03 November 2009

And then another EA steps up…

Sandy Collins, former executive assistant to Paul Oram is the provincial Conservative candidate in Terra Nova in the by-election yet to be called.

Orange Update: Robyn Brentnall is the New Democrat in the running.

Red Update: The Liberal candidate is John Baird. He was elected in a nomination fight on October 17.

Two things:

1. Remember what your humble e-scribbler said about a party that can only offer up former executive assistants as candidates, and,

2. The people in Terra Nova district can vote today by special ballot even though no election has been called.

Every person can request a special ballot including:

  • an elector who has reason to believe that he/she will have difficulty voting on polling day perhaps due to work or personal commitments;
  • a student who is in attendance at a recognized educational institution either inside or outside the Province;
  • an elector temporarily residing outside the Province for a continuous period of less than 6 months who is unable to attend at either the advance or regular poll;
  • an elector who is incarcerated in a correctional institution or in detention at the Waterford Hospital;
  • a patient in hospital who will be unable to attend either the advance or regular poll.

All you have to do is contact the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, otherwise known as Elections Newfoundland and Labrador.

There’s a form to complete and send in. You can find it in pdf format here.

They’ll send you back a voter kit which you can use to cast your vote right now.

But there’s no election yet, you may be thinking.

Doesn’t matter.

Under section 86(4) of the Elections Act, voters who meet those criteria above can ask for a special ballot no more than four weeks before an election or by-election is called. Well, you and the rest of the world don’t know when the thing will be called but we know when the earliest date is that it could be called.

That would be the day Paul Oram threw his teddy in the corner. Any of you who knew Paul was going could have already voted.

But since the rest of us found out later on, you should be able to get a ballot and vote right now.

There is no legal reason for the Chief Electoral Officer (former Tory party president Paul Reynolds) to refuse you the opportunity to vote under section 86(4).

And don’t worry if you don't like the party but not the candidate. [Updated to reflect that all candidates are now in place, barring any independents]

Under section 86.4, you can write in the name of the political party you want to vote for instead of the name of a particular person.

Voting is your right.

Now that’s pretty much the same thing said in a post about the Straits, but you know, it is not very often people get to protest a completely foolish electoral law twice in the space of a month or so. In the Straits, people were a bit fried so a protest vote was possible.

In Terra Nova, townies may not be able to judge which way the local wind is blowing.

This time everyone can take advantage of the oddest election rules in the civilised world. Only in Newfoundland and Labrador could you get to vote before an election has been called.

Vote early for the candidate of your choice.

But vote.