babble-intro-img
babble is rabble.ca's discussion board but it's much more than that: it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up. It's a place to tell each other — and the world — what's up with our work and campaigns.

Reject the election. Don’t mark your ballot!

theatlanticaparty
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2006

Canadians go to the polls, again.

Are you a disaffected and angry voter? Planning to pass on election day? Unwilling to play ‘party games' again? Shouldn't an election be about hope and renewal?

There is one alternative. Reject your ballot on election day! Make the election a referendum on our political system!!

It is hard for people to express dissatisfaction with our politics other than not voting. But not voting does nothing to fix our political system.

In the 2008 federal election 94,733 ballots were reported as rejected. A Rejected Ballot is one that cannot be counted because it is improperly marked. The easiest way is to make no mark or select two or more choices. Elections Canada reports the number of Rejected Ballots.

This is different from a Spoiled Ballot; one that is altered, defaced or destroyed. Spoiling a ballot is contrary to the Canada Elections Act and conviction could bring a $500 fine or three months in jail. So please do not spoil you ballot, not only is it against the law but spoiled ballots are not reported by EC.

Let's make this election into something positive by sending the message that we, The People, want to see real political reform, that it is no longer sufficient to just shuffle parties around. A jump in the number of rejected ballots will be a far more productive outcome than any vote for the status-quo parties.

Remember this is the ONLY time you have any kind of say in our political system, don't mess it up by staying home. Send a clear positive message this election! Don't mark your ballot!

Join the campaign.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_198289110205880

 


Comments

WyldRage
Offline
Joined: Mar 27 2007

Now this sounds like a Conservative job, so that their opposition (which includes most of the people frequenting this board) won't vote.

You want change? Not voting or spoilling your ballot won't do it.


theatlanticaparty
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2006

We are not suggesting spoiling your ballot (which is illegal) or not voting; we want 100% turnout . A rejected ballot is a voted ballot and appears in the official results as a sort of 'none of the above option'. But if we can brand the rejected ballots as a vote for political reform (the real issue) we might be able to get the ball rolling.

 


JKR
Online
Joined: Jan 15 2005

WyldRage wrote:

Now this sounds like a Conservative job, so that their opposition (which includes most of the people frequenting this board) won't vote.

Its disgusting how the Conservatives are trying to suppress the vote.

This is what put GW Bush in the White House.


Freedom 55
Offline
Joined: Mar 14 2010

I don't assume this is a Conservative. Not everyone here believes that you must cast a ballot in every election.

Having said that, I believe the OP is mistaken. Unless things have changed in the last year or two, rejected ballots are not counted in federal elections.

I did a quick search to see if I could find anything from Elections Canada that indicated they're now counting rejected ballots, but couldn't find any.

theatlanticparty, can you direct me to anything that supports your assertion that rejected ballots are officially counted?


Krago
Offline
Joined: Sep 9 2002

Click on this link.  Click on Tables.  Click on Table 11.


theatlanticaparty
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2006

Yes. Section 287. (1) The deputy returning officer shall prepare a statement of the vote, in the prescribed form, that sets out the number of votes in favour of each candidate and the number of rejected ballots ...

 

There were 94,753 rejected ballots reported from the 2008 general election.


Maysie
Offline
Joined: Apr 21 2005

.

 


islandcynic
Offline
Joined: Mar 24 2011

What?  Not vote and let Harper get more seats?  You got to be kidding....


alan smithee
Offline
Joined: Jan 7 2010

Harper is counting on people staying home on election day.

Apathy is to blame for Harper and all the other shitty governments we've been stuck with for 20 yrs.

Let's make sure EVERYONE show up this time and let's try to change Canadian politics.

Spoil my vote?....That would be playing in the hands of the Tory strategists playbook.


M. Spector
Offline
Joined: Feb 19 2005

The campaign for people to reject their ballots is not a campaign to "reject the election" but is in fact a campaign to get people to participate in the election by rejecting their ballots.

If you really want to reject the election you will stay home.


mmphosis
Offline
Joined: Apr 28 2009

alan smithee wrote:

Harper is counting on people staying home on election day.

Apathy is to blame for Harper and all the other shitty governments we've been stuck with for 20 yrs.

Let's make sure EVERYONE show up this time and let's try to change Canadian politics.

Spoil my vote?....That would be playing in the hands of the Tory strategists playbook.

Okay, I read that I need to simply cast my vote for the party that I want to vote for.  ...which like in every previous election that I've voted in... my vote won't count.

Oh, but my friends from that other party are saying vote strategically, vote for our party and my vote will get counted.  ...which is not the party that I want to vote for.  So if I was to truly vote strategically, I would vote CRAP to vote against the party my friends are asking me to vote for.  The strategic vote is a vote against.  I won't do this.

