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CBCNews.ca readers split on election Supreme Court ruling

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Our story on the Supreme Court ruling on the election result in Etobicoke Centre predictably got a large number of comments today.

Most of the comments fell along partisan lines, and most were along these lines:

  • "A sad day for democracy. I have absolutely no faith in the legitimacy of the voting process," said Walter Bunting.

  • "Sooner or later you lefties need to get over the fact that your party lost the last election. Enough with the witch hunts already," said Day Tripper.
A few commenters got past the party politics to comment on the ruling.

  • "I am a 'leftie.' Thinking about the actual issue brought before the court, I think the judgment is correct. I have participated at many election polls as a scrutineer, I have yet to see a single case where the paid election workers have not done the best they can and follow the rules as they are trained to do. All people make mistakes, and when counting votes errors can be made, also errors can be made when authorizing a voter. These things are inevitable, especially since the technology used is a piece of paper and a pencil, when a ballot is scrutinized we all want to allow the voter the benefit of the doubt people mark things in the strangest ways but with the 3 reps from the parties checking all the ballots together we all take accuracy the primary goal. There is some subjectivity to this, that is why we allow recounts," said gregrre.

  • "Just downloaded the 102 page decision. Note 4/3 split so should be some interesting comments in the decision. New, and troubling, information was introduced in the SCOC proceedings but all judges refused to consider it since the court is a review court. The rule of law was upheld today. Very disappointing decision from my personal point of view but that is not important," said Xanadudo.

  • "I am not a fan of any political party but if the ruling was fair, investigated, impartial and legitimate then I will accept it," said Canadajinsan.
Some commenters pointed out that there was a lot of confusion about the ruling.

  • "A lot of people complaining about this ruling don't seem to understand that this case was entirely about errors made by Elections Canada with regard to voter registration and had absolutely nothing to do with voter suppression or robocalls. This was the correct ruling," said responsible.

  •  "I am no fan of Harper and his government, but I think that we need to support the decision of the Supreme Court. The justices are not politicians, and they made the decision based on the facts of the case, not who they wanted to win the election. The 4 to 3 vote indicates the controversial nature of the case. Opitz almost literally won the election 'by the skin of his teeth,'" said gsco83.

  • "I have to say I am very pleased that the judges split decision was not down party lines based on who appointed them. It makes me happy to see we haven't reach the kind of left/right politicization of the Supreme Court they have in the U.S.," said Chris.S.PEI.

But like the Supreme Court, our commenters were split on the decision.

  • "I am sure that this was not an easy decision for the Supreme Court to make, but in a democracy the ruling comes at a price - and I am afraid that the price is another blow to the foundation of trust that underlies the delicate and tender political fabric of this country," said MaxHohenzollern.
CBC Community member yashanohj replied with this:

"The following justifications for the ruling make one wonder though:

  1. On the matter of missing registration certificates, the Supreme Court found that it was up to Wrzesnewskyj to prove that they were missing and the fact they cannot be found is not sufficient evidence. Is not the fact they cannot be found proof that they are missing?
  2. However, the court did allow registration certificates where an elections official has signed instead of the voter, reasoning that the official "would not put his signature on completely filled out registration forms without being satisfied of the voters' entitlement to vote," so 10 votes were restored. What kind of logic is this? Isn't it interesting that the number of votes restored was 10?
  3. The court also found that 'annulling an election would disenfranchise not only the persons whose votes were disqualified, but every elector who voted in the riding.' If the election results were annulled there would be a byelection and the voters would be allowed to vote again, so how would this disenfranchise the voters?"

Thanks for all your comments. Please continue the discussion in the comments below.

Tags: Community, Community Reaction, Politics

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