Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Thursday, October 25, 2012

6 Votes

If you were paying attention today, you may have noticed that the Supreme Court of Canada released it's much anticipated decision re: Ted Opitz vs. Borys Wrzesnewskyj - about the fate of the highly-contested Etobicoke Centre riding in which Borys lost the election by 26 votes and research showed several 'irregularities' which called the outcome into question.

Earlier this year, Borys took the election to court, citing that these irregularities cost him the election.  In his defense, he put forth evidence gathered from 10 out of 200+ ridings and cited over 180 irregularities.

In May of this year:

"Justice Thomas Lederer of the Ontario Superior Court agreed, tossing out 79 ballots, easily overcoming the 26 vote plurality." [Source]

Optiz appealed the decision to The Supeme Court of Canada who, today, overturned Lederer's ruling in a 4-3 decision [read their full ruling here].

After all the dust settled - including Elections Canada rushing to include new evidence into the trial (evidence the Borys asked Elections Canada for in the earlier trial but was denied [source, same link]) - the SCoC ended up concluding that out of the 79 'irregular' votes, only 20 were left standing as 'irregular' and since Borys lost by 26 votes, 26-20 = 6, so Optiz maintains his seat with a 6 vote victory.

6 votes.

What I find interesting about this decision is how much of the immediate uproar was how the system is broken, how there's no need to vote anymore, "why bother? Democracy is dead!".

And yet I take exactly the opposite message from this situation:

6 Votes decided a winner in this situation.  More specifically, 7 Liberal voters who chose to stay home, cost Borys the election.

Your vote matters.

In fact, that was one of the key points in the Supreme Court's decision: That the constitutional Right of Canadians to vote must not be compromised.

Which is why Canadians need to get back on the Horse in regards to the Robofraud Scandal.

You all may or may not remember the crazy story of Pierre Poutine that took our nation by storm back in February of this year, but if you need a refresher, check out my article "Analyzing The Pieces of Robofraud" which will get you back up to speed (though there are still some updates needed).

The long and short of it is this: After the investigation led directly back to Conservative Headquarters in Ottawa, the entire investigation fell off the rails after the trail lead back to an open Wi-Fi connection.

Of course there's a whole list of questions that pop up from that situation (several different IPs managed to be traced back to that open WiFi connection) but the long and short of it is that, without further outrage - Canadians demanding answers from their elected officials and Elections Canada - we are pretty much never going to find out the truth to the RoboFraud scandal.

The book is pretty much closed.

However, your constitutional 'Right to Vote' has just been pushed to the forefront by the highest court in the land - Which means if you want to ever have a chance to sort out the mess of the Robocalls -- a scientifically proved concerted effort to keep voters away from the polls on Election Day -- this is pretty much your last shot.

Scientific proof, statistically speaking that Robocalls had a measurable effect on the outcome of the 2011 election:

[Study: Full paper + analysis]
[Different study + backup + Full Paper]

So, if your Democracy matters to you at all, now's the time to start getting out there and demanding that your right to vote be upheld and that the Robocall Scandal finally receive a proper, external, investigation.

A Royal Commission.


Further Reading:
Court documents conflict with Election Canada’s claim of sweeping robocall investigation

EDIT: For the next election, in order to help ensure that the job is done and done right, we're going to need more and more Scrutineers at the ballot box.  If you'd like to become a Scrutineer for the next election, please follow this handy How To.