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Another Call For Cooperation From Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

Another Call For Cooperation From Green Party Leader Elizabeth May

As the Supreme Court weighs the case to throw out the election results in Etobicoke Centre, Green Party leader Elizabeth May has declared that if there is a by-election, she has requested that her party not put a candidate on the ballot and she thinks the NDP should follow her lead.

In the 2011 election, Conservative Ted Opitz defeated incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj by 26 votes. The New Democrats came in third, almost 14,000 votes behind Wrzesnewskyj. There were voting regularities that caused Wrzenewskyj to ask the courts to call for a by-election, and the first court agreed. The Supreme Court is now hearing an appeal from Opitz and the Conservative side.

If the Supreme Court decides against Opitz, a by-election will have to be called almost immediately.

In the past, May has been involved in such an electoral compromise. In 2008, the Liberals, led by Stephane Dion, did not run a candidate against May in Central Nova. May ended up losing to the Minister of Defence by over 5,600 votes.

The results of the case in Etobicoke Centre could throw the whole Canadian electoral system into question. If accusations are true, people were allowed to vote in polls where they didn’t live, there are rumours that some people were told they could vote more than once. In fact, Opitz’s lawyers are arguing that if the close results are overturned, it will hurt the system because it will undermine the confidence Canadians have in the government. Wrzesnewskyj’s lawyers are arguing that if election results are allowed to stand where they are, such questions then will undermine Canadians’ confidence.

If May succeeds in convincing the NDP to stay off the by-election ballot, it could very well boost support for both parties with an electorate that is tired of the constant fighting and dirty tactics they see in Ottawa. However, New Democrats recently rejected the idea of cooperating with the Liberal Party when Nathan Cullen lost his leadership bid.

Meanwhile, the courts denied the Conservative motion to dismiss the case brought forth by the Council of Canadians. The decision in that case, which could potentially dismiss the results of the 2011 election in seven ridings where voters received robocalls, could call the whole of the 2011 election into question.

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Photo Credit: Barrie Greens

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22 comments

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11:20AM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

This sounds like elections in a 3rd world country not Canada. And for the Harper Government to fight against the judge's ruling is another sign of the their disregard for our system. This will all come out in the next elections. I just hope that Canadians do not forget the blatant disregard this government has shown for the average Canadian citizen and our democracy.

12:22PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Shame on Stephen Harper, CON Reform Party “Leader”

Instead of accepting the Ontario judge’s decision and calling a by-election, the governing Conservatives decided to fight it, becoming the first party to take such a matter to the Supreme Court. The Tory party is paying Mr. Opitz’s legal bills.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/canadas-voting-system-at-the-heart-of-etobicoke-elections-case/article4401938/

12:21PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

In an attempt to speed up the court case, and because of the amount of money and time it would take to obtain all the evidence, ***ONLY 10 polling stations out of 236 in Etobicoke-Centre are being looked at.

AS WELL for the same reason (lack of time and cash)…, Borys did not file complaints about voting disruption and the robocalls that went on from the CONS.

From article: There were a number of reports on May 2, 2011 about disrupted voting at a polling location at a seniors' centre. Borys has affidavits from Elections Canada employees detailing these disruptions from Ted Opitz's campaign manager and other CON staff. Also new immigrants were targetted by the CONS. Not to mention all the robocalls.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/02/pol-election-case-boris-wrzesnewskyj.html

10:47AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

NDP Supporter, cooperation yes corporation no.

2:59AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

NDP and Liberals especially need to start working together. The past election I found the NDP to be attacking the Liberals far more then the Conservatives just in order to get opposition.

IMO strategic voting failed last time, so if not running a candidate helps I'm all for it.
I wanted to vote Green but my riding is usually a Liberal or Conservative -- so naturally I voted Liberal in hopes of ousting the Con...That failed since for the first time the NDP came second in my riding.

@Jen M. -- I would say the Liberals have always been a "centre-left" party.
The Green Party is also more 'centre' -- except with a more left of centre slant. I remember watching CPAC (yes, fun TV!) and they followed the Green Party on the campaign. Many candidates said they were former (Progressive) Conservatives and thought the Green Party was the best option.
I would say it's the NDP that is sliding more to the centre.

3:26PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

There needs to be in place in all free elections everywhere ways to secure fair and free elections. If that means voter ID and computer voting and/or verifcation than so be it. It is naive to think it does not happen in the free world. I also think registering to vote and voting should be mandatory.

2:56PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

I am an NDP supporter and I hope they listen to Elizabeth May on this one.

Our first-past-the post system is absurd and ensures that only a small portion of citizen's views are represented in the house. Visit fairvote.ca to support electoral reform.

2:05PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

The Greens in the U.S. are doing somewhat of the same thing. They are a weak party with candidates that have little or no name recognition. Many of the Greens here honestly think that Dr. Stein and her running mate, whose name I can't even recall at the moment, stand a chance of "winning" the U.S. election. They have their heads screwed on backwards for being so foolish. The Green Party and The Justice Party should at least join hands and spend the next 3 years building name recognition on a national level. They should also focus on city, regional, and state elections and give up on the absurdity of thinking they stand a chance in a national election.

I have the feeling that the Canadian Greens are in much of the same position as they are here in the U.S. You can't win without name recognition... good political intentions are simply not enough if no one is familiar with the candidates involved.

1:17PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

thanks

1:15PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

noted

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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