March 06, 2018

Doug Ford's request to extend the leadership election is disingenuous

Eitan GilboordGuest Post

Doug Ford has called on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party to extend voting in its leadership election for an additional week.

But Ford doesn’t just want to extend voting:

He has called for the implementation of a physical voting location in each Ontario riding.

This is not only unrealistic, but would be impossible to implement. The leadership election organizing committee (LEOC) should not waste a moment entertaining Ford's request. 

Full disclosure: I helped coordinate the last Ontario PC leadership election, and I remember all too well the months of preparation it took.

In order to have ballot boxes in each riding, the first step would be to find a local person in the riding to facilitate the vote. That means having one neutral “returning officer” (or "RO") who is agreed upon by each of the leadership campaigns and LEOC.

At this point in the leadership race, most capable party activists have aligned themselves with a campaign, and considering the many allegations of “rot” in the PC party over candidate nominations, trusting a non-neutral RO to facilitate a leadership election could be problematic.

But for a moment, let’s pretend that LEOC could find and coordinate having a neutral and competent RO in each riding.

Then that RO would have to book a voting location. The voting location would need to be accessible to all members, and in large rural ridings, often you would need more than one voting location.

Each of these voting locations would need to be open on at least two different days, allowing people an option of when to go and vote in person.

Once the location is confirmed, the party would have to ship out a secure voting box to the RO as part of a complete election kit. You can’t use any old box; it has to be a secure box that can’t be tampered with. Elections Canada sells these boxes, but they can take weeks to deliver.

But let's assume that the party has leftover boxes from the last leadership election, or maybe Staples has a product that will suffice.

The next step would require that at the end of each voting day, the RO will have to seal the voting box with special tape, then put the box in a transparent garbage bag and seal that with a certified Ontario PC tape. Sealing is required to eliminate any potential for ballot box stuffing. This ballot box sealing process would have to be watched by campaign scrutineers.

Then LEOC would have to work with the party and a security team to pick up all of the boxes from a secure location and transport them to Toronto to have the ballots counted. In order for this to be completed in a timely manner, the party would have to charter a plane to pick up the boxes in northern Ontario.

Once all of the boxes made it to Toronto, the party would need a team of about 15-30 neutral people to stay up all night and count ballots. These people would be required to give up any communication devices so the results would not be leaked.

The party would have to get food and accommodations for the ballot counting volunteers and hire an independent auditor to monitor the counting.

So, I suppose that if all of that could be accomplished in a week, then sure Doug, let’s do it! But that process can not be completed in a week, and I suspect that the Ford campaign knows this. It could be that Ford’s announcement was more about setting himself up for a loss to Christine Elliot, rather than actually making sure everyone can vote.

Considering the resources required, it was obvious that in such a short period of time, the only plausible way to conduct a “one-member one-vote” leadership election would be online.

If I were advising LEOC, I would have suggested looking into adding in-person voting in four or five locations: Toronto, Ottawa, London, Sudbury, and Thunder Bay.

But even that could be problematic.

I suspect the Doug Ford campaign knows how unrealistic this is, but if it’s true that Ontario PC Party members have yet to receive a ballot, then yes, something needs to be done.

Comments
You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2018-03-06 21:07:16 -0500
I don’t have a scanner or even a printer. The ink dries up because I hardly ever used it. I know it is shocking to people like Andrew and Jimmy Bob, but not everyone in the country even has a smart phone. Many elderly and poor don’t. I know all migrants seem to have them, but not all Canadians do.
commented 2018-03-06 20:47:13 -0500
Bunch of idiots. Clearly not ready to govern.

“ron joseph commented 2018-03-06 20:40:42 -0500
If I need special equipment on my computer to vote in a Leadership Race”

A scanner isn’t particularly “special”, and worst case scenario, take a picture of it with your phone. A whole lot of “scanning” is done that way now.
commented 2018-03-06 20:43:37 -0500
What I am fearful of exactly? I want Wynne gone. I think Doug is worried he is going to lose and is making this last ditch effort, when none of the other candidates are complaining. Why isn’t Tanya, Elliott and Mulroney asking for the same extension?
commented 2018-03-06 20:41:19 -0500
Reb Alprone, so it makes no difference to you who wins the leadership or is there someone in particular you prefer? As it stands, with no extension, who do you think will win?
Do you think its fair to refuse to facilitate people right to vote as citizens and party members?

