Yesterday, Ontario Superior Court judge Thomas Lederer overturned the election results in Etobicoke Centre because the number of votes he set aside exceeded the margin of victory for the Conservative candidate, Ted Opitz. Lederer wrote that what makes an election victory legitimate is certainty:
“We need to be assured that those who vote are qualified to do so. We need to be confident that those who receive a ballot have been identified as persons who are on the official list of electors or who have registered,” Judge Lederer wrote:
“If we give up these foundations of our electoral system, we are risking a loss of confidence in our elections and in our government.”
It's interesting that, in this case, both Elections Canada and the Conservative Party were on the same side. They argued that "clerical errors" was not a legitimate reason for overturning an election. But, if unintentional errors are enough to nullify an election, what about a centrally planned and executed campaign to suppress opposition votes?
Several commentators have noted that the Harper majority rests on a little more than 6,000 votes. Those votes made the government's Budget Implementation Bill possible. Now is the time to challenge all the other Conservative victories across the country which were won by painfully slim margins.
It's clear that Stephen Harper has no regard for parliamentary precedent. All that matters is the number of seats he won. When he is forced to re-run several elections, the results will be different -- and his government will be exposed for the fraud it is.