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The Results Are In!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

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Written by May Warren

Guelph voters will wake up to a new mayor and several new faces on council this morning. The last polls have just been counted in the 2006 Civic election and it looks like voters have conducted a near clean sweep of council. Former mayor Karen Farbridge, who lost to Kate Quarrie in 2003 came back beat Quarrie by a margin of over five thousand votes. She is joined by several new councilors who beat out incumbents in stunning upsets.

In Ward 1 new comers Bob Bell and Kathleen Farrelly overtook current councilors Laura Bailey and Rocco Furfaro. A similar situation occurred in Ward 2 with Vicki Beard and Ian Findlay finishing ahead of incumbents Ray Ferraro and Dan Moziar. In Ward 3 Maggie Laidlaw was re-elected but first time candidate June Hofland placed ahead of long time councilor Dan Schnurr.

In Ward 4 Gloria Kovach was joined by neophyte Mike Salisbury, who beat out incumbent David Birtwistle. In Ward 5 Lise Burcher held onto her seat and the spot vacated by retiring councilor Cathy Downer was filed by former school trustee Leanne Piper, while in ward 6 Karl Wettstein finished first. Incumbent Christine Billings took the second spot in that ward but veteran Peter Hamtak was shut out.

The citizens of Guelph also voted overwhelmingly “Yes” on a referendum question that asked whether Guelph should maintain its current ward system. In an interview with Roger’s Television, minutes after her victory was announced Karen Farbridge expressed excitement over the new team and the new directions it can take Guelph.

“I think the voters were looking for people who would work together, this is a new opportunity and a new beginning, “ she told viewers adding, “I am looking forward to serving the community again.”

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  1. Posted by: on Nov 14, 2006 @ 1:11pm

    Student voter turnout yesterday was amazing. My email inbox has been flooded with messages from individuals in Guelph who truly noticed how strong the students came out to vote yesterday. Voter turnout in Ward 5 which carries the largest majority of students increased 229% from the 2003 election!
    Here is a message I recieved from a Poll Clerk:
    A ward 5 comment from yesterday-- (p.s. What a great election! congratulations everyone!!)

    I was a scrutineer from 10 to 4:30 at Harcourt Church yesterday (Dean Ave. near the university). It was an extremely busy poll, with lineups almost all day.

    I was amazed and thrilled at the number of university students who came in to vote--they weren't registered to vote, but they happily stood in line, filled in forms, and waited to vote. The poll clerks had to have the forms restocked several times.

    I think having students vote in droves made a difference.

    What a great day!

    Thanks to everyone

  2. Posted by: skeptical steve on Nov 15, 2006 @ 12:08am

    What were the stats on Ward 5 re: number of votes cast with regards to this election and the last?

    It sounds great that voting was up so much in the ward. But I feel like their must be a calculation error. I know that the total vote for Guelph was up by only 7% or so. If Ward 5 were to see such a astronomical increase in participation while Guelph only experienced a modest gain in overall voting it would mean that the numbers of votes cast in wards 1-4 and 6 must have been down dramatically.

    Sorry, not to harp on the issue. I think its great to see so many people. But if the numbers quoted by Bre are correct then it would be great news for Ward 5 but horrible news for the rest of the city. Assuming that each ward represents the same number of votes (and according to my estimates from the results for this year this is generally correct) and assuming that voter participation was the same as the last election for the other wards, an increase of 200+% in Ward 5 would mean that Guelph's total voter participation would have risen b nearly 40% - which wasn't the case.

    Who knows, its late and maybe I'm the one making errors. Sorry, if I've made this sound more complicated then it needs to be.

  3. Posted by: skeptical steve on Nov 15, 2006 @ 12:14am

    Last post, I promise. I just checked on the Mercury's website and they state that the total voter turn out increased by 3% this year. Which was less then I had assumed in my above post. It would mean that voter turn out would have had to drop by approx 7% in each ward in order to cancel out the 200% increase seen in Ward 5. I'm not a math major. If my calculations are wrong then I apologize. But it just doesn't add up in my head.

  4. Posted by: joe on Nov 15, 2006 @ 8:52am

    looks like thecannon.ca is monitoring posts again and only leaving those up that aren't so blunt. Keep it up commies

  5. Posted by: john k. on Nov 15, 2006 @ 11:43am

    I'd have to agree with Steve: I checked the vote totals for each ward. Had approx. the same number of votes cast (around 8,000). To see a 200% increase it would have to mean that Ward 5 saw only 3,500 votes cast last time around. Since Ward 5 was an "average" word in terms of total votes cast it would have to mean that in the past it was very unique in its apathy. I haven't been able to find the voting totals for the last election - can anyone confirm my suspicions?

  6. Posted by: on Nov 15, 2006 @ 2:06pm

    Hi folks

    Sorry for the confusion. I was wrong,here is the actual data as collected by the city for Ward 5:

    ward 5 -- 6,908 votes (2003) / 15817 (2006) votes :: 2.29

    This means there is a 129% increase from the last election! My numbers were wrong but granted this is an amazing increase that has much to do with students getting out and voting.

    Way to go!

