19 July 2008

Tarnishing the democratic legacy


There are no candidates.

There are no candidates because an election has not been called.

confed logo Yet, under the perversions to the Elections Act introduced over the past two years, voters in Cape St. Francis can vote right now.

A quarter page ad in the province's major daily newspaper on Saturday notified  voters in the provincial district that special balloting is already under way.

The whole scheme has already been criticized before.  Last September, Bond Papers posted an article by nottawa's Mark Watton lambasting the whole set up.

As Mark wrote:

In Haig v. Canada, the Supreme Court ruled that the Charter requires electoral laws to "grant every citizen of this country the right to play a meaningful role in the selection of elected representatives", an impossibility in a province without any means of preventing a determinative number of ballots being cast in a district before candidates are even nominated.

He was dealing with a situation where there were incumbents.  In the pending by-election in Cape St. Francis, the by-election is coming as a result of the untimely death of the incumbent.  Nonetheless, the perversion inherent in the elections law remains.  A determinative number of ballots can be cast before an election is even called let alone before candidates are nominated.

There you have it.

Something in action, but it damn well isn't democracy.