You said if it goes on as scheduled ‘some may not be happy’. I expect you are right about that. Probably quite a few and they should be.
commented 2018-03-06 20:40:42 -0500
If I need special equipment on my computer to vote in a Leadership Race, I’m not going to a Library, and wait around asking for help. I would save my vote for the election and it would not go to the Party that tried to put me through these hoops in order to do a simple thing like voting.
What about the lady down the street with no legs; does she have to somehow get downtown and go ask the librarian’s for help?
commented 2018-03-06 20:40:13 -0500
Eitan is confirming that it’s unrealistic to do something NOW, but that yes something needs to be done in the future. You can’t say something is unrealistic and impossible to implement, but let’s do it anyway.
commented 2018-03-06 20:31:25 -0500
I’d like too add on Liza’s comment..“the system is either very inefficient or corrupt. Which is it.”

trudeau and his crew of liberalist is either very inefficient or corrupt..Which is it? Either way…they all have to be held accountable.Follow the paper trail…they might have missed a few deletions…
commented 2018-03-06 20:28:12 -0500
Its never too late Jimmy Bob, if there is the will to make it happen. I wouldn’t accept the results if this isn’t dealt with.
You sound fearful Jimmy Bob.

G. Asswad, what do you like best about Wynne?
commented 2018-03-06 20:21:09 -0500
You seem to ignore what Eitan wrote in his final sentence," I suspect the Doug Ford campaign knows how unrealistic this is, but if it’s true that Ontario PC Party members have yet to receive a ballot, then yes, something needs to be done."
commented 2018-03-06 20:14:23 -0500
Good news is Wynne will win and keep Ontario moving forward dragging Canada along.
commented 2018-03-06 20:12:52 -0500
It was a screwy set up and nothing but confusion.
In my riding, there were 4 volunteers in a rented hotel room for the first step of registration. Had there not been that set up, I wouldn’t have been able to vote or register or whatever because I don’t have the technology required to download, etc., plus, with the flu I barely got out to the hotel.
I asked why we simply weren’t voting at that hotel room, like we did in the last election? I wasted days following up with emails etc..

Waste of time, most will have missed the opportunity and I am totally suspect that Patrick Brown is behind Christine Elliott in this. It is too obvious and too many amateurish mistakes. It’s all over her face I’m afraid.

Let’s see.
commented 2018-03-06 20:12:52 -0500
It was a screwy set up and nothing but confusion.
In my riding, there were 4 volunteers in a rented hotel room for the first step of registration. Had there not been that set up, I wouldn’t have been able to vote or register or whatever because I don’t have the technology required to download, etc., plus, with the flu I barely got out to the hotel.
I asked why we simply weren’t voting at that hotel room, like we did in the last election? I wasted days following up with emails etc..

Waste of time, most will have missed the opportunity and I am totally suspect that Patrick Brown is behind Christine Elliott in this. It is too obvious and too many amateurish mistakes. It’s all over her face I’m afraid.

Let’s see.
commented 2018-03-06 20:02:56 -0500
It’s too late to fix whatever needs fixing when it comes to THIS election. Eitan who coordinated the last PC is telling you that reality and you somehow think that they just can’t snap their fingers and fix what plagues most elections. It’s not possible – so the vote will proceed as planned.
commented 2018-03-06 19:52:39 -0500
I didn’t miss any point. Stop making excuses.
commented 2018-03-06 19:48:01 -0500
I’m with Liza’s comment on this. The Federal Election results in Northern Ontario was all Conservative blue..All people who are eligible to vote ..HAVE!! to have the means to get their voice to be HEARD!!!!

Do it the right way….let all voices be HEARD!! Enough with this Conservative CENSORSHIP!! The tide is turning around the Western World..It’s Canada’s turn to start right NOW!!

