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Giambrone by-election imbroglio

aka Mycroft
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Joined: Aug 8 2004

NDP fights for its soul in Scarborough civil war: Cohn

Quote:

And who were all his new-found suburban supporters, whose names didn’t appear on a printed list of members signed up before the 30-day cut-off? Riding stalwarts challenged the unlisted new arrivals, but NDP secretary Darlene Lawson vouched for one of them and waved off all objections.

Twelve names are in dispute. Given that Giambrone won by a mere two-vote margin, the outcome is now in doubt. Chhabra’s lawyer is demanding that the NDP come clean on all those mystery members at the meeting.

“If we do not receive a satisfactory response from you by Thursday, July 18, 2013 at noon, Ms. Chhabra will be forced to take legal action, including seeking an urgent order invalidating the results of the nomination meeting and requiring such a meeting to be held again prior to the byelection,” reads the letter from lawyer Paul-Erik Veel.

“The NDP is the party of fairness and justice, so I’m fighting for fairness and justice,” Chhabra told me in an interview. “I do not believe that due process was followed.”

NDP Contender Considers Legal Action to Invalidate Adam Giambrone’s Nomination in Scarborough-Guildwood

Quote:

In a letter sent Monday, Chhabra’s lawyer Paul-Erik Veel asks that the Ontario NDP immediately verify the eligibility of the voters in question. If the party cannot provide verification, Veel says Chhabra will pursue legal action, including “an urgent order invalidating the results of the Nomination Meeting and requiring such a meeting to be held again prior to the by-election.”

The NDP previously brushed off a request by the riding association for the same information regarding the disputed voters saying :

Quote:

Once by-elections are over, and staff resources permit, membership lists will continue to be made available to ridings for the above purposes.

Really? Everyone knows that the provincial secretary could easily print up a riding membership list in seconds without taxing "staff resources"? Is there any reason to think that the whole Giambrone mess isn't just a (failing) attempt at cronyism where Giambrone's friends in the party bureaucracy tried to stitch up a nomination for him as part of his rehabilitation effort and, in the process, screwed an immigrant, female, disabled union activist who is exactly the sort of person who should be a candidate?

Quote:

Joy Taylor has been emailing me daily updates, imploring me to write about a miscarriage of democracy.

“Can you imagine my frustration that a nomination was stolen from a vibrant, wonderful candidate in Amarjeet Chhabra?” she asked. “It is honestly keeping me awake at night.”

Taylor is a lifelong NDP activist. At age 90, that amounts to 74 years of licking envelopes and rallying to the cause. Horwath routinely greets her with a hug at party events. But when Taylor marched up to Horwath outside Giambrone’s campaign office the other day to hand her a protest note, there was no warm embrace — just stony silence.

“An illegal candidate is to run in our riding,” Taylor fumes. “I cry for people in my riding.”

And what is her message to Horwath?

“You have betrayed me.”

 


Comments

Krago
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Joined: Sep 9 2002
Nominations close at 2pm today.

Lens Solution
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Joined: Dec 18 2010

NDP Contender Considers Legal Action to Invalidate Adam Giambrone’s Nomination in Scarborough-Guildwood

 

Amarjeet Chhabra says she lost by four votes, and believes a dozen voters were ineligible.

 

http://torontoist.com/2013/07/ndp-contender-considers-legal-action-to-in...

 


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

I'm pleased to see that Amarjeet isn't just letting this drop. I know some people were hoping she'd set aside her concerns in the spirit of party unity. But I think her credibility as a union organizer would have taken a bit of a hit if she had chosen to just 'go along to get along'. It becomes a lot harder to convince workers to organize and fight for their rights if they see that you won't fight for your own.


Stockholm
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She seems to have some very high priced legal representation. I wonder who's paying for it?

Of course the lawyer can't be all that smart if he's demanding a new nomination contest literally hours before nominations close with Elections Ontario!


onlinediscountanvils
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Stockholm wrote:
She seems to have some very high priced legal representation. I wonder who's paying for it?

What ever could you be implying?


Todrick of Chat...
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Stockholm
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I don't know...I'm just curious who is paying for her very expensive legal representation. is she independently wealthy?


Todrick of Chat...
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 Well Stockholm, I would hazard a guess that the average politician is more wealth than the majority of Canadians.


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

An ELECTED politician makes a decent living. Someone who throws their hat in the ring to get nominated is not a politician and in many cases doesn't make much money


Lens Solution
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Joined: Dec 18 2010

Who says she has expensive legal representation?  All we know so far is that she's had a lawyer's letter drafted and may proceed farther.

It's not as if she's hired one of Canada's top lawyers to engage in major litigation for years on end before the hightest courts in the land.

Most people can afford to pay a lawyer for a letter and a few days work.


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Stockholm wrote:
I'm just curious who is paying for her very expensive legal representation. is she independently wealthy?

Does one have to be independently wealthy to have legal representation? Is it that hard to imagine that someone who works for a union might earn enough to be able to hire a lawyer? What's your basis for your assertion that her lawyer is "very high priced"? How do you know what - if anything - he's billing her?

[cross-posted with Lens Solution]


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

Apparently her lawyer met with NDP lawyers today and I just read that she has decided to drop the case (in my experience when lawyers go into meetings with one another, the meter quickly runs into the thousands of dollars)


Krago
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Joined: Sep 9 2002

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

I'm pleased to see that Amarjeet isn't just letting this drop. I know some people were hoping she'd set aside her concerns in the spirit of party unity. But I think her credibility as a union organizer would have taken a bit of a hit if she had chosen to just 'go along to get along'. It becomes a lot harder to convince workers to organize and fight for their rights if they see that you won't fight for your own.

