Monday, February 9, 2009

Suppress the vote! (8)

Back in November, I was prattling on about how the Conservative campaign was premised on voter suppression rather than convincing anyone of the superiority of their policies*.  Challenging the Commonplace has, by digging through the Elections Canada report on the 40th General Election,  some further proof that this was indeed the strategy.
But here's where the rubber meets the road: a post-election survey done by Elections Canada indicated that 4 percent of respondents didn't vote because they didn't have the required documentation. Of another 4 percent who showed up without the proper documents, 0.5 percent went home and didn't return to cast their votes.

There were 13,929,093 ballots cast in the 40th General Election. Hence, 626,809 votes were lost due to voter identification issues. The people most likely to have been turned away were those living in rural or northern regions, nursing homes, on the streets or in temporary shelter (homeless) and students.
This puts some meat on the bone of contention that these changes were designed to disenfranchise people who are more likely to vote ABC.  Just as the photo ID regulations are formulated to discourage citizens from a subset that have voted predominately for the Liberals in the past.

Depending on the amount of overlap between the denied voters and the 500,00 Ontario Liberal voters who stayed away due to the Conservative ad campaign there may have been enough votes suppressed to have swung the results in key ridings.

That is in the past.  All of the Opposition parties had better formulate a plan to deal with this or they could face an even stronger voter suppression campaign when we next go to the polls. (In the Fall?)
(My posts on the subject are interspersed as part of the What would Rove do series)
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Beijing York said...

"What Would Rove Do"! That is a great title. I'm looking forward to the whole series.

Meanwhile, the dicking around that has been done with the Elections Canada Act is a disgrace. What kills me is that those amendment passed unanimously.

Constant Vigilance said...

Thanks BY.

There is a whole bunch under that label for whenever I thik I detect the stench and influence of Karl Rove and Frank Luntz in the Harper Party.

There will be a lot of work to do once we send these idiots back to the briar patch.

Oemissions said...

After 3 days of trying to get the definitive procedure for signing up the "homeless" to vote, I was assured that I had the right form Elections Canada. The day of the election I checked in at the polling booth just to be sure everything would run smoothly and was blocked by the person in charge of the poll. I had to go and get the director of the Community Services Centre to come down in person and sign a form for this polling officer, even tho' the director had already signed the forms. Luckily, the Director was able to accomodate. Then I went back up to the FoodBank to let the "homeless voters"gathered there know that they were now good to go and Vote.
When I went to vote, I assumed that I would be going to the poll closest to me, a stone's throw away. When i got there, a new dividing line had been done and now I was one of many being sent to another poll, 2 miles away, not within walking distance. When I got up there, the booth had been moved across the road and up aways to another hall. I thought of all the elderly who went down to the usual poll and were told to go elsewhere. Did they make it up there, or did they give up in frustration and went back home?

Constant Vigilance said...

An amazing story. Rove would have done that.

marie said...

Sounds like something the Muslims would do. If the Reform/cons were successful, what else are they guilty of or capable of.Makes you wonder doesn't it? Nothing they do would surprise me at this point.