Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recall-O-Rama....Elections BC's Changing Goalposts Would Nullify 13 Year Old Recall Petition


Well, well, well....

It would appear that, caught with their website-index-pages-pants down, Craig James' Gang at Elections BC has now admitted that it changed the rules on word counts AFTER the petition to recall Oak Bay Gordon('s) Head MLA/Member of the Legislative Assembly Ida Chong was submitted to them last week.

Cindy Harnett had that story earlier today in the VSun. Here is her lede:

The word-count policy that resulted in the rejection of an application to recall Oak Bay MLA Ida Chong was created a day after the application was submitted, Elections BC has acknowledged.

"The policy on word counts was finalized and went up on our website Wednesday," Elections BC's executive program manager Tricia Poilievre said Friday.....

But here's the thing.

Is this after-the-fact change in the rules also really, really, really retroactive?

As in thirteen years retroactive?

Why do I ask?

Well, it turns out that the petition that led to the initiation of a recall campaign against Skeena NDP MLA Helmut Giesbrecht in 1997 was, by our count, 194 words long when you count 'MLA', which was used twice, as one word.

And if you stretch out that 'MLA' to Mr. James' newly minted 'Member of the Legislative Assembly'?

Well, then, again by our count, the total comes out to 202.

The wording of the Skeena petition itself comes from the pre-James' Gang Elections-BC Report on Recall that was issued in 1998 which can be found as a pdf here (hint: look for Section 5.1.2).

No word yet if Mr. James has hopped in the DeLorean so that he can go back in time and slap down both that Skeena petition and Marty McFly.


Now, seriously.....Why does this matter?

Well, because of something else that the James' Gang 'executive program manager', as quoted by the VSun's C. Harnett, had to say, which was the following:

..."The 200-word limit is in the legislation; it's always been there," (Elections BC program manager Tricia) Poilievre said. "The methodology used for word counts had never been an issue in the past because all previous recall applications had come in at well below 200 words.".....


Me thinks an obfuscating/appointed senior bureaucrat has some (real) explaining to do.

(for our actual analysis of the alternate, bizarro world, word count comparisons see the jpegs below)

Now, why the heckfire would I even bother to do this on a sleet-laden Sudbury-like Saturday Night in Lotusland?....Two reasons...First, a commenter calling himself 'nruff' mentioned that there might be such a discrepancy in a very insightful comment over at Mr. Tieleman's place on comment thread to this post.....Second, I am a science-geek in real life....Thus, I am regularly subjected to word counts for papers, grants and all manner of academic flotsam and jetsam....And never (ever) in the 25 years I have been in the business has anything I have ever submitted to anybody been flagged for the use of acronyms which, as you might imagine, are used extremely....uhhhh....'liberally' in the geek biz....OK?

1997 Skeena Petition using 'MLA' = 194 Words

1997 Skeena Petition using 'Member of the Legislative Assembly' = 202 Words


Grant G said...

The Three Stooges on the cutting ledge this last Friday...

They spun it around...According to Vaughn Palmer and Keith Balderdastardly...

"Craig James did the petitioner a favour, if he didn`t reject the petition, Ida Chong could have fought the results on a techincality"Snip

Well Mr. K......Let me see if I have this hypothetically right....

Craig James lets the petition proceed with the extra words, the canvassers gather up 60% of the voters....Ida Chomp Chong has now been recalled, But.....
Ida Chong pulls a rabbit out of her hat and says..."Gotcha, you can`t recall me because the petition was 6 words too long"

That is the headache, according to Vaughn Palmer that Craig James saved us from....HMMMM....

If...If that was the hypothetical case, Ida Chong would be committing double secret probation poltical suicide and be toasted from here to ...

Well, somewhere!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RossK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Would it be appropriate here to make a suggestion?

In light of the Acting Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia having apparently lost track of his responsibility of acting, yes acting, on behalf of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly, and the citizens of British Columbia, whereby his duty is to be impartial in all matters pertaining to politics..... here's a reminder!

"On September 18, 1998, the Chief Electoral Officer (“CEO”) of British
Columbia, Mr. Robert A. Patterson, retained Ronald H. Parks of
Lindquist Avey Macdonald Baskerville Company, Forensic and
Investigative Accountants, to undertake an investigation into recall
campaigns in the electoral districts of Prince George North, Skeena,
and Comox Valley. The text of the authorization letter, as amended on
October 8, 1998, is set out as follows:
October 8, 1998
To Whom It May Concern:
“In accordance with section 169 of the Recall and Initiative Act (the
I hereby authorize
Ronald H. Parks, CA, CFE,
and any member of the staff of Lindquist Avey Macdonald
Baskerville, to conduct an investigation, financial and otherwise, of any matter that might constitute a contravention of the Act in relation
to the Recall campaigns
in the electoral districts of Prince George
North, Skeena and Comox Valley.
This authority includes the right to interview any person, enter at any
reasonable time the premises where records relevant to the investigation are kept, and to inspect and make copies of records.
All records and all information required by the bearer of this letter
must be provided.
This authority must not be used to enter a dwelling house except
with the consent of the occupant or the authority of a warrant.
Please direct any questions to Elections BC at (250) 387-5305, or
toll-free at 1-800-661-8683.
Robert A. Patterson"

I believe that there should be an investigation, now, on the crime of failing to act, with an even hand, when it comes to counting words.

Dana said...

Good christ, another fucking Polievre!

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Just when you think things cannot get any worse, there is always a government somewhere waiting to prove governments can always and will always get more and more Kafkaesque.

RossK said...


Dave is not amused.


Anonymous said...

Campbell had to get rid of, Neufeld and Johnson, they were far too honest. There is no way, Campbell can't afford people with integrity, who, won't lie and cover up for he and Hansen. That's why Campbell hand picked Craig James, because of his weak character, and could rely on James, to do his dirty work. James was eager to carry out Campbell's dirty tactics, he is a real, Campbell butt kisser. However, James had better keep in mind, what Campbell did to Basi and Virk. Campbell called them criminals, for following his orders, and cut their throats. Campbell won't hesitate to cut James' throat, if James' gets into trouble, for tampering with, the BC Elections act, even if Campbell did order it.

Anonymous said...

Good grief people. Do you not realize, Craig James can only count to, two hundred. That's why he had to change the wording. He's one more addition, to Campbell's asylum. You would have to be a lunatic, to fit into, Campbell's realm of insanity, it's a requirement.

RossK said...


'Realm' of Insanity?

Are you sure you don't mean 'Cliffs'?

As in "Inconceivable!"


Anonymous said...

How many words in the petition to recall Reitsma? I think that may be over 200 words as well.

RossK said...

Good question Anon-Above--

I'll leave that to someone else to have a look at.


RossK said...

Hi Folks....I'm coming in after the fact to explain a couple of comments I deleted above....One from 'Anon' and one from myself....In those posts we speculated on who we thought a certain commenter might be based on their online handle...We did so because we were so impressed with their comment...However, it has been pointed out to me by a reader that we may have inadvertently been outing someone who themself wishes to remain anonymous...Thus, I removed the exchange....

I also very much apologize to the 2nd anon. commenter.