  7. Posted by: Adam A. Donaldson on Nov 15, 2006 @ 4:04pm

    For the record, the editor of the Cannon is a monarchist and not a communist. I should know because I am him.

    But seriously folks, whatever the exact numbers this is a truly impressive result. Thank you for disproving Apathetic 2006.

    Peace

  8. Posted by: joe on Nov 15, 2006 @ 4:19pm

    Also just found out that a previous CSA exec tried to vote 4 times in the elections, mind you he got a $5000 fine each time, but still if many people did this it would inflate the number of voters.

  9. Posted by: Gonzalo on Nov 15, 2006 @ 4:43pm

    Scott Gilbert can probably tell you better than myself, but if you read yesterday's Mercury piece, there are a couple of things that must be said:
    a) Scott tried to prove that it was possible to vote 4 times in an election. If he had wanted to he would've gotten away with it, without any fine, which brings me to...
    b) Scott knowingly invalidated all the ballots he cast by voting for all candidates in the respective ballots and signing his name. He did not vote 4 times, since all votes were invalid, and he did not try to vote 4 times, since he willingly invalidated each and every ballot he cast.

    To sum it up: if Scott hadn't invalidated his ballots to prove that you can vote 4 times, he could have voted 4 times, just by giving false testimony (which is indeed a prosecutable offence, but it is also somewhat difficult to prove how many anonymous ballots the same person has cast). Did more people do this (and didn't tell so they could get away with it)? I don't know, but it certainly looks possible, which can't be good news.

  10. Posted by: Adam A. Donaldson on Nov 15, 2006 @ 5:29pm

    To follow up with what Gonzalo said, Scott used a pin-hole spy camera to film himself getting in to vote multiple times and thusly filmed himself spoiling the ballot each time. The point was to prove the possibility, not to log multiple, fraudulent votes. Look for an article about Scott's first-hand account of his experience on the Cannon soon.

  11. Posted by: John L on Nov 15, 2006 @ 8:59pm

    I'm a little unclear on things. As I understand it he was required to sign a sworn statement indicating that the iformation he gave was true so, allegedly, he actually did break the law each time he voted. Signing a legal document usually carries some sort of obligation to be truthful. I'd say things have evolved past whether or not Scott felt he had the option of doing what he did. I can only hope they don't raise the bar so much to avoid this sort of silliness that legitimate voters decide not to bother going through the process.

  12. Posted by: Gonzalo on Nov 15, 2006 @ 10:27pm

    Regarding the "raising the bar" argument: I come from a country where carrying some form of valid photo ID is mandatory for all citizens. If you are caught without it, you'll be fined and you have to go to the nearest police station and prove that you have ID before they'll withdraw the fine.

    Despite what I hear from North Americans (and some of my British relatives), this does not turn society into Big Brother. In fact, it doubles as my SIN number, it helps when dealing with the administration, and it is extremely convenient for regional travel. And of course, come voting day, I show up, I flash my ID card and I'm out of there in a grand total of 10 seconds.

    In my view or voting without proof of identity verges on the ridiculous. Requiring it should not be avoided just because it presents an extremely minor inconvenience for people. The alternative (taking people at their word, hand on the Bible and whatnot) clearly is ripe for exploitation. I don't mean this only in terms of elections: identity theft and ensuing major property theft, which cost the provinces and private banks millions and millions of dollars every year in compensation funds, could be avoided with a simple we-require-photo-ID national policy.

  13. Posted by: John L on Nov 16, 2006 @ 1:03am

    Gonzalo

    The issue of obliging citizens to provide ID on demand is an ongoing debate. Fairly recently a poll suggested that just over 50% of the people surveyed favoured some sort of national ID card. No doubt the question of what info to include, security (what happens if the card is lost/stolen?), privacy, etc will generate huge debate. I'd love to hear Scott's take on the issue ;) ciao

  14. Posted by: on Nov 16, 2006 @ 12:27pm

    I am not an expert in law, but I think you are required to carry some form of ID in Canada. If you get pulled over by a police officer (not necessarily while driving), to the best of my knowledge I think they are allowed to arrest you until they can confirm your identity. While you probably won't get a fine, and the office is not required by law to pull you in for not having ID, I believe they do have the legal right to do so, even if you have not committed any crime.

    How I feel about this is another matter. For numerous reasons I do not think anyone should be required by law to carry ID with them at all times. However, I do feel you should have to produce some form of ID when voting. As I mentioned in a different posting, there are several ways you can allow someone to vote without them having proper ID, like having a specific polling station for that purpose. Even if you don't have photo ID, you could show a bank card, or whatever you do have. Something is better than nothing, and I don't think it hinders our privacy or democratic rights. Nobody screams privancy infringement when they are asked for their addess when setting up a new phone line, or asked for ID when purchasing a glass of beer.

  15. Posted by: legaleagle on Nov 17, 2006 @ 2:33pm

    To the best of my knowledge, in Canada you are only compelled to produce ID if you are:
    a) driving a vehicle (as stipulated under provincial traffic regulations)
    b) under arrest (at which point you must only provide your name, birthdate, and address)

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