Monday, May 28, 2012

Conservatives appeal in Etobicoke-Centre

"Tory in overturned Toronto election to go to Supreme Court."
Under the Canada Elections Act, the Supreme Court is required to hear an appeal of a contested election result “without delay and in a summary manner.” Andres Garin, the court’s executive legal officer, couldn’t give firm details of how the case will be handled, noting this is the first time the top court has been involved in a contested election. But he said he imagines the court will set a date for a hearing after consulting both parties in the case. The court is sitting in June but Garin suspected the parties might want more time to prepare, which would most likely mean no hearing until the fall. He said a hearing during the summer, when the court normally does not sit, is possible but “highly unlikely.”
"Without delay and in a summary manner" suggests to me, as a standard, that the Supreme Court should be taking this up sooner rather than later. A riding's result has been declared null and void. If that's not something requiring urgency to settle, then what is? As noted in the report, Wrzesnewskyj is requesting a hearing in June.

On the appeal, of course the Conservatives would take the opportunity. They have the money and they're going to use it to exhaust any possible appeal route they have. This is what they did with the in-and-out civil litigation that they dragged out for years, from 2006 until 2012, until they achieved majority government status.

The appeal also sends a message to any challenger that this is how far you will have to be prepared to go with the Conservatives. To the Supreme Court of Canada. That costs a lot of money and few have it to finance litigation that far. Makes me think a bursary fund of some sort might be contemplated, by people who care about the integrity of the electoral system, as a resource for candidates in this situation. Party funding is being squeezed, it's an idea.

Hope the Supreme Court gets its appeal calendar cleared and sends a message to Canadians that our electoral system is a priority!