And the winner is? None of the above. Yes! Not really.
I just came across a Federal Court of Canada case launched by a University of Ottawa law student who sued the government pre- election claiming he could not express his dissatisfaction with all the candidates on the ballot by scribbling “None of the above” and have this choice counted and noted. He of course argued his rights of freedom of expression under the Charter were violated.
The judge tossed out his case, saying any scribble on the ballot other than an “X” next to a candidate’s name would be rejected. Ballots with similar write-ins would also be counted as rejections but without explanation. The judge said one has the right to vote as one wishes but the government does not owe anybody the obligation amplify your preferred right of expression.
I have an idea for the gentleman going forward. Why doesn’t he change his name to “None of the Above?” After all we do have a grocery chain selling “No Name” products. He can then run as an independent. Or maybe he can go big and form a party. After all, we even have a party called “Rhinoceros”.
This way None of the Above, would actually appear on the ballot and his vote would be rejection proof.
If that all proves successful some parents may start naming their kids, None of the Above.
It could however cause some confusion in school initially if some of the kids misbehave. The teacher will say, “Jeremy, Susan and None of the Above, go see the principal.”
I’ll bet Jeremy and Susan will look at one another and stay put. Even None of the Above might try to wiggle out of it by suggesting the teacher is changing his mind and he really means nobody has to go.
And if some anarchist wants to bugger up the election system, he or she can change his or her names to “All of the Above.” This candidate then runs as an independent say, appearing on the ballot, and the vote would be valid. It would certainly agitate the other candidates who would suggest that the voter in question was really undecided. I suppose to remedy this issue, the guy could go one further and just change his name to “Undecided”. The way things are heading up in our current election, with all the parties huffing and puffing promises, I’d say this guy would be a front runner.
I wonder however what would happen if both None of the Above and Undecided appear on the same ballot. I don’t know but if I was Undecided, I’d want to make damn sure my name appears below None of the Above’s.
I dislike all politics. I know who I’m voting for.