Liberals look to overturn results in Berthier-Maskinongé

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josh
Liberals look to overturn results in Berthier-Maskinongé

There are calls for a new election in a Quebec riding won by the most unlikely of NDP candidates after losing parties discovered irregularities with the winner's nomination papers.

All election candidates are required to obtain 100 signatures of support before they can run in a federal election, but the Liberal party in Berthier-Maskinongé says it has discovered signatures backing the NDP election winner that may have been forged, of people that may not live in the riding or who weren't clear what it was they were being asked to support.

. . . .

Now the losing parties are trying to exact their particular brand of revenge.

"It would be like me running . . . somewhere in Ontario that only speaks English," said Denis Simard, a spokesman for Liberal candidate Francine Gaudet, who finished Monday night with 8,109 votes, two-thirds less than Brosseau.

"I don't think people would like that. Here - even if people voted for this person - it was for an orange wave. Now we know that the colour of a ghost is orange."

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/985610--liberals-see...

Freedom 55

Apologies if this was already posted somewhere in the glut of post-election threads:

[url=http://simplemassingpriest.blogspot.com/2011/05/liberals-media-declare-c..., Media declare Class War on single mom[/url]

robbie_dee

This thread would appear to be a logical continuation of the prior [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/surprise-ndp-candidate]Surpise candidate[/url] thread.

 

 

As the Star article notes:

Quote:
A spokesperson for Elections Canada said that individuals or parties can contest the results of the vote if there is evidence or irregularities, fraud or corrupt practices. The complaint must be filed with and heard by the Superior Court of, in this instance, Quebec. A judge would then make the ultimate decision about whether the results of the vote should stand or whether a new election should be called.

Elections Canada could be asked to testify at such a hearing, but would have no say in the outcome.

 

If the Liberals have evidence of the alleged improprieties they are certainly entitled to bring legal action. However I would reiterate my comments on the prior thread that, even if the nomination papers are invalid, the remedy sought, a new election, would seem to be extraordinary. Regardless of how many endorsements the NDP was able to muster at the time of nomination, the fact remains that she was endorsed by 22,403 voters in the actual election.

 

If there is proof of wrongdoing, it would make sense to fine the campaign and maybe prohibit the responsible staffer from working on the next election. But not to overturn the expressed choice of the voters in the riding.

Life, the unive...

This dog won't hunt and this is shameless hucksterism on the behalf of the Liberals. 

Here's why-

When a candidate is officially nominated their official agent, and as far as I have ever known the candidate themselves, visits the returning officier for the riding.  There are a bunch of forms to be signed and witnessed.  A $1000.00 cheque must be presented.  Also the nomination forms, which include the nomination signatures are turned over to elections Canada.  Elections Canada then checks the signatures against lists of registered voters, throws out any questionable or unconfimable ones and then within 48 hours okays (or not) the candidate to run.  Most riding associations will collect somewhere around 150 signatures just to be sure.  In the past (working with the Greens) since we didn't have a lot of members I have gone to grocery stores, arenas, you name it to get signatures.  Those signatures only mean that people have no objection to the person running and do not indicate support of any kind.  So I know that we had lots of NDP. Liberal and Conservative voters (and members) signing nomination forms.

This is yet another indication that the media is a willing ally in keeping people uninformed of how our democracy actually works.  The Liberal claims just don't hold up to how the system actually works - unless they are claiming that both local and national Elections Canada officials were somehow complicit in a conspiracy.

Stockholm

My understanding is that if she had 128 signatures - before there is even the remotest possibility of a court looking into the validity of the election - there would have to be at least a possibility that at least 29 out of 128 signatures were invalid or forged.

Seriously, if all it took to overturn elections and cause a byelection was to get ONE person in the riding to sign an affidavit that they had signed someone's nomination papers under false pretences - we could easily have 308 byelections happening witnhin the next few months. In fact, I'll bet that out of the hundreds of people who signed Stephen harper's nomination papers in calgary Southeast - a private investigator would be able to find at least ONE who would be willing to claim it was a phony signature. Does that mean harper then resigns as PM and we have a byelection in his riding? I don't think so.

SRB

What do the candidates' lawyers mean in the story by saying that they are collecting affadavits?  Would every extra signature of the 129 be challenged or would they just need to challenge the one that is alleged to have been forged? Would this mean separate court cases or only one? Who would foot the bill for these court cases, the government?

None of this seems logistically that doable (although if they can do it I am sure they will), but rather the whole story seems like an extended media campaign which is designed to denigrate the NDP and make them look less than competent, and to keep Ms. Brousseau's name in the news, rather than focussing on the new and exciting NDP MPs, from every region of the country, who were just elected.  I've noticed that in most of the stories on this I have read over the last 3 days, far more air time is given to the complaints and smears of the losing candidates than to the NDP's side of the story so the coverage has not exactly been fair.

