Dredging Down in Green.

Congratulations to the new leader of the Green Party of Canada. The party has selected a Torontonian named Annamie Paul to be its new leader. The party leader is a 47-year old lawyer.

As in the recent conservative party election, it took considerable counting to arrive at a majority choice. Ms. Paul was selected after eight counts of the ballots to arrive at a choice by over 50 per cent of the voters.

As the mathematics works in a preferential ballot, it is not necessarily the primary choice of candidate who wins when there is a large number of candidates in the running. In each subsequent count, the last candidate in the count is dropped off the ballot and that candidate’s second votes go to the indicated candidates. One of the possibilities in that form of balloting is the election of the candidate known as ‘None of the Above.’ It is when none of the multiple candidates achieves a count in excess of 50 per cent.

Without a rule to cover this situation, a secondary balloting process becomes necessary—less the candidate who came last in the first ballot, of course.

While there is, at least one candidate challenging the correctness of the Green Party vote, there is little likelihood of the count being declared invalid. Paul led in many of the ballots and ended up with just over 12,000 of the 24,000 votes cast.

Ms. Paul succeeds Elizabeth May who led the Greens for the past 13 years and was the first Green Party candidate elected to the House of Commons. The Toronto native has already been nominated to contest the upcoming bye-election for the Toronto Centre electoral district.

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Please Note: If you intend to castigate me for criticizing the preferential voting, please come up with some better arguments.

Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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