Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Conservatives want student votes nullified

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Conservatives want student votes nullified

    Conservatives want to dump Guelph U student votes

    On campus vote has not been challenged in past

    GUELPH No votes cast Wednesday in a special ballot at the University of Guelph should stand, according to the Conservative Party of Canada.

    The party wrote Elections Canada on Thursday to request that none of the votes collected during the U of G session be included in the final tally of votes in the Guelph riding. The letter was sent by lawyer Arthur Hamilton, of Toronto-based law firm, Cassels Brock.

    The move has generated considerable controversy at the university, home of the first youth "vote mob" encouraging students to vote.

    In his letter, Hamilton alleges the polling station was illegal and also that partisan election material was present at it, which is a violation of the Canada Elections Act.

    The polling station in question was located on the main floor of University Centre, where approximately 700 students cast sealed ballots.

    Elections Canada media advisor James Hale said this was the third election during which the University of Guelph held a special ballot on campus. And this is the first time it’s ever been challenged, Hale said.

    “Part of our mandate is making the vote as accessible as possible. So, we look at outreach programs,” Hale said.

    Hale said special ballot polling stations are often held for groups of people who consistently display less-than-average voter turnouts, such as students, First Nations, seniors and the disabled.

    “It’s never been challenged, not to my knowledge,” Hale said.

    However, it was Wednesday and then again Thursday by the Conservatives.

    Several University of Guelph students claim Michael Sona, the communications director for Guelph Conservative candidate Marty Burke, attempted to put a stop to voting at the special ballot held Wednesday.

    The students say Sona approached the Elections Canada balloting site claiming that the process unfolding at the location was illegal and at one point reached for but never took possession of a container with ballots.

    “He tried to grab for the ballot box. I’m not sure he got his hand on the box, but he definitely grabbed for it,” said Brenna Anstett, a student, who at the time of the reported incident was sealing her second of two envelopes containing her vote.

    Student Claire Whalen was just about to receive her ballot just before 5 p.m. when the episode unfolded.

    “That’s when a guy came up and said it was an illegal polling station and that he was confiscating the ballots. And then he tried to take (the ballot box),” Whalen said.

    Whalen also identified the man as Sona.

    The Guelph Mercury has not been able to verify that it was Sona and has not confirmed the identity of the individual that made the approach witnessed by the students.

    Sona, who recently was a University of Guelph student, did not respond to phone calls or emails placed to him Thursday by the newspaper. He was in a meeting Thursday when a reporter stopped by Burke’s campaign office for comment on this story. Burke campaign officials confirmed Sona was aware of the requests for comment. The nature of the story was also described to the Burke campaign in connection with requests to interview Sona.

    Burke has not yet made a public comment in connection with the special ballot issues. Requests to interview him in connection with this story did not yield an interview.

    Anstett said she filed a complaint with Elections Canada on Thursday morning about the brief disruption the incident caused.

    Hale said Anstett’s submission will be reviewed but no formal complaint was made on the matter.

    Before the late afternoon incident, the special balloting event was heralded as a success Wednesday by various U of G officials.

    Hundreds of students queued to mark ballots at the session. Student interest in the voting was so significant U of G president Alastair Summerlee honoured a pledge to have his face painted blue at the venue if the event garnered enough student participation.

    “We were all very happy there was going to be a poll on campus” student voter Yvonne Su said. “I’m not aware of the legalities of it, but I would think Elections Canada would know what they’re doing.”

    Some students waited up to two hours to vote. Some studied for final exams while they waited.

    Su, an organizer of the Vote Mob action in the city on April 4, said if the ballots are rejected “there will be a lot of really upset students.”
    This story is exceedingly precious for a few reasons. To start with, the lawyer involved happens to be this guy, who is a super star all by himself. How much of a superstar?

    CBC News has learned that the "serious allegations" Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to last year in connection with former Conservative MP Helena Guergis included unsubstantiated claims of fraud, extortion and involvement with prostitutes.