Why doesn't someone ask the Elections Canada official who validated the signatures what he or she thought of them?

Life, the unive...

Maybe we should try Tongue out

vermonster

mauvais perdant

robbie_dee

Alleging fraud is a serious matter. I hope the Liberals (and anyone who signs an affidavit for them) is prepared to back up their claims or else be prepared for a defamation lawsuit by Brousseau.

josh

robbie_dee wrote:

This thread would appear to be a logical continuation of the prior [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/surprise-ndp-candidate]Surpise candidate[/url] thread.

 

Yes, I saw that one was closed and figured this would serve as part two.

SRB

If  someone does bring cases to the Quebec Superior court to challenge 29 signatures, who would pay?

josh

I know in the U.S., there has to be a challenge to ballot petition signatures before the election.  After that, it's tough luck unless, I imagine, there was some sort of widespread, blatant fraud.  The people voted, knowing her alleged shortcomings.  To try to reverse those results on what is essentially a technicality is poor form, imo.  But it will serve the purpose of those who want to tar and smear the NDP before it even goes into official opposition.

 

Krago
edmundoconnor

Brian Topp has said this better elsewhere, but this affair will almost certainly blow back in the instigators' faces. I smell a Liberal with a bad case of sore-loseritis. The legal fees would be prohibitive, and you'd only embark on this sort of venture if you were certain you'd get the result you want.

I absolutely agree that the story is only being kept alive so Liberals can kick the NDP caucus for a few days. I fully expect that in a few days, the Liberal campaign will say something along the lines of, "While we have severe reservations about the candidacy of Brosseau, legal expenses and wishing to move on to helping Canadians means we accept the result of the election."

vermonster

The difference is that in Obama's case, he challenged the petitions when they were filed before a primary election (to select the Democratic Party nominee in a contested race), instead of trying to overturn the results of an election where people had already voted to elect his opponent. It is actually quite common in a number of US states - I've heard of similar cases in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. We've all doubtless heard similar stories about contested Canadian party nominating contests where candidates were disallowed on a technicality (late papers, etc).

Once a candidate has been nominated by the party, Elections Canada has certified the nominating petitions, ballots are set, the election conducted, voters cast their ballots,  votes are counted, and the winner proclaimed seems like a little too late to contest the right of the candidate to be on the ballot in the first place and overturn the results of a properly conducted election.

adma

And thus far, Brousseau remains silent.  As I've said before, I wouldn't be surprised if rather than being pushed, she jumps on her own independent volition, not being able to take the pressure.  Either that or she conducts herself well, and becomes a folk hero in the process.

In any event, if she decides she can't handle Parliamentary office, the ensuing byelection ought to be a useful test for the newly-validated NPD to "do it right".

Dodger718

I remember Iggy's press conference the day after election day, in which he said "the only thing Canadians like less than a loser is a sore loser." The Liberals should take his advice on that one. This is really pathetic to see. She won, they lost. The fact that she doesn't seem particularly qualified and STILL kicked the Liberal party's ass, just makes the Liberals look worse, not better.

SRB

This whole business was clearly just a nuisance smear campaign to discredit Ms. Brousseau and the NDP in the early days.

Note this story, "Elections Canada rules overnight-sensation NDP candidate valid" at http://tinyurl.com/6yvjhrl

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I hope she stays.

But, I wish the NDP would stop going "lights out". The best defence is always a good offence.

SRB

Arthur Cramer wrote:

I hope she stays.

But, I wish the NDP would stop going "lights out". The best defence is always a good offence.

They no doubt have to take into account her wishes; given the hostility in the coverage and the mean-spirited scrutiny, she probably wanted to avoid the limelight for a little longer.  According to the Vancouver Sun, the party claims she isn't ready yet, that she's been taking intensive French lessons to brush up on her French, and that she will give her first interviews to the Francophone Media. It's probably more important that she talk to them first. 

The journalists on the CBC will, I expect, just laugh at her.

 

bekayne

SRB wrote:

This whole business was clearly just a nuisance smear campaign to discredit Ms. Brousseau and the NDP in the early days.

Note this story, "Elections Canada rules overnight-sensation NDP candidate valid" at http://tinyurl.com/6yvjhrl

Maybe change the thread title

The Conservative candidate, Marie-Claude Godue, who placed third against Ms. Brosseau, called for a byelection after at least two or three of the 128 Berthier-Maskinongé residents who signed Ms. Brosseau’s nomination papers claimed they were either misled, thinking they were signing a petition, or told news outlets they didn’t recognize the signatures as theirs. There was at last one allegation one of the signatories did not live in the riding.

vermonster

bekayne wrote:

SRB wrote:

This whole business was clearly just a nuisance smear campaign to discredit Ms. Brousseau and the NDP in the early days.