The OP is not asking that we spoil our ballot, but simply asking that we not check any or check any two on the ballot in protest.  I might consider this.

The easiest way may be to do what the majority does (or doesn't) and do not vote at all.


My Cat Knows Better
Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2008

There's always a fool in the crowd, often disguised as a Harper supporter


alan smithee
Offline
Joined: Jan 7 2010

I've been on rabble long enough to know that most people prefer the NDP.

Question...With all the talk and hopes of the NDP gaining seats and becoming the official opposition or one day becoming the government,how is this going to be realized if people simply spoil their votes?

To me,the only difference to spoiling my vote or not voting at all is leaving my house.

Do you think the parties are going to change because of massive apathy or people spoiling their votes?

That's something they count on and I'm sure if Harper caught wind of such a protest,he'd make a sticky in his pants.

A REAL protest would be a mass vote for the NDP.

Anyway,good luck with your protest.


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

M. Spector wrote:
If you really want to reject the election you will stay home.

 

If you would prefer that the country not be managed by Steve Harper or Iggy the American on behalf of Bay Street and big six banking monopoly,  Uncle Sam and for corporate America's sake, then you actually have to get out and vote against them whether we have a real electoral system or not. Effective opposition parties, like the NDP, need every per vote dollar in public funding they can get in order to continue opposing the bought and paid-for stoogeaucracy.


remind
Offline
Joined: Jun 25 2004

Truth be told, absolutely no one gives a shit about those who spoil their ballot on purpose, for alleged political reasons, or not.

Well....second thought is; those who want people to stay home do care actually, as then they can laugh at the fools they sucked in, and enjoy the ego gratification they received at being able to fool  people into relinguishing their voice. Say nothing of their pleasure over their anti-democratic agenda being fulfilled.

And yes, it is relinguishing your voice, no matter how some try to portray it as a noble endeavor.

The winning party, namely Harper in this instance, will be able to go to the public and say something like: "50% of the people so like the Harper government, they saw no reason to vote and waste tax payer's money".

And those that do not think Harper would spin it this way are deluding themselves.

Just as Harper would/will spin  the spoiled ballots as; (yes spoiled, as no matter how AtlanticParty tries to make a disclaimer that he is not encouraging spoiled ballots, he is actually encouraging 'spoiled ballots') "Canadians being pissed off that the Opposition brought his most wonderul government down."


takeitslowly
Offline
Joined: May 31 2009

well alot of people might not vote because we live in relatively safe liberal ridings or the outcome is pretty much pre determined.. i think mine is pretty safe its scarborough toronto.


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

So as far you're concerned,  there is no democracy in Bananada.  We hear ya.

Get out and vote anyway. 


genstrike
Offline
Joined: May 1 2008

After holding my nose and voting NDP my whole life, I'm going to try something new:

I'm only going to vote for candidates or parties that I like.  I know, it's a novel idea, and one which is probably unpopular on rabble, but it's my vote and whoever wants it has to earn it - the NDP no longer gets it by default, and if there's no one I like, so be it.

Oh, and if the NDP runs the same guy as last election in my riding, there is no way I'm voting for him.


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

So you'll not be voting against old line party rule then. Because that's what you'll be doing. Or not doing. Whatever.

Liberal, Tory, it's the same 35 year-old neoliberal story on the 50000 watt loudspeaker from Ottawa.

Get out and vote against it by voting NDP. 


genstrike
Offline
Joined: May 1 2008

Fidel wrote:

So you'll not be voting against old line party rule then. Because that's what you'll be doing. Or not doing. Whatever.

Liberal, Tory, it's the same 35 year-old neoliberal story on the loudspeaker from Ottawa.

Get out and vote against it by voting NDP. 

So, you're saying I should vote strategically?


johnbc
Offline
Joined: Mar 26 2011

Do you really think the Neo-cons could care less if you vote. The goal is turn off as many voters as possible.


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

genstrike wrote:

Fidel wrote:

So you'll not be voting against old line party rule then. Because that's what you'll be doing. Or not doing. Whatever.

Liberal, Tory, it's the same 35 year-old neoliberal story on the loudspeaker from Ottawa.

Get out and vote against it by voting NDP. 

So, you're saying I should vote strategically?

 

No, I'm saying that should vote against all those things you claim to want for all Canadians: affordable education, and government that doesn't kow-tow to the US corporate-Military agenda in general, well funded medicare, a national housing strategy, green economy, and poverty reduction.

