CANADA vs. USA, at least regarding elections

I was recently perusing my internet news feed and found a CBC article about an interesting election result for Parliament in Quebec province.

Patrick O’Hara defeated an incumbent member by 286 votes in recent national elections. O’Hara’s opponent conceded and congratulated him, but soon thereafter, based on a ballot box error giving O’Hara 410 votes, rather than the correct 40, filed a judicial appeal for recount. This recount gave the incumbent, Ms. Shanahan, 18,029 and Mr. O’Hara 18,017, a difference of 12.

O’Hara was informed that he lost the election driving to his home from an introductory program of Parliament, in Ottawa. Mr. O’Hara left me speechless with his comments in response, to wit:

“There’s a feeling of… what just happened? You’re in awe and shock.” Said Mr. O’Hara. He further stated, “Every vote counts and I’m living proof”, “…. And then you’re trying to figure out who are the 13 people that didn’t make it to the voting.”

Finally, the most powerful comment of all: it was a clean contest “before, during and after.”

Note Mr. O’Hara’s words. No claim of the election stolen, systems hacked, voter fraud and the like. It was a clean contest. This from a candidate, first declared the winner, but losing the election.

Would that reaction have occurred in the US? A civil response, respecting the electoral process? I vote no way. That being said, Mr. O’Hara, if I can ever vote for you, you’ll have my vote, with respect and admiration.

  • Allan Opsitnick

Author: opsitnickslaw

Allan J. Opsitnick J.D. and B.A. Degrees, University of Pittsburgh

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