Note this story, "Elections Canada rules overnight-sensation NDP candidate valid" at http://tinyurl.com/6yvjhrl

Maybe change the thread title

The Conservative candidate, Marie-Claude Godue, who placed third against Ms. Brosseau, called for a byelection after at least two or three of the 128 Berthier-Maskinongé residents who signed Ms. Brosseau’s nomination papers claimed they were either misled, thinking they were signing a petition, or told news outlets they didn’t recognize the signatures as theirs. There was at last one allegation one of the signatories did not live in the riding.

Sure, change it to read "Liberals AND Conservatives look to overturn results in Bethier-Maskinonge" 

The Star made it perfectly clear that the Liberals were also trying to do the same in the article "Liberals seek revenge on Quebec MP who won without campaigning."

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/985610--liberals-see...

Ken Burch

And it's not as if the Liberals would have any chance of winning this seat in a byelection.  Why on earth would the voters reward them for this?

Life, the unive...

oh go easy on poor bekayne he's had his little Liberal heart broken

Dodger718

Something that just occurred to me:

If you look at the Harper government, probably the single most effective member of his team is Jason Kenney. And Kenney was also elected at 27 years old, swept in with the Reform party sweep of Calgary. He didn't exactly have an impressive resume at the time either but, love him or hate him, he grew into the job. John Baird was also first elected provincially in his mid-20s when Mike Harris swept much of Ontario (along with current PC leader Tim Hudak who was around the same age). They've gone on to be Conservative "stars" even if they didn't start out as such.

Vansterdam Kid

Ruth Ellen Brosseau has a twitter account and I think it's actually her. She needs to write more in French, link to npd.ca (not npd.ca) and her user name should be changed to BrosseauNPD not BrosseauNDP. Anyhow, if you have twitter account you should follower her and tweet your support.

Unionist

I would very much appreciate if no one responds to this shameless provocateur (Dodger). Thanks.

 

 

Dodger718

Unionist wrote:

I would very much appreciate if no one responds to this shameless provocateur (Dodger). Thanks.

What the hell are you talking about? How is anything I said "provocation"? I'm pointing out that for all the hand-wringing about a 27 year old without much experience getting elected, there are plenty in the Conservative party (as well as the Liberal party - Scott Brison, Navdeep Bains) who also got elected young and inexperienced and grew into the roles over time. I'm better at my job than I was 5 years ago because I learned from experience and from those around me, as will she.

Frankly, I think it's refreshing to have an MP who followed a different route than law school to party hack to election.

Seriousyl, no idea what the hell you're talking about, Unionist. But I guess some things never change.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Here's a useful irony - that might let the NDP get some positive traction.

 

The Liberservatives and the Conserverals are both pressing to force a byelection.

Realistically, there are two possible outcomes to such a byelection.

1) The NDP wins (whether with Madam Brosseau or another candidate), in which case we have wasted approximately $1 million for the sole purpose of the two corporate parties venting their spleen.

or

2) The Bloc wins the byelection, giving them at least some traction as they try to regain their status as the dominant federal party in Quebec.

 

Seems to me that neither answer leaves them in a go0d light.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Ken:

You have made a great comment.

All I am going to add is, does anyone REALLY believe the Libs are open to working with the New Dems? Honestly?

JeffWells

Agreed, Arthur. I just did the same thing. I'm encouraged for her, and to hell with the hypocrites who want to tear her down before she's taken her seat.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Malcom:

There is no doubt that this whole thing is going to blow up in the face of the Libs. I think most people get that this is what it is, and that this is exactly why the Libs got blown out.

I hope Ms Brosseau stays with this. What a refreshing change to have MPs who are actually in it for the Canadian people. It is so exciting!

ETA: I just looked at her Twitter page. I am telling all of you right now. She is going to be fine.

Policywonk

edmundoconnor wrote:

Brian Topp has said this better elsewhere, but this affair will almost certainly blow back in the instigators' faces. I smell a Liberal with a bad case of sore-loseritis. The legal fees would be prohibitive, and you'd only embark on this sort of venture if you were certain you'd get the result you want.

I absolutely agree that the story is only being kept alive so Liberals can kick the NDP caucus for a few days. I fully expect that in a few days, the Liberal campaign will say something along the lines of, "While we have severe reservations about the candidacy of Brosseau, legal expenses and wishing to move on to helping Canadians means we accept the result of the election."

A lawyer might also tell them it isn't worth pursuing.

janfromthebruce

ditto!

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Still figuring out the Twitter thing.  How does one find her Twitter account?

Policywonk

Malcolm wrote:

Still figuring out the Twitter thing.  How does one find her Twitter account?