I agree with you.  In fact, most Canadian unions encourage their members to air internal union disputes publicly by contacting the National Post.


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Krago wrote:
most Canadian unions encourage their members to air internal union disputes publicly by contacting the National Post.

Yeah... 'cause that's exactly what she did. *rolls eyes*


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

As the saying goes - everyone gets they 15 seconds of fame.


Todrick of Chat...
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Lens Solution
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Joined: Dec 18 2010

Well, the issue may have been worked out privately, but the effects of it may continue to linger for some time.


Todrick of Chat...
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Joined: Dec 10 2009

I am thinking a large cash bonus and new position to be determined later on.


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 27 2008

ndp=no difference party


edmundoconnor
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Joined: Jul 7 2009

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

Looks like the NDP Headquarters’ managed to silenced Amarjeet Kaur Chhabra.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/07/18/runnerup_to_adam_giambrone_says_she_wont_pursue_legal_action_against_ndp_over_nomination.html 

From what little I've seen and read of Amarjeet (more than some, less than others), she does not seem like the kind of person to crumble easily under threats or be seduced by bribes. It's possible that while she viewed the matter with distaste, she was not willing to burn bridges within the party to get a resolution she was happy with. I suspect we will never know her exact motivations.


Todrick of Chat...
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Joined: Dec 10 2009

In other words Edmundoconnor, she gave up her fight so the party would not be hurt by another scandal. True democracy at work in Ontario.


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

edmundoconnor wrote:

From what little I've seen and read of Amarjeet (more than some, less than others), she does not seem like the kind of person to crumble easily under threats or be seduced by bribes. It's possible that while she viewed the matter with distaste, she was not willing to burn bridges within the party to get a resolution she was happy with. I suspect we will never know her exact motivations.

Here is one hypothesis. She was probably told by her lawyers that there was zero chance of winning. For one thing the deadline for nominations was the very next day so there was literally no time to hold a new nomination contest and re-choose a candidate even if everyone wanted to. For another thing, any judge would be extremely reluctant to wade into a dispute involving internal party processes and rules that having nothing to do with any actual laws etc... organizations (ie: parties, NGOs, corporations, unions etc...) are free to set their own internal rules and their own internal dispute resolution mechanisms - there is no way a judge is going to wade into that. If by chance a judge even agreed to hear the case, cases like this would tie up a court for weeks and weeks - so what would the lawyer do? Ask a court for an injunction postponing the entire Scarborough-Guildwood byelection indefinitely until the case was resolved?? Fat chance.

For the party it doesn't really matter. Whatever bad publicity there was going to be has already happened. If anyone in Scarborough-Guildwood actually reads Martin Regg Cohn's column in the Star - they might be less likely to vote for Giambrone - and that won't change whether this case was pursued or not.


Lens Solution
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Joined: Dec 18 2010

As she explains in her statement, part of the reason is because there's only 2 weeks left until by-election day.  It may be that she felt neither candidate would benefit from prolonging the dispute because of the toll it would take on whoever emerged from it.

Btw, I think the news has spread farther than just one or two columns.  It's being talked about on Twitter, Judy Rebick has commented on it from what I saw earlier on Facebook, and reporters keep asking Giambrone about it.  So while the worst of the 'storm' is over, it may follow him into August 1.


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

Lens Solution wrote:

As she explains in her statement, part of the reason is because there's only 2 weeks left until by-election day.  It may be that she felt neither candidate would benefit from prolonging the dispute because of the toll it would take on whoever emerged from it.

As if either candidate benefitted from initiating the dispute in the first place.

The reality is almost certainly that she didn't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees when there was zero chance of of winning...and its not like she could retroactively be made the candidate six months from now and have the byelection re-run.


aka Mycroft
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Joined: Aug 8 2004

If it is the case that several people were alllowed to vote without being entitled to should the provincial secretary have to resign?


Stockholm
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Joined: Sep 29 2002

No, that would be like saying that the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada has to resign because someone ineligible cast a vote in ther last election.


Robo
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Joined: Jun 1 2003

As I wrote in Post #179 of this thread, even if one accepted the statements as alleged in the media coverage, allowing members in good standing who belong to riding associations other than Scarborough-Guildwood but who live in Scarborough-Guildwood at the time in question are allowed by the party constitution to vote at a nomination meeting. It seems that at least one local executive member did not like that an aspect of the rules; I have heard nothing specific to date that shows the proper rules were not followed.

Any "imbroglio" that exists is among people who have read nothing more than a headline and have not considered that the wrong that is alleged, even if it is 100% true as alleged, was as example of the rules being followed.


Lens Solution
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Joined: Dec 18 2010

Political ‘bigfooting’ in Ontario leaves its mark on byelection trail

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2013/07/19/political_bigfooting_i...


NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008
Scarborough subway smells like another Liberal con job

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2013/07/20130...


aka Mycroft
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Joined: Aug 8 2004

Stockholm wrote:

No, that would be like saying that the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada has to resign because someone ineligible cast a vote in ther last election.

It would be like that - if Chief Electoral Officer was the DRO at a polling station and allowed unqualified people to vote over the objections of scrutineers. In that case I suspect the C.E.O would be required to resign because of their personal involvement.


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