Friday, May 13, 2011

Does Elections-BC Want To Turn Reasonable People Into Crazed Conspiracy Theorists?



There has been all sorts of chatter on the Lotuslandian interwebz about things like...

- Extra ballot boxes that suddenly appeared out of nowhere...
- Advance polls that may not have been counted already....
- Absentee ballots that don't have a note from their mother....
- A thousand ghost votes that may or may not exist and/or be named Casper...

All of which would be nothing more than grist for the mill if everything was running smoothly over there at good old Elections-British Columbia.


I got to wondering how the votes went down in last week's Point Grey by-election when it became clear that Christy Clark and David Eby were running neck-and-neck and cheek-by-jowl from start to (almost) finish when the big surge for Ms. Clark came in. This is clearly evident from the whiteboard image above which was snapped by the VSun's Andrea Woo direct from Camp Eby (note the absolute tie after 128 ballot boxes at 5421 votes and then note the next line).

My best guess at the time was that the big surge on the bottom line of the board came from extremely heavy ProPol-assisted advance votes and/or a couple of choice geographic polls from the poshest portions of Creme-Ville.


As I mentioned earlier today, it was most interesting to learn from A. Tsakumis the next day that it appears that at least one small pocket of creamiest Creme-Ville west of Blanca (ie. the pointiest part of Point Grey) actually went to Eby.

Given that, I decided to go looking for the poll-by-poll splits over at Elections-British Columbia myself.

But, unfortunately they were not there.

So, I instead went over to Chad Skelton's VSun Blog because he has demonstrated in the past that he is the best local proMedia number-cruncher going.


It turns out that Mr. Skelton has been frustrated by E-BC also:

B.C. Premier Christy Clark's surprisingly narrow victory over NDP candidate David Eby in the Vancouver-Point Grey byelection has many wondering how a race many thought would be a cakewalk turned into a squeaker.

With that in mind, we were interested in taking a look at the poll-by-poll results from last night's race to see whether any parts of the riding switched from Liberal to NDP since the 2009 general election.

So I called up Jan Pierce, the Elections BC returning officer for the byelection, and asked her for a copy.

She said they had the poll-by-poll results in hand but would have to check with Elections BC head office to see if she could release them. A few minutes later she called back with her answer: No she couldn't give them to me.....

And here's the real kicker....E-BC is now saying that the splits won't be available until September:

....According to Elections BC policy, she (returning officer Jan Pierce) said, poll-by-poll results are only available once the official results are published by Elections BC.

And when would that be, I asked? Could be as late as September, she said.

In an e-mail, Elections BC spokesman Don Main confirmed the agency won't be releasing poll-by-poll results anytime soon:

Voting area by voting area results are considered official results. Official results will available in the Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the Vancouver-Point Grey By-election, not before. ... The report is scheduled for mid-September....


Won't that be after the HST referendum and, perhaps, well into the next provincial General Election campaign that will be fronted by Christy Clark herself?

Now, given all that, I am doing my best to try and stay reasonable here.


I really, really am.

How about you?

Which begs the question....How does Mr. T. have the numbers...My best bet is that it is coming through one of the Liberal party's proPols who got them from their scrutineers....Regardless, the proPols clearly have the numbers...Thus, even in the complete absence of any conspiracy whatsoever, this rank incompetence (four months to ratify one lousy little by-election??!!) does not serve the public, not to mention their trust, well...I mean, at the very least should the proPols get to have information that we paid for?
Meanwhile, Ms. Clark and her Party are caught red-handed electioneering and E-BC says that is all just fine and dandy.....Laila and cherylb have that story (and they had it before Andrew MacLeod over at The Tyee)...



Ian Reid said...

I checked the last By-election results. They were available October 29, 2008, just over two weeks after the by-election. James is a disaster.

Gary E said...

So Ross K, Given that an election is not official until EBC says so, I'll ask the same question here as I did at Laila's with a twist.

Does all this delay mean that, given the count is not official, Clark can't take her seat in the chamber until September?

RossK said...

Thanks very, very much Ian....What's all this LibCon stuff about wanting a name change....Is this for real...What will they call it....Marissenites United?

Jeebuz....This could be fun!