I just followed the link, however since I don't have a twitter account myself all I could do was read the tweets. She seems exited at the prospect of being an MP, and must be getting support from friends and family as well as the Party. Interesting that she had gotten a tweet from Tony Clement offering advice.

Paul Gross

I doubt the twitter account(s) purporting to be Ruth Ellen Brousseau is really her.  If they were real then a) the media would not be saying Brousseau is incommunicado and b) her twitter account would be followed by NDP communications staff, other NDP mps, etc which they are not.

BTW, I can't believe how the Globeandmail.com finds some excuse to run that same picture of Brousseau at least once every day. Globe readers by now must be better able to recognize Brousseau than say, our governor general or most of Harper's cabinet.

 

Threads

Supposedly there have been statements from NDP press secretaries and the like that all the purported-to-be-Brosseau Twitter accounts are fake.

Policywonk

Threads wrote:
Supposedly there have been statements from NDP press secretaries and the like that all the purported-to-be-Brosseau Twitter accounts are fake.

It looks like it was just started.

Vansterdam Kid

I think it's real, there's no reason it isn't, though I can't be 100% sure but it seems entirely reasonable that it's real and there are reporters following her, like Kady O'Malley. Though it is a little odd that she's still using that picture. There was a facebook 'page' in her name, but obviously anyone with any sense could tell that it was fake.

Policywonk

This facebook page looks more like a spoof, especially the pictures.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ruth-Ellen-Brosseau/196281490417162

Paul Gross

Exactly, Vamsterdam Kid. The real Ruth Ellen would have another picture she could use, but a jokester would not. The fact that the tweets have been low key and not obvious jokes so far does not make them real.

edmundoconnor

I just noticed Brian Topp amongst the Twitter account's followers. Does that mean something or nothing (i.e. real or not real)?

edmundoconnor

Policywonk wrote:

Malcolm wrote:

Still figuring out the Twitter thing.  How does one find her Twitter account?

Interesting that she had gotten a tweet from Tony Clement offering advice.

I think the higher-level Tories are fine with her as an MP. That's why they're leaving it to the riding association to go for a by-election.

edmundoconnor

Nice to know we're not the only party catching heat. People in Alberta are complaining about their new MP who seems to have been in a witness protection program.

Fidel

Paul Gross wrote:
BTW, I can't believe how the Globeandmail.com finds some excuse to run that same picture of Brousseau at least once every day. Globe readers by now must be better able to recognize Brousseau than say, our governor general or most of Harper's cabinet.
 

If they ran daily photos of the triple U fat-cat senators in Ottawa (or perhaps whatever southern U.S. beach resort they might be vacationing/living at), I would not recognize most of them. The Globe could have a mystery senator photo every week, and I'll bet most Canadians would not know who they are collecting paycheques and benefits from Canadian taxpayers.

josh

Ms. Brosseau won office even though it was well-publicized that she barely spoke French, that she had spent little time during the election in her Quebec riding and that she went to Vegas on holiday.

"Participants told us they see this as proof that Canadians voted based on parties and leaders rather than their local candidate," Ensight's Jacquie LaRocque told The Globe. "Hardly a single participant across the entire country told us they voted for their local candidate."

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/why-voters-...

Ghislaine

I cannot understand the calls for a by-election - she won by a landslide and 22,000 constituents voted for her!! That is a mandate.

Only 100 signatures were needed for nomination and she had 129. If a voter claims they didn't know they were signing a nomination paper or that they didn't know who they were voting for, that is their own fault. Perhaps they will better educate themselves in 2015. It was their choice to vote for someone who doesn't live in the riding, didn't campaign and doesn't speak French well.

22,000 people voted and elected Ms. Brosseau and she is now their MP. End of story. They can decide in 2015 whether she deserves to be re-elected. I cannot comprehend where the Libs of Cons think they even a smidgeon of legitimacy in calling for a byelection??

Stockholm

Meanwhile, the Toronto Star tried to claim that some Quebec NDP MPs are making "gaffes" but they then cite an example that leaves me scratching my head:

"The age and inexperience of the 58 NDP MPs elected in Quebec — among them, several university students — has come under fire, as have comments by the 19-year-old MP-elect in Sherbrooke, who said, “Quebecers will decide if they want to be a country...I am a federalist but I respect sovereignty”

I realize that the media distorts and is sensational etc...but WHAT IS THE PROBLEM with what he said??? In fact, I defy you to find ANYONE in politics from any party in Quebec who would answer the question any differently. In fact, I think that what Dussault says is exactly what Pierre Trudeau would say if he was alive today!!!

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/986662--ndp-shifts-t...

Le T Le T's picture
Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Bravo. What a ridiculous circus of a story. Fuck you, Canadian parliamentary entitlement.

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