The Conservative party has asked a court to toss out a series of legal challenges that are attempting to overturn the results from seven ridings in the last federal election, saying the litigation offers no solid evidence that anyone was denied the right to vote. The Conservative candidates who won the seats also claim in motions that the legal action, brought by the citizen advocacy group Council of Canadians, was filed well beyond the 30-day time limit. Citing a pattern of misleading telephone calls made before the May 2 vote, the council in March asked the Federal Court of Canada to set aside the results in seven ridings across the country, a move that would trigger a series of by-elections. Under the Elections Act, any voter can challenge a result by bringing evidence to court showing that electoral fraud or other improprieties affected the result in a riding.
Last week, an Ontario court voided the results in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke Centre after a challenge brought by losing Liberal candidate Borys Wrzesnewskyj. The court ruled there were enough clerical errors in the specific voter registrations to set the results aside. But the motions written by Conservative party lawyer Arthur Hamilton said the council’s applications make only “generalized allegations about fraud and so-called ‘voter suppression’ during the 41st General Election” in the seven ridings. Instead of presenting evidence that individual people were denied their franchise, the motions say, the council relies on polling and data analysis that found that about three per cent of the vote was suppressed in these ridings.
Full Article: Tories ask court to toss election challenge.