Monday, November 09, 2009

Elections Canada throws cold water on by-election fever - no results nation-wide before BC voting is over!

Anyone hoping to find out what happened in the three eastern Canadian by-elections anytime soon can forget it, thanks to Elections Canada's antiquated rules.

Instead the country will have to wait till the polls close in the fourth by-election in BC's New Westminster-Coquitlam riding before learning what the results are in the three ridings where the votes will have been counted hours before.

As CBC's
Kady O'Malley reports, the boffins at Elections Canada are banning reporting of the results in Nova Scotia's Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley riding and in Quebec's Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska - where the Bloc Quebecois are accusing the Conservatives of dirty tricks - and in Montreal's Hochelaga until 7 p.m. BC time, when the New Westminster-Coquitlam polls close.

The idea is that voters who still have not cast their ballots might be influenced by the results in the eastern ridings - a fairly dubious proposition at the best of times and definitely ridiculous in the case of four by-elections.

"Look Martha, the Bloc won both Quebec seats - now I know that I have to vote Liberal in New Westminister-Coquitlam!" Yeah, that happens a lot.

It's time for Elections Canada to revisit how reporting of results takes place.

And as a Western Canadian, I appreciate the staggered voting hours in a general election so that we don't turn on the TV in BC to find out our results are meaningless because Eastern Canadian votes - yes, that includes Alberta to me - have determined the make up of the government.



Ron said...

I wonder if the Tory announcement last Friday in the Riviere du Loup riding of a $240 million road project will have any effect on today's by-election there?

Ron said...

Two winners in today's by-elections me'thinks.

First the Tories: holding in Nova Scotia and picking up Riviere du Loup - site of their massive road building project. How much blacktop can you lay for $240 million? A Phil Gagliardi wet dream.

Second, the New Democrats: winning very handily in New Westminster and coming second - in front of the Liberals in two other ridings.It appears that the anti-HST theme has somne real resonance in BC.

The two losers were; the Bloc - losing in a close battle with the Tories in Riviere du Loup, and the Liberals who came THIRD in every riding. Not a resounding endorsement of Iffy's leadership, especially when it appears that anti-Tory voters are turning to the New Democrats rather than the Fiberals.

The Fiberals are the Official Opposition but the New Democrats are the effective opposition - and more Canadians realize it.