Sunday, February 12, 2006

Merasty wins in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River

From the CBC:
Merasty holds on to northern riding

The ballots have been recounted and Liberal Gary Merasty has held on to the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, a vast riding that covers the northern half of Saskatchewan.

In the original count last month, the Conservative incumbent, Jeremy Harrison, lost by 73 votes to Liberal challenger Gary Merasty. The official result announced late Friday night reduced that number to 68 votes, but didn't overturn the result.

Harrison demanded the recount, suggesting the election had been stolen.

"We got reports of things like the Liberals driving around and threatening natives that they wouldn't get their cheque if they didn't vote Liberal, reports we had from individuals of plans to stuff ballot boxes," he told the Regina Leader-Post.

"Even the last poll, somehow it took 3 1/2 hours to count the last poll and, lo and behold, it was nearly 100 per cent turnout, all of which went Liberal, just enough votes to go over the top. So we're really concerned. These are the kinds of things that happen in banana republics, not in our country."

He offered no evidence of specific wrongdoing, at least in public.

Merasty claimed victory and said he was disappointed by the accusations but would go along with whatever procedure the law requires.

On Wednesday, 20 volunteers started to recount the ballots, with 174 polls and about 24,000 votes to go through.
Disputed ballots were set aside for the judge to rule on.

The original vote count was 10,192 votes for Merasty and 10,119 for Harrison.
The important sentence, I think, is the bold towards the bottom. In the immediate aftermath of his loss, Harrison made some serious allegations. But he apparently was not able to provide any evidence to substantiate them. His lawyers apparently made no mention of them during the legal proceedings that he initiated (see here).

Why the excessive and irresponsible allegations? Harrison lost the election on the last poll, which must have been disappointing to him. I pointed out a week ago, however, the results of the poll in question is consistent with the ways it's voted in the last couple of elections: here and here. Harrison should have known all this.

No comments: