Posts Tagged ‘Elections Ontario’

Nose Holding Not Election Solution

 I take strong exception to the premise of an article by Ryan McGreal in Raise the Hammer, especially the statement: ‘Whether you do this by spoiling your ballot or by FORMALLY DECLINING TO VOTE, the end result is the same.’ [Emphasis added].

While spoiled or blank ballots cannot be attributed to clear motive or sentiment, Election Ontario has confirmed that a declined ballot means essentially ‘none-of-the-above’.  Please visit http://curmudgeonreport.com/2014/05/24/o… and scroll to comments for their wording.

None-of-the-above means either one (passively) doesn’t like any candidate, or more actively, one detests all candidates. It might also mean that even if one likes a fringe party candidate, one feels it would be a wasted vote, since no such candidate ever really stands a chance to be elected, let alone be a part of government.

None-of-the-above is also starting (I hope) to be attached to the message that what is really needed is MMP or some form of proportional representation.  A new party capitalizing on the phrase, advocates for direct democracy, whatever that is.

As for the notion of holding one’s nose, what Ryan advocates is strategic voting. The problem is that if one doesn’t vote for what one actually believes in, but pretends to be a supporter of another party, one is actually being dishonest. If voters are dishonest, why should politicians be honest? The classic notion of public virtue seems to be dead these days, for it applies to all, not just politicians.

The other reason to not hold one’s nose is that Ryan advocates voting for ‘the system’.  If you are a winner, carry on, vote for the team that caters to your group. But the people being squeezed by the system should not be fooled into voting against their own interest, even if nobody actually represents their interest. Whether they get squeezed by higher taxes, lower employment, lower wages, higher prices, inflation, instability or a dozen other ills, hardly matters. Lives will get worse if the system, encouraged by all those foolish votes, continues to squeeze.

The SYSTEM comprises big government, big business and big unions, with a party assigned to each. Those outside this system (mom&pop shops, homeless, students, non-unionized workers, independents, farmers, etc.) should beware false promises being made trying to suck us in.  Folks on Welfare  are particularly vulnerable since many think the NDP represents their interest, as opposed to actually being agents who prefer to keep them where they can be served by a union worker (ie, not solving the underlying problem, or at best advocating outright socialism). Each big party will always reward its constituency at the expense of the rest of us. So unless you’re winning, decline your ballot.

As for those who stay home, I’ve become more tolerant to the point of  even encouraging this strategy. One can see the hand wringing going on over low turnout. Sooner or later this will translate to political action before the pretense of legitimacy is completely lost.

Nose holding is not an honourable solution. Don’t do it.

Voters, Decline Your Ballot

Well, the previous post was a bust, no?  Hoping to instigate a party for the downtrodden and … nada.  Not so much as a comment. Well, maybe it was a silly idea, given the short election cycle and the fact that my attempt to advertise in the Globe and Mail was dumb  since Globe readers are the most winningest in the system.

So if the rest of us ain’t a winner, I guess we’re the losers!? Party of Losers? Why not? The System here has three parties, let me reiterate: Party/Big Gov’t, Party/Big Biz, Party/Big Unions.  Each pretends to work for everybody, Joe the Plumber, the family, etc. As long as losers keep swallowing this lie, the status quo continues. As the pension & debt issues (unfunded liabilities) go unresolved, the music is building to a mighty crash. Wagner! Until the losers get their own party, there is no use for non-voters to vote.

As I said in previous blogs on this subject, ppl who don’t vote say: ‘ They’re all the same, they all lie, they do what they want anyway.’ If you want to see this spelled out, watch, if you can stomach it, TVO’s The Agenda. Their May 21 episode featured a number of such non-voters and a couple of  cynical System wonks who explained matter-of-factly why it is necessary for politicians to lie, etc. They give no solutions other than avoiding the Greens and being a smart enough lie detector, one who can guess the reality behind the lie and what will really ‘go down’. Natch, he didn’t really want you to wake up – and start a new party to properly represent the losers.

If you’re in the bottom third or the middle third, if you feel like you’ve been losing, what to do?  Well, you could pick a fringe or independent candidate that you do like.  However the way they/we’ve been dismissed by the media makes it so unlikely for any such candidate to ever be elected, that your vote, while at least honest, would be wasted. If you try to vote strategically, then you’re being dishonest and if you’re dishonest, it’s illogical and kinda dumb to expect the politician you vote for to be honest.  As they explained.

The only thing left to do,  is to make your unhappiness known to the System. Fortunately this can be done, more or less, by going to the polling station and asking to DECLINE your ballot. As Elections Ontario suggests below, declined votes are counted as people indicating  NOTA – none of the above. They also count  SPOILed  and BLANK ballots. Ballots are spoiled by goofs, scribbling, sloppy marks outside the allotted spaces or multiple marks. It is more difficult to ascribe an intent to a blank or spoiled ballot, since there could be ignorance, language difficulties, confusion etc .  and there is no way to decide for each case.  DECLINE your ballot instead.  Imperfect but better than nothing.

If you’d like to help spread this message, I think we should post yellow stickies with the words ‘DECLINE YOUR BALLOT JUNE 12’ printed in bold.  Stick them everywhere, including on election signs. The better they stick, the more they say, the more ppl will be educated about their real options.

Results for my riding in previous election

  • “Rejected as to marking” 153
  • “Unmarked” 49
  • “Declined by Voter” 14
  • Total Voter Turnout 39,743
  • Names on list 89,908

So let’s say 100 to 150 people wished to express NOTA, but only 14 did so semi-explicitly.  I asked Elections Ontario to give us an explicit option on the ballot and am still waiting for a response.  Perhaps you’d like to send them an email too.  If we got together, maybe we could ask for an injunction to force the issue?

 

Response from Elections Ontario to my request for info. 

Thank you for contacting Elections Ontario.   Electors do indeed have the option of submitting a vote of non-confidence. According to the Ontario Election Act, an elector may return a ballot to the Returning Officer to decline to vote:

“Declined ballot 53. An elector who has received a ballot and returns it to the deputy returning officer declining to vote, forfeits the right to vote and the deputy returning officer shall immediately write the word “declined” upon the back of the ballot and preserve it to be returned to the returning officer and shall cause an entry to be made in the poll record that the elector declined to vote. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.6, s. 53. Under the act, the declined ballot is recorded and thus the does satisfy the option you suggest of a ‘none of the above [candidate]’ ballot casting. The declined ballots are recorded and would serve that purpose. This information is recorded under the Ballot Statement of the Poll.”

For more information on the voting process, please consult our online guide here – which includes mentions of declining a ballot:

http://www.elections.on.ca/NR/rdonlyres/E61AA9C4-CA1B-4F0B-AAB4-85EB9884950B/0/VotingInOntProvincialElections.pdf

Declined ballots are counted and documented along with the rest of the poll results. For example, the link below directs you to the 2011 General Elections Results, and as you will note, there is a section for “BALLOTS DECLINED BY VOTERS”

http://www.elections.on.ca/en-CA/Tools/2011GEPollByPoll.htm

We hope this helps.

Sincerely, Elections Ontario

51 Rolark Drive Toronto, Ontario M1R 3B1

E-mail: info@elections.on.ca

Elections Ontario http://www.elections.on.ca 1.888.668.8683 Fax: 416.326.6210