There is only one party in Ottawa today that has a credible plan to make PSE affordable for all Canadians. There is only one party in Ottawa that has consistently voted against the long-time pro imperial USA corporate-military colonial administrativeship in Ottawa. And that's the NDP. 

Any vote that doesn't go to the NDP is a vote for the stoogeaucracy in Ottawa whether it is cast at the ballot box or not. Sorry, it's just the way our absurdly non-mathematical voting system works.


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

johnbc wrote:

Do you really think the Neo-cons could care less if you vote. The goal is turn off as many voters as possible.

 

You mean like some of those other posters above are trying to do? I hear ya. They seem to know exactly how the phony majority machine works. Wink


theatlanticaparty
Offline
Joined: Jun 29 2006

Just a quick note. We are asking people to simply not mark their ballot and hand it back. That's it. We are not telling people to spoil their ballot (a rejected ballot is not the same as a spolied ballot). Spoiling a ballot is illegal and it goes uncounted. A rejected ballot is reported so is a valid way to signal the need for reform, which is the real issue here not what party gets in. The ideal would be to have a big spike up in rejected ballots.


alan smithee
Offline
Joined: Jan 7 2010

But it will only result in a Harper majority.

This 'protest' is as counter productive and pointless as the thread advocating a new 'centre' party.


remind
Offline
Joined: Jun 25 2004

theatlanticaparty wrote:
Yes. Section 287. (1) The deputy returning officer shall prepare a statement of the vote, in the prescribed form, that sets out the number of votes in favour of each candidate and the number of rejected ballots ...

 

There were 94,753 rejected ballots reported from the 2008 general election.

Neither Krago's Tble 11, nor your Section 287 (1) statement, depict what you both have stated it does. It depicts rejected totals and nothing more.

Rejected ballots, in your instance, and what you contend is "spoiled ballots" go into exactly the same pile when counting at the riding level occurs. That is the rejected ballot pile. At least in every riding, every time I have scutineered, it has. Having done so in at least 5 different ridings, for several elections over the years, I would think not all DPOs could have been in error for doing so. But perhaps they were.

So...I would like to see some actual evidence of legal election act separation in counting rules, before I am going to accept it is so legally.

 Afterall I may be scutineering again shortly.

Having said that, my position is still the same as I stated above, and like most of the other intelligent posters, posting in this thread. But I will shorten it.

What a dream for a Dictator, or a would be one in Harper's case, no one voting.


contrarianna
Offline
Joined: Aug 15 2006

The Atlantica Party at one time fielded candidates.
The lack of interest in its supposed positions has induced this alternative compelling slogan :

"Ok, so You didn't vote for me, so at least don't vote for anyone else!"

This is much cheaper way of killing dissenting votes.


N.Beltov
Offline
Joined: May 25 2003

1. I would recommend that no one vote for the Atlantica Party. On that I can agree with the OP. lol. Come to think of it, might as well include the Liberals and Conservatives as parties that babblers shouldn't vote for.

2. From my own experience, DRO's have been remarkably ignorant, or obtuse, about rejected ballots. I don't know if they are even allowed any more. I'd like to see evidence regarding rejected ballots.

Canadian regimes has a great ability to make protests of any kind impossible, illegal, etc. and then noisily proclaim that they have widespread support. It's like a dictatorship without the resistance. Ignorance about rejected ballots by people who should know better makes me think of these things.


Michael Moriarity
Online
Joined: Jul 27 2001

Section 2 of the Canada Elections Act contains a long list of definitions, including these ones:

Quote:
"election documents" means the following documents:
(a) the writ with the return of the election endorsed on it;
(b) the nomination papers filed by the candidates;
(c) the reserve supply of undistributed blank ballot papers;
(d) documents relating to the revision of the lists of electors;
(e) the statements of the vote from which the validation of results was made; and
(f) the other returns from the various polling stations enclosed in sealed envelopes, as required by Part 12, and containing

(i) a packet of stubs and unused ballot papers,

(ii) packets of ballot papers cast for the various candidates,

(iii) a packet of spoiled ballot papers,

(iv) a packet of rejected ballot papers,

(v) a packet containing the list of electors used at the polling station, the written authorizations of candidates' representatives and the used transfer certificates, if any, and

(vi) a packet containing the registration certificates.

and

Quote:

"spoiled"
« annulé »

"spoiled", in relation to a ballot or a special ballot as defined in section 177, means
(a) one that has not been deposited in the ballot box but has been found by the deputy returning officer to be soiled or improperly printed; or
(b) one that is dealt with under subsection 152(1), including in relation to advance polls by virtue of subsection 171(1), or subsection 213(4), 242(1) or 258(3).

Section 279 provides rules for what ballots should be rejected.

