"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Speed read

A lot of people have learned, lo these past 48 hours, that under the Municipal Elections Act, a tied vote is settled by a random draw:

Tie vote
60. Where, upon the counting of the votes, 2 or more candidates have an equal number of votes and both or all of those candidates cannot be elected, the returning officer shall immediately
(a) write the names of those candidates on separate, identical blank sheets of paper;

(b) fold the sheets of paper in an identical manner so that the names are concealed;

(c) deposit them in a receptacle and withdraw the number of the sheets necessary to elect the candidates required to be elected; and

(d) declare the candidate whose name appears on the sheet withdrawn, to be elected.
Declaration of result
65. (1) Following a recount under section 62 or 64, the returning officer shall declare to be elected the candidate having the largest number of votes, together with, in the case where more than one candidate is entitled to be elected, the candidates up to the remaining number entitled to election standing next in order on the basis of number of votes received.

(2) In the event of a tie the election of a candidate shall be carried out by the returning officer in the same manner as provided in section 60.
For those of you who are already seething about this "joke" of a provision, this "antiquated" piece of legislation... a draw, for better or worse, is used to settle a tied municipal election in every province except oddballs Manitoba and B.C., where a re-vote takes place.

(Incidentally, a draw is also used to settle tied legislative elections in Nova Scotia and Yukon, while PEI has adopted the coin-toss. In New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta, the returning officer, who normally doesn't vote, casts the deciding vote. In the other provinces and territories, and at the federal level, there is a re-vote.)

As to the charge of antiquity... the Act was shepherded through the Bow-Wow Parliament as Bill 7 in 2001. It received First, Second, and Third Reading, Committee Stage, and Royal Assent, in the present, 21st, century.

So, what did the Members have to say about the tie provisions when it came before them for their measured and serious examination?

Hansard records the eloquent and passionate debate for posterity; reproduced here in its entirety:
On motion, clauses 55 through 96 carried.



At 6:19 PM, October 02, 2009 , Blogger Blech said...

But there is no connection between the by-election call on the Great Northern Peninsula and the sudden reversal of the reduction of clinic hours in Flowers' Cove.


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