Congrats to Stephen Maher for even daring to question the competency of Elections Canada – Etobicoke vote raises troubling questions about Elections Canada’s competence:
In this case, Wrzesnewskyj’s legal team felt that Elections Canada did not bend over backwards to help them sort out the mess they made.
It’s not clear whether the people running the election knew that dozens of people voted without filling out registration certificates.
“What did Elections Canada do?” says Stephen Thiele, Wrzesnewskyj’s lawyer. “If they didn’t know, that’s a problem. If they did know, that’s a bigger problem.”
IMHO Elections Canada seems to have the attitude that the more people voting the better – even if a few mistakes are made. Just look what happened with the “special ballot” in Guelph that was not pre-authorized but still allowed to count.
But this kind of attitude undermines confidence in the system as Maher notes:
Justice Thomas Lederer wrote that he faced a “conundrum” when he was presented with evidence of what happened in Etobicoke Centre. Our system of government relies on public confidence in the electoral process, and that confidence would be shaken if invalid voters are able to vote.
It looks like Elections Canada let that happen, at least in this riding. If it happened in other ridings, the secrets are in polling books locked in Elections Canada’s archives, and we have no way of seeing them without a court order.
Maher doesn’t seem to think that the public would trust the Harper Government to make changes to the the agency, but it does appear that more oversight and transparency are needed if EC wants to have the polling numbers increase – legitimately.
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On Thursday he held a news conference where he alleged that Conservative party supporters suppressed the Liberal vote in his riding, citing statements his lawyers obtained from Elections Canada staff about events on May 2, 2011.
“It’s clear that the campaign manager for the Conservatives was involved in an incident that resulted in the shutting down of a senior’s residence vote at peak voting times,” Mr. Wrzesnewskyj said.
Does anyone know of any evidence to support that allegation? Or is it just another baseless smear?