10.25.2012 09:05 AM

Judges, judged

I know judges.  I have worked for and with judges.  I have appeared before judges.

Judges don’t like supplant the peoples’ judgement with their own.  Even when the facts and the law clearly point them in that direction.

So, if that’s the reality in the case of an election won by two dozen votes (Opitz), it is almost certainly going to be the result in the case of an election won in a landslide (Ford).

Judges, however much conservatives cynically suggest otherwise, consider the peoples’ will to be supreme.

Not theirs.


  1. Gary says:

    Just read this article in the latest Law Times about the appointment of Tony Skarica to the Ontario Superior Court.
    Very colorful guy (Tory Blue). Nice quotes, especially the one with the diaper. Probably inappropriate
    but definitely colorful.


  2. Kevin says:

    Sorry, can’t agree. I don’t see this as judges affirming the people’s will to be supreme. I think because of all the doubt cast here, we can’t be sure of the people’s will. In order for the people’s will to be clear, a new election should have been ordered, properly conducted and monitored with properly trained officials. And let the best person win (or at least the one who clearly won the most votes).

  3. Bluegreenblogger says:

    Well….. I thought this judgement would clear the air, and give some clear guidance for EC, and the rest of us lesser mortals on the relevance of procedural errors on electoral outcomes. I am not a lawyer, but I believe that such a polarized split, with minority and majority diametrically opposed on this judgement will not help lower court judges much. I can tell you for sure that Borys is wishing that 1) He kept on digging in more than just a sample of polls. 2) That he did in fact bring up what happened at the senior centre, which was pretty obviously an attempt to suppress the vote. I cannot blame him though, I understand he spent a quarter million, or more on this case. More research would have meant a lot more money, and if he broadened the case to include instances of voter suppression, then he would have easily doubled, or trebled his costs. Still, all in all this was a service rendered to all Canadians, since the courts have so seldom been called upon to offer guidance on electoral law. (And since EC is useless at about half of what they are tasked with doing, they sure as hell need guidance)

    • Windsurfer says:

      So, do you think that Steve actually feels any heat over this?

      Or will ‘obfuscate and subrogate’ be the rule of the day?

      We could coin a new term – ‘Etobigate.’

      • bluegreenblogger says:

        Etobicoke centre court case was not a smoking gun. It was pretty prosaic, and about (in essence) sloppy records keeping, and a few handsful of doubtful ballots. The court ruling let the election results stand, and beyond that did not attribute blame to anybody. In a sense, Borys overplayed his hand with all those dark hints about dirty tricks, which he did NOT address in his suit. The ruling comes out, lo and behold, the CPC can claim that claims of dirty tricks were not vindicated. Actually, they were not even addressed by the court, so by overplaying his hand Borys hands an actual victory to the Conservative party. Instead of ruling on picayune fiddly stuff, the Supreme Court has now `vindicated`the Conservatives. We will see how the actual voter suppression court case unfolds, and that will be interesting.

  4. Mike B says:

    I don’t agree with the decision either considering how close this race was. I think it’s an affront to democracy that someone can win a riding by 27 votes. No worries, I highly doubt Opitz will win the next election. Boris was well liked in his riding, it was Ignatieff that turned people off, and only by 27 votes.

    • Eric Weiss says:

      “I think it’s an affront to democracy that someone can win a riding by 27 votes.”

      Unless it’s your party of course.

  5. Tim Sullivan says:

    It is not the people’s choice if the ballots should not have been in the boxes in the first place.

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