Friday, May 18, 2012

Judge Overturns Etobicoke Election Result

The results of the 2011 federal election has been overturned in the riding of Etobicoke Centre by an Ontario judge because Elections Canada workers at one specific polling location had inadequate knowledge of Canadian electoral law. The people trained by EC made up their own rules, and now the Conservative who won is paying the price. Less than 100 people were allowed to vote at the wrong location, but because the riding was won by less than 100 votes, the result has been thrown out. It should be noted that we have no idea how these people voted. They could very well have all voted for the defeated Liberal candidate, but tens of thousands of votes have now been thrown in the trash because EC workers f**ked up. This is a black eye for Elections Canada, and if we're going to start challenging the competency of their workers nationally, this is only the tip of the iceberg. This ruling should be appealed to the Supreme Court before we go and throw out thousands of legal votes because EC botched 79 registrations.

Fraud was not a factor in the judge's decision; "we need to be assured that those who vote are qualified to do so. We need to be confident that those who receive a ballot have been identified as persons who are on the official list of electors or who have registered". So if election workers in several ridings also circumvented the vouching/registration rules, do those results also need to be discarded before Canadians lose faith in their democracy? As the judge said "if we give up these foundations of our electoral system, we are risking a loss of confidence in our elections and in our government". Personally, I haven't lost faith in the government, I've lost faith in Elections Canada and their ability to teach electoral law to their army of temporary workers.


  1. Well at least this gives Harper a good excuse to fire Mayerand and clean out EC.

  2. How in hell can you f*** up a vote? The rules are quite clear,and everybody who works for EC is given competent instructions. There is a returning officer at every poll to answer any questions volunteers have during the election,so how did this happen?

    Heads need to roll at Elections Canada. The circus surrounding the byelection should be something to see!

  3. It could be 2 yrs before said election as this will not go to the SCOC until Feb 2013, and then they have to hear it and make a decision. If they rule the election is void, then the PM has 6 months to call said election and then a 6 wk campaign. Those living in that riding could be without an MP for 2 yrs or more. Will borys run again, and would he win by 79 votes and think that is ok.
    Mary T

  4. And what about the winner on May 3 who has been sworn in as an MP. Would he still sit in the HofC and collect his salary. I hope so. I also hope this backfires on the liberals big time.
    Mary T

  5. The incompetence at EC is staggering. Mayrand should be hauled before the committee again and made to answer for this. Where are the resignations? Someone was responsible for that election poll. I expect no apology, or admission of guilt from Mayrand. Still some people want to give EC more power. On the face of this fiasco that is absurd.

  6. If the Conservatives did actually win last year what's the big deal with having a by-election? Yes it costs money but I'd rather spend the money then have an MP sitting in parliament that didn't actually win.

  7. IMO, this judge's decision calls into question all previous recounts of close election results.

    There was a recount immediately following the May 2 election, as required by law.
    "Recount confirms Tory win in Etobicoke Centre
    Published On Mon May 23 2011
    ... The few heart-marked votes were among the 800 reviewed by a judge in a recount for the Etobicoke Centre riding, after Conservative candidate Ted Opitz squeaked past Wrzesnewskyj, the incumbent, by just 26 votes on election night.
    A recount is automatically required when the difference in votes between first- and second-place candidates is less than 1/1000th of the total votes cast in a riding. ..."

    So, the first judge declared the election valid but the second judge says the contrary. In this case, the losing candidate decided to contest the recount whereas in other cases the losing candidate just accepted the result of the recount. I bet they must be wondering ... what if ...
    -- Gabby in QC

  8. Try scrutineering sometime and you will see how incompetent elections officials are.
    I scrutinized the last Sask election and the son of the incumbent was allowed to vote for his father even though he didn't live in the riding.

    And another blockhead DR allowed a man to vote in the wrong polling location because he said he would be late for work if he tried to get to the correct poll.
    The idiot forgot you get time off work to vote, and she justified letting him vote because they said we are trying to encourage higher voter turnout....
    I asked her what would keep him from voting again in the correct poll, and she told us people aren't like that, in 20 years of doing this she had never seen anyone cheat.
    I didn't bother telling her how stupid that sounded.
    It was surreal.
    Our guy won handily so there was no challenge.

  9. Interesting to look at the results of previous elections in that riding.
    2000: Liberal 26,083 votes 56.4% of the vote +1.8% change from previous election Allan Rock
    2004: Liberal 30,441 votes 58.3% +1.9% Borys Wrzesnewskyj
    Conservatives 14,829 votes 28.4% -10.2% Lida Preyma
    2006: Liberal 29,509 votes 52.4% -5.9% Borys Wrzesnewskyj
    Conservatives 18,702 votes 33.2% +4.8 Axel Kuhn
    2008: Liberal 24,537 votes 48.9% -3.5% Borys Wrzesnewskyj
    Conservatives 18,839 votes 37.5% +4.3 Axel Kuhn
    2011: Liberal 21,618 votes 41.2% -7.7%
    Conservatives 21,644 votes 41.2% +3.7% Ted Opitz

    Notice that since his initial win in 2004, Borys Wrzesnewskyj lost ground in every ensuing election. Although one must admire his tenacity in contesting the recount, IMO he got a very lucky break.
    -- Gabby in QC

  10. I've been Deputy Returning Officer and/or Central Poll Supervisor in many elections and I'm always appalled at how totally unprepared some of the election workers are when they show up on election day. As a DRO/CPS I'm usually the one they approach to ask questions of their responsibilities despite their being given a booklet that spells it all out for them plus having sat through a three hour lecture on the contents of that book AND having a few weeks to read and study it themselves while at home.
    It sounds to me like ALL of the election officials at Etobicoke Centre were incompetent.

  11. The rationale for this rules breach, no doubt will be EC desire to see as many vote as possible, especially new Canadians. This is admirable, but one has to wonder, in a 6 week campaign why did these people get registered on the list properly? Why should they be given special consideration?
    I know in my village where I have lived 25 years, I was required to produce ID, even though known to the officials. If a group of people had shown up together to be sworn in, they would have been dispatched immediately, or told to come back with proper ID. EC really has to rethink basic procedures for registering voters. Also there has to be one and only one set of rules applicable to all voters rural and urban.

  12. Borys-the massive ego who defended his master Ignatieff's slurs against Ukrainians to further his personal political ambitions refuses to believe he lost the election.
    Even though he claims he respects his ancestor's heritage his words supporting Ignatieff prove he only supports himself.

  13. Borys wants to run for the Liberal Party Leadership thus needs to be in parliament to give himself credibility. Needless to say he sold out every community he represented to retain a seat on a committee which he was muzzled by the then party leader -- ethical people go to the back bench and wait for Dear Leader to fail instead of selling their souls.

    Borys only does what is good for Borys.