LIZA ROSIE commented 2018-03-06 16:25:26 -0500
If people aren’t receiving their voter cards, the system is either very inefficient or corrupt. Which is it. There can be no legitimate result if the people are being kept from their legal right to vote whether through incompetence or nefarious intent.
What good is an election if it does not reflect the what the people want. People are getting sick of any hint of rigged elections. 100,000 conservative members haven’t even received pin numbers?
Only aprox 50,000 registered? Something stinks here.
Call the whole thing off until it can be done properly. I am 100 % behind postponing everything until a fair vote can be had by all. Who cares what it takes, fix it.
commented 2018-03-06 19:40:44 -0500
So, the point of this article is what…..Doug Ford is bad? stupid? dishonest?

I think we already knew the ON establishment does not want Doug Ford leading the PC party. We didn’t need the bloviating on election procedures.
commented 2018-03-06 19:07:58 -0500
To be fair, I think Doug does a legitimate concern about the online voting. I think this thing is going to be very close and the rural vote is going to be more important to Ford than Elliott. Once you get into the hinterland, internet coverage is spotty at best and I tend to believe the older folks, who may be more inclined to vote for Doug, will be more challenged by the online voting setup. That being said I think either Doug or Christine can beat Wynne and either will be an improvement. I suspect, however, that Christine will be mostly more of the same old same old.
commented 2018-03-06 18:52:54 -0500
Let the vote proceed as planned. Not everyone will be pleased but the most important vote will be to choose the next Ontario Government. The Conservative Party will be served well by whoever is the chosen leader. It is the party in power that counts.
commented 2018-03-06 18:09:22 -0500
Jimmy Bob, some people who are eligible and have a right to vote, have not received either their pin number or voting card, an estimated conservative 100,000 of them. That has to be addressed regardless. If there isn’t an extension the whole thing will forevermore be considered a rigged election. I don’t think people are going to put up with that. I know I sure wouldn’t.
commented 2018-03-06 18:05:43 -0500
Well then, you completely missed the point and decided to chastise me….idiot!

Your comprehension is very poor.
commented 2018-03-06 17:58:44 -0500
I read the whole article. Marilyn Nelson posting below (and probably shares your views) thinks Eitan is a traitor for writing the article and I actually defended him.
commented 2018-03-06 17:43:01 -0500
Bob/Vinny
You didn’t bother to read Eitan’s article in it’s entirety and posted based on reading very little of it.

I think you should zip it for a while.
commented 2018-03-06 17:33:43 -0500
I am not for Ford, because he is a fucking moron. The only person who said they would not make any changes to the sex ed program is Mulroney, so you are wrong if one has an issue there. Can you please tell me why you ignore the many times I have proven to you that most parents actually support the sex-ed curriculum. Do you only accept things that you already agree with. Why do you think Tanya is in last place, when that is her main issue? It’s the last thing on the list of priorities for Ontarians.
commented 2018-03-06 17:24:03 -0500
Studies show that Canadians are online and use computers and cell phones more than any other country in the world, so the question needs to be asked – who the hell doesn’t have some electronic device that allows you get online for voting purposes in 2018. It has to be an insignificant demographic if Canada rules computer and internet usage.
commented 2018-03-06 17:22:57 -0500
B0b rock… You’re for anybody as long as it’s not Ford… you have said this in the past and you could care less who wrote the review as long.. You want someone that wouldn’t change the status quo especially in the sex education curriculum for grade 3 children that you love to support and The parents absolutely hate !!!
commented 2018-03-06 17:06:25 -0500
Liza, I completely agree, it does need to stop!
commented 2018-03-06 17:06:05 -0500
That’s fine, but it’s not going to happen with this election.
commented 2018-03-06 16:42:28 -0500
…and it has to stop. People won’t put up with it anymore.
commented 2018-03-06 16:35:16 -0500
There is no time for that if they want to beat Wynne. Every election that happens in America or Canada has people who weren’t able to vote. It’s the unfortunate reality of elections.
commented 2018-03-06 16:25:26 -0500
If people aren’t receiving their voter cards, the system is either very inefficient or corrupt. Which is it. There can be no legitimate result if the people are being kept from their legal right to vote whether through incompetence or nefarious intent.
What good is an election if it does not reflect the what the people want. People are getting sick of any hint of rigged elections. 100,000 conservative members haven’t even received pin numbers?
Only aprox 50,000 registered? Something stinks here.
Call the whole thing off until it can be done properly. I am 100 % behind postponing everything until a fair vote can be had by all. Who cares what it takes, fix it.