Da Legal Stuff...

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vote Swapping OK Says Elections Canada

Recently Web Talk ran an article about online vote swapping at "Anti-Harper Vote Swap Canada", a facebook group which is encouraging voters to swap their votes in an effort to defeat the Harper government.

There has been some speculation that the process might not be legal however an Election Canada spokesperson now says there is nothing illegal about the activity.

The purpose of the site is to match up voters in ridings where the Conservatives are in tight races and to encourage people to vote for the party most likely to upset the Tory candidate.

Think of it as a match making service for the electorate.

If you live in a riding where one party stands a good chance of beating the Conservative candidate, you simply agree to vote for that party (regardless of your own allegiances) and let the folks at the Anti-Harper site know that you will 'swap' your vote with someone else in another riding who is willing to lend their support to your party.

For example, if you are an NDP supporter in a riding where a Liberal has the best chance of beating the Conservatives all you need to do is let the other members of the group know that you are willing to strategically vote Liberal if someone else is willing to vote NDP on your behalf where they have a better chance of winning.

"Under the Elections Act, encouraging a voter to vote a particular way is not prohibited nor is the invitation to participate in strategic voting," Grace Lake, Elections Canada spokesman, said.

Other vote swapping sites have popped up across Facebook and the Internet after news that Elections Canada has no problem with online strategic voting. The Anti-Harper site , though, remains the largest, recently surpassing the 7,000 member mark.

1 comment:

Toronto realtor said...

Very interesting. I don't believe these groups will influence anything (this time), but I think politicians still have not realized the power of web 2.0. Some personal blogs are nothing. 7000 members group was created spontaneously(?) and what if this effort would be coordinated? Thousands of voters are waiting on the web. Businessmen have found them. When will the politicians do?
Julie