By: Laura Steiner Editor/ Reporter
The Ontario Liberal party has called a nomination in Milton for October 29, 2020. Voting to take place online using a software previously used by the Ontario Progressive Conservatives (PC’s), and the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP). It’s pandemic-friendly, and plus a step forward for technology. The results to be announced sometime after 8:30 pm on October 29. This part’s well and good. It’s a plan that fits in to the odd circumstances we currently find ourselves in. Plus if there aren’t too many hiccups it’s an advancement that stays with us.
My problem isn’t with the candidates, it’s the process. Specifically its transparency. The local riding association was disbanded following the 2018 provincial election for being inactive. I thought the riding association is a crucial structure to support a candidate/ MPP in their efforts in the riding through fundraising, and supporting the party through conducting nominations.
The question follows: How do you call a nomination without that infrastructure in place to support a candidate? The party executives didn’t have a very satisfactory answer other than to chalk it up to what they call “electoral urgency.” It’s a mechanism that allows them to assure they field candidates in all 130 ridings in the event there is a provincial election.
Premier Doug Ford is unpredictable. But with an ongoing second wave of COVID-19, and winter closing in, an election doesn’t seem likely. Rumours of a spring federal election are popping up as well. That could push a potential provincial campaign even further out to the fall of next at the earliest. By that point, you may as well just wait until the scheduled date in 2022. There isn’t the urgent need to hurry a nomination through.
A recent article from Politics Today details an investigation into “colossal voter fraud.” Aman Gill won the nomination, and two former opponents allege irregularities attributable to the online voting process. One accuser alleges that a rival campaign defrauded 250 people by attaching fake email addresses to their memberships. The campaigns supposedly used the fake addresses to get a pin number, and use the ID’s to vote without the members’ knowledge or consent.
The Ontario PC nomination used the same voting software as the Liberals were using. In 2017, they had issues throughout Ontario, including Milton’s nomination. This Liberal nomination process is moving too fast. Take the time to reactivate the riding association, and the choose a candidate. Otherwise it’s just another problem nomination.