Quote:

Rejection of ballots

279. (1) The deputy returning officer shall, in counting the ballots, reject a ballot if
(a) it has not been supplied for the election;
(b) it is not marked;
(c) it is marked with a name other than the name of a candidate;
(d) it is marked for more than one candidate; or
(e) there is any writing or mark on it by which the elector could be identified.

Elector's intent

(2) The deputy returning officer shall not reject a special ballot for the sole reason that the elector has incorrectly written the name of a candidate, if the ballot clearly indicates the elector's intent.

Political affiliation

(3) The deputy returning officer shall not reject a special ballot for the sole reason that the elector has written, in addition to the name of a candidate, the candidate's political affiliation, if the ballot clearly indicates the elector's intent.

Section 271 provides for reporting of results.

Quote:
Chief Electoral Officer to be informed of results of vote
271. Without delay after the counting of the votes for every electoral district has been completed, the special voting rules administrator shall inform the Chief Electoral Officer of
(a) the number of votes counted for each candidate for every electoral district;
(b) the total number of votes counted for each electoral district; and
(c) the number of rejected ballots for each electoral district.

Finally, section 152 provides for replacement of spoiled ballots.

Quote:
Spoiled ballot
152. (1) If an elector has inadvertently handled a ballot in such a manner that it cannot be used, the elector shall return it to the deputy returning officer who shall mark it as a spoiled ballot, place it in the envelope supplied for the purpose and give the elector another ballot.

Limit

(2) An elector shall not be given more than one ballot under subsection (1).

My conclusions from these sections are:

1. The normal usage of the term "spoiled ballot", as one which is improperly marked is not the same as the legal definition. According to the Act, a spoiled ballot is one which never goes into a ballot box, because it is damaged, or inadvertently dropped on the floor, or for some other reason.

2. What is normally referred to as a "spoiled ballot" is actually a rejected ballot. Furthermore, a rejected ballot is not one which is rejected by the voter, but rather one which is rejected at counting time by the DRO.

3. The counts to be reported by a DRO include valid ballots and rejected ballots, but not spoiled ballots.

4. Spoiled ballots themselves must be returned in a separate envelope.

To my mind, this means that the OP is correct except for the suggestion that voters can reject ballots. They cannot do so, but they can intentionally mark them in such a way that they will be rejected at counting time.

 


JKR
Online
Joined: Jan 15 2005

The many posts on different threads here on Babble saying that voting for any party is a waste begs the question: 

Why has the NDP failed at connecting with many people on the left and far-left?

and

Why hasn't the NDP been able to get greater support from disadvantaged Canadians who are being abused by our old-line parties?

Many people on the right and far-right hate what the Conservatives are doing to cling to power but they are smart enough to vote for the Conservatives, their best choice available. But on the left we have droves of people who don't vote in their interests. Too many people whose interests would best be served by voting NDP, choose not to.

This problem of  people not voting for their interests is very stark here in Vancouver at the civic level. The affluent west side of our city rules our city because they vote at much higher rates then the poorer and more populous east side. The outcome of this is that all the parties, to a greater and lesser extent, left, right, and, centre, have to cater to the more affluent west side in order to win elections. By not voting, progressives and the disadvantaged, who are often one and the same, are actually moving the entire political spectrum rightward. People should understand that not voting moves the political system against their interests.

If progressives and the disadvantaged, who are often one and the same, want the NDP to cater more to them, they'll have to start voting for the NDP in greater quantities. That may not be the way things should work in a perfect world but that's how it works in the very imperfect world of Canadian politics. If progressives and the disadvantaged started to vote for the NDP in greater quantities, the NDP would go where the votes are and make their policies more progressive. But as it is, moving leftward can hurt the NDP's electoral chances, as they lose more votes then they gain when they tailor their policies for people who don't tend to vote. Progressives and the disadvantaged, who are often one and the same, should undertand that they can influence the only major party that is in any position to legislate in their interests - the NDP.

This does not mean that the NDP does not have a responsibility toward progressives and the disadvantaged, who are often one and the same. The NDP should do a better a better job at communicating their policies to progressives and the disadvantaged. During the next week or two the NDP wil be put to the test. Will they come up with good policies that help disadatvantaged Canadians, who very often are progressives, and will they do a good job communicating their policies to them?

The only way the NDP can get out the vote in quantities that can really change society is to establish policies that excite people and sell these policies effectively. It'll be interesting to see if the NDP will meet this test during the next few weeks and it'll be interesting to see if people on the left respond by voting for the NDP. This is a two way street where both the NDP and progressives and the disadvantaged are responsible for furthering social equality.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or register to post comments