believe in casting one ballot each to select their elected Member of Parliament, who believe in Democracy?  Their votes were not called into question, but the results of their votes were.  Because of the actions of just 79 people.

Stephen Harper and the Harper Party should be standing up and strengthening Elections Canada not cutting their budget willy nilly.  The Harper Party should be standing with the other parties of the House in calling for stronger laws governing Election Fraud.

But instead the Harper Party is disappointed when a Judge finds in favour of Democracy.  They bluster and bully whenever charges of Election Fraud are raised.

Listen, I’ll gladly dip my finger in ink to show that I voted.  If it helps to prevent others from trying to vote twice then that is so much the better. 

I’ll wear that ink with pride, people will know that I care enough about my country to take a moment to have my say about who should be running it.

But I choose which finger gets dipped.

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