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Ward 10 inspection predictions.

Calgary PoliticsAs the inspection of the election in my ward of Ward 10 begins, I can\'t help but wonder what this process will discover. Unlike a public inquiry, the inspection will be held primarily behind closed doors, though there will be two days when the inspection will be open to the public. The government also claims that it will release the results of the inspection when it is done. Assuming that this is true here is a recap of some of the information that\'s come out so far and my predictions for the report. For those of you who don\'t live in Calgary, we had civic elections last October. During this election, the local Conservatives parachuted in a candidate to run against the incumbent alderman, who happens to support a different political party. In a tight race, the parachuted candidate – Margot Aftergood wins by only a hundred or so votes. The day after the election it is revealed that there were over 800 mail-in ballots that had been requested and returned from the same address. The address just happened to be a post box rented by Ms. Aftergood\'s husband.

The defeated incumbent, Diane Danielson, requests and gets a judicial inquiry into the affair. As the court case begins, Ms. Aftergood suddenly resigns her council seat after striking a deal with the city solicitor to pay her legal bills, ending the inquiry before it begins. City council, deluged by the outrage of the citizenry, ask the provincial government for a public inquiry. The province opts for an inspection, stating that a public inquiry would interfere with the police investigation (a load of bovine scatology since the federal sponsorship scandal proves quite the opposite. The true reason to chose a less public form of investigation will become apparent to the reader as I continue with some more information on the people involved.

First off, Ms. Aftergood and her husband are prominent Conservatives. Both have been loyal party supporters for years. In fact, Mr. Aftergood was on the nominating committee for Calgary-Montrose when Hung Pham (PC MLA for Calgary-Montrose) was seeking re-election. The same nominating committee that was taken to court for turning away all of Mr. Pham\'s opponents. This decision was overturned by the courts and in a nomination process that is alleged to have been corrupt, Mr. Pham was re-nominated. A further connection between Mr. Pham and the Aftergoods are the campaign teams that ran both campaigns. The same people who ran one, ran the other.

Now a private investigator began to go down the list of the mailed in ballots. It became clear quite early that many of the people who\'s names were on the list, didn\'t request the ballots, didn\'t mark the ballots and didn\'t send the ballots in. Further, many other of the people on the list also didn\'t even vote. This means that someone who had access to the Aftergood\'s mailbox (either the Aftergoods themselves or an agent) was committing election fraud, claiming to be someone else, and casting ballots in their name. The Aftergoods, of course, claim that they did nothing wrong, despite the mounting evidence to the contrary.

So now there\'s an investigation by the police and an inspection by the government. Here\'s my predictions as to the outcomes:

First the government inspection. Since the principles involved are all Tory insiders (including a sitting MLA) the inspection will find that they did nothing wrong. Since the government won\'t be able to blame the defeated incumbent, they will blame the returning officer for informing the media of the irregularities. They will also blame the returning officer for sending the ballots (and probably for not counting the ballots). If any blame is apportioned to any Tory, it will likely be to some unknown scapegoat who\'s only crime was to help their political masters.

The police investigation, assuming the culprits haven\'t covered their tracks too well, will likely result in charges being laid against Tories. I expect that the solicitor-general (a Tory) will order the crown prosecutors to either drop the case, or to plead it down to a slap on the wrist.

We shall see what we shall see in this case.
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Ward 10 inspection predictions.
Authored by: Anonymous onThursday, January 27 2005 @ 09:36 MST
Unless, of course, the Conservatives are starting to realize that they need to put a 'fresh face' up front. In which case, condemning the Aftergoods (and a relatively minor MLA, indirectly) would give the PC's an opportunity to publicly reinvent themselves. (A messy reinvention, granted, but even die-hard Tories are grumbling these days about Ralph and his bandits)