Excellent point Gary.


off-the-radar said...

well, I am feeling very uneasy.
At the very least, the poll results should be out much sooner.

Any comments from the NDP?

RossK said...




Grant G said...

Yes indeed, very disturbing..

As for the name change, if the BC Liberals drop the name "Liberals" ...

That means the name BC Liberal would be available for purchase, how much to register a political party name? $10 dollars I think...

There is one more thing at play...Someone is forcing the BC Liberal/neo-con coalition to dump the small L Liberals of the party...

Those small Liberals are Abbott...Bloy....Coell..Chong and several others who will be on the outs unless they dump their roots, this is the start of a showdown, this wasn`t a backbencher who brought this up, Hansen was considered small L Liberal too...Hansen just made his choice.

Dalton McGuinty(Ontario Liberal Premier) is in big trouble too...The HST will take out McGuinty, their election is in Septemper(this year)

Personally speaking, if I was anyone, I mean anyone in a BC Liberal held riding and if they changed their name I would run in that riding as a BC Liberal...

They can`t change their name and keep the one they got, use it or lose it...

Or even a close take of their name...BC Liberal team...BC Liberal coalition...BC Liberal fair minded party..

I think changing their name won`t happen....They run a huge risk of confusing their ever shrinking base.

The other thing about the Elections BC mystery, if Clark won through cheat, that means her party is in big trouble Province wide, add in John Cummins and the BC Conservative party and Christy Clark won`t dare call an election any time soon.


Anonymous said...

Craig James is typical of the pointy-heads that King Campbell surrounded himself with. These are guys (& a few gals) who really believe they are superior to the mob - sorry, I mean the electorate. Their arrogance knows no bounds. A general house-cleaning of all such senior bureaucrats should be the top priority of the new NDP government.

paul said...

Based on my experiences with Craig James when he was clerk of committees, he's an ethical, competent, non-partisan person.
But it is a scandal that the province has gone nine months with a Liberal appointee as chief electoral officer instead of the independent officer required by law. As I explained here -

G West said...

Based on my experience with Craig James as clerk of the committees he is a fuss-budget and a hopeless toady to whomever happens to have power at the moment; he fawns hopelessly and pathetically over those whom he considers his 'betters' and he is incapable of making a decision about ANYTHING.

Professional civil servants who have tried over the years to get anything precise, accurate and substantive from the man have despaired of his ability to do that - ever.

The man is a total joke Paul, ask a few senior civil servants - they'll tell you the same thing now as they would have when James was doing his job for the NDP government.

He is congenitally and temperamentally unsuited for the job he's meant to be doing as 'acting' chief electoral officer.

Anonymous said...

Mr.James, Ms. Pierce, you're FIRED.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Craig James, alter the wording, on the recall petition, after the fact?. Campbell was paid big bucks, by big business to keep the HST. Was this not just one of Campbell's dirty tactics, to stall the recall?

There were complaints regarding, the vote booths had only, lead pencils to mark the ballots with. Very easy to tamper with. Ballots are a government document. Anything to do with the government, has to be signed with ink.

We all know, if the Liberals are afraid they won't win, they cheat. Campbell twice lied to be re-elected for two different elections.

It wouldn't be, beneath Christy's dignity to cheat. All the Liberals, backed Campbell to the nth degree, lies, deceit, cheat to win, corruption and all.

The Federal ballots, were also done in pencil. Bad news also. Harper had a felon working for him. He is in contempt of the House. But, they wouldn't proceed, until after the election?????

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it were Eby in that photo shoot outside the halls door. Would Crag James of Elections BC, have given a different opinion?

I do believe the media, would also have had a lot to say, if it were Eby. In BC, it's different strokes, for different folks.

Kim said...

In my humble opinion, Mr. James was recruited in the worst Liberal tradition of "creating crises to affect change". He has ruled against the people of BC at every turn since his appointment.

How about we circulate a petition to Elections Canada to investigate immediately all of the actions taken by Mr. James since his Acting temporary appointment to this previously perfectly run impartial arms length bastion of democracy?

Mr. James is far more enthusiastic to talk about his "Volunteer work" with the World Bank, facilitating their access to legislative chambers...which is highly improper during his appointment at EBC.

Just sayin'