Thursday, January 19, 2006

You can't disenfranchise all of us, Ianno!

Tony Ianno's campaign team seems to think that their best strategy at this point is to disenfranchise as many voters as possible. The shutdown of campus polls engineered by Team Ianno was just the beginning. Now, Ianno's campaign manager is claiming that more than 4000 names on the Elections Canada voters list are improper. According to the Toronto Star,

Campaign officials for Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno say they have filed many objections with Elections Canada asking for a review of each of the names to rule out the possibility of fraud.

... [Olivia Chow spokesperson] Nader questioned why the Liberals were raising this in the final days leading up to the Jan. 23 vote. "The timing is interesting. We have the U of T students' vote cancelled, then all of a sudden 4,000 names are errors?"

There is no question that students are furious about the last-minute machinations to block on-campus voter registration stations. According to a Globe and Mail article,

"To students, this looks like an outrageous and desperate attempt to thwart our voting," Paul Bretscher, president of U of T's Students' Administrative Council, said in a statement yesterday. The council is the main student government group for undergraduates.

Livejournal blogger blindapprentice grumbles:

I think that it's shameful that a candidate would be opposed to measures
which are meant to increase voter participation. It isn't just about this
election - students who are being screwed over now may become disillusioned
with the whole process and give up on voting entirely. The last thing we
need is lower voter participation - it's already at 25% among people under

Most bloggers saw the shutdown as a transparent and desperate attempt by the Ianno team to prevent students from voting. The "Greg and Mail" says

In an earlier post I suggested that the students voting at the U of T might just
tip the balance in favour of Olivia Chow in Trinity Spadina. Guess I'm not the
only one thinking that way. As a result of complaints from the Ianno campaign
Elections Canada has put the kibosh on plans to set up polling station on the U
of T downtown campus on election day. I still don't think it will help him.

Macleans blogger Colby Cosh also wrote about the controversy.

I don't see how this can be construed as anything but a horrifying faceplant for Kingsley and Elections Canada. Ianno took two weeks to complain, either because of astonishing inattention on the part of his campaign staff or because he knew it made sense to have the registration drive cancelled just 14 hours before it was to begin.
One thing is clear: I have no doubt that election day will be intense in Trinity-Spadina, with Ianno doing their darndest to challenge the eligibility of anyone who looks like they might vote against the Liberals (i.e. everyone except Tony's infamous "busloads of 'instant Liberal' old ladies in black dresses").

Oh, in other news: apparently an anti-Olivia Chow blog popped up briefly last night and disappeared just as fast. People were laughing at it, calling it "classic liberal smear and fear campaigning" by "desperate Ianno workers". After the Klander affair, you'd think the Liberals would be more cautious about blogging. And, of course, at this late stage in the game it is unlikely that any new blog will have any effect. I've been writing this blog since April of last year, and only very recently has anyone begun to notice it; it has a pretty low pagerank on Google. That said, there are comments coming in so some are reading... thanks to all of you for your kind words and support.


At 8:12 PM, Blogger Bitter Lemon said...

The anti-Olivia blog is still there. I'm not going to provide a link because I don't want to increase the links to the site, but if you search for it, it's easily found. They seem to keep deleting and reposting the same entry. It's just too pathetic for words!


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