    But a letter written by a Harper aide and obtained by CBC News states that the Prime Minister's Office learned the allegations had been made by a Toronto private investigator. The letter also reveals the allegations were not based on any hard evidence.
    Regressive.

    Secondly, Elections Canada has said All information at our disposal indicates that the votes were cast in a manner that respects the Canada Elections Act and are valid.. No basis to stand on. Things were done in an unorthodox manner, but not an illegal one. There is no reasonable basis to remove the votes, as said by the country's election authority.

    Lastly, let us compare a couple of quotes from the conservative party wooo

    ...in accordance with the authority provided to you by the CEO, we require immediate confirmation from the CEO and the Returning Officer from the electoral district of Guelph that this ballot box and all of its contents will remain sealed and that none of the ballots contained therein will under any circumstances be combined with, added to or otherwise dealt with when the final tabulation of votes cast for the various candidates in the electoral district of Guelph takes place.
    Don't count the votes.

    While the Elections Canada statement confirms that what happened in Guelph lacked proper authorization, we applaud the decision not to disenfranchise University of Guelph students because of errors by the local Returning Officer.
    Yay you counted the votes!

    They should be scared of students voting, but this reaction and trying to confiscate the ballot box and raising a stink right there? Seriously? Interference and theatrics have no place in our political system, and if individuals had issue with this they could have NOT made a huge show of it right there and instead handled it maturely with the election offices. They chose to act like children.

  • #2
    Why do students, typically the children of wealthy middle class parents, need special polling stations? Just because they are too lazy / don't care enough to get off their bums and walk to a polling station like most of us do?

    Wouldn't this effort be better spent providing more options for people who really need the help, like disabled, etc.?

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh moa, is there an act of Con malfeasance you can't overlook?
      I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by moahunter View Post
        Wouldn't this effort be better spent providing more options for people who really need the help, like disabled, etc.?
        Elections Canada media adviser James Hale said this was the third election during which the University of Guelph held a special ballot on campus. And this is the first time it’s ever been challenged, Hale said. “Part of our mandate is making the vote as accessible as possible. So, we look at outreach programs,” Hale said.
        Hale said special ballot polling stations are often held for groups of people who consistently display less-than-average voter turnouts, such as students, First Nations, seniors and the disabled. “It’s never been challenged, not to my knowledge,” Hale said.
        Ken Frey, field liaison officer for Elections Canada in the area that includes the ridings in Waterloo Region and Wellington County, said Thursday that special ballots are typically held at a returning office, and special ballots held at other locations are “infrequent.” However, they do occur. “Elections Canada may decide to offer these opportunities on a special needs basis,” Frey said.
        Special ballots were held at the University of Guelph for each of the past two federal elections to improve accessibility, Frey said.
        Yeah, making it easy for students to vote during exams does not equal that we're catering to laziness. Deal with it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Because classes will be over before election day and the students are registered at their school address rather than their home address.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DiscoBandit View Post
            Yeah, making it easy for students to vote during exams does not equal that we're catering to laziness. Deal with it.
            And people who are working don't find it hard to vote? Should we put polls in workplaces then? Which ones, blue collar, or white collar? The choice I am sure will influence the outcome of the vote.

            IMO it is highly distoritionary to try to push some segments of the population who normally don't care enough to vote, into voting. It weakens the value of the votes of those who do care enough about their country to make the effort.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by moahunter View Post
              Why do students, typically the children of wealthy middle class parents, need special polling stations? Just because they are too lazy / don't care enough to get off their bums and walk to a polling station like most of us do?

              Wouldn't this effort be better spent providing more options for people who really need the help, like disabled, etc.?
              and even FURTHER to that... Most of us DON'T get up off our a$$es and vote, look at the voter turn outs!

              I think finding ways to engage ALL voting demographics is important. The cons are just crying and whining because students don't tend to vote conservative.
              Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 15-04-2011, 04:01 PM.
              "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
                I don't think you recognize how hard and how much stress students are under.
                .
                I've been through that, all the way to post graduate where yes, there was a lot of pressure (I remember 70 hour weeks at times). Same with work though, if anything, I find work more intense. I remember reading once that the most stressed workers, interestingly enough, are actually those on production lines and similar. I'm sure that's more stress than university, should we put polling booths in factories?

                I'm a bit tired of the "we need to be spoon fed or we won't do anything" whining you hear so much of today. I don't think we should be wasting money catering to such. Sure, for a senior citizen who really does need to be spoon fed, but not a young student. Don't care enough to want to make the effort to vote? IMO we are better off without that vote then.
                Last edited by moahunter; 15-04-2011, 03:57 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by moahunter View Post
                  Originally posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
                  I don't think you recognize how hard and how much stress students are under.
                  .
                  I've been through that, all the way to post graduate where yes, there was a lot of pressure (I remember 70 hour weeks at times). Same with work though, if anything, I find work more intense. I remember reading once that the most stressed workers, interestingly enough, are actually those on production lines and similar. I'm sure that's more stress than university, should we put polling booths in factories?

                  I'm a bit tired of the "we need to be spoon fed or we won't do anything" whining you hear so much of today. I don't think we should be wasting money catering to such. Sure, for a senior citizen who really does need to be spoon fed, but not a young healthy student.
                  You are the one creating that sentiment... the reality is that poling stations are routinely set up in schools and community centers. My polling station is in a school for the love of pete. Further to that a poling areas take into account population.. Areas around universities are densely populated...

                  No one is spoon feeding or pampering or babying... they are providing the service that the area and the voters are entitled to according to our system..

                  You are spin doctoring.

                  When did you get so old and grumpy... better check and see if some whipper snapper is on your front lawn. don't forget your cane so you have something to shake at them.
                  Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 15-04-2011, 04:01 PM.
                  "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
                    You are the one creating that sentiment... the reality is that poling stations are routinely set up in schools and community centers. My polling station is in a school for the love of pete.
                    And it can be at a university to, whereever is convinent to the population in general. But not, weeks in advance, at a special party, before the election campaign has even finished / issues have all come out, just because this group has low turn out / doesn't care enough on polling day.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by moahunter View Post
                      Originally posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
                      You are the one creating that sentiment... the reality is that poling stations are routinely set up in schools and community centers. My polling station is in a school for the love of pete.
                      And it can be at a university to, whereever is convinent to the population in general. But not, weeks in advance, at a special party, before the election campaign has even finished / issues have all come out, just because this group has low turn out / doesn't care enough on polling day.
                      Advance polls happen ALL over the place...

                      You can go to an advanced too. You are spin doctoring... You are grasping at way to keep your argument valid..

                      we all have a low turnout and yes how silly how silly of us to try and address low voter turn out. Again we should just shake a cane at everyone and chastize.
                      Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 15-04-2011, 04:05 PM.
                      "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
                        and even FURTHER to that... Most of us DON'T get up off our a$$es and vote, look at the voter turn outs!
                        I'll just repost this.

                        Try getting mad at your peers FIRST before blaming and chastising the efforts to engage other Demographics. I mean us in our more "mature" outlook in life should all be doing our civic duty... but we aren't. The way to effect change is to target the under 30 crowd because that is when we solidify the habits that will cary us through the rest of our life.
                        Last edited by edmonton daily photo; 15-04-2011, 04:09 PM.
                        "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This isn't about whether or not students should get advanced balloting options, but good try at deflecting from the heart of the matter.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't like how the conservatives are approaching this like Elections Canada has some sort of anti conservative agenda....

                            Elections Canada has a mandate to get people to vote!
                            "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
                              i don't like how the conservatives are approaching this like elections canada has some sort of anti conservative agenda....
                              Well...

                              elections canada has a mandate to get people to vote!
                              ...elections canada has some sort of anti conservative agenda....

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X