Thursday, February 15, 2007


If Toronto's National Newspaper is to be believed, Canada is gearing up for another election (it has, after all, only been a year since the last one).

This should be interesting - I of course miss all the commercials whereby people accuse the Tories of occupying our cities with gun toting troops and the Liberals of rolling around in Olympic sized swimming pools of stolen money with gangsters. Quick trivia question - have either the Liberals or the Tories ever done an attack ad on the NDP? Because that would make them so chuffed, I'm sure.

For any of you reading this who have/are living overseas, do you know how absentee ballots work? Presumably I'll need to contact the embassy or Elections Canada to get a ballot, but which riding do I vote in? The last one I lived in, is my guess, but that isn't the same place where the Quebec Government is sending increasingly threatening letters to me about my unpaid parking tickets (a friend's address in Montreal I'm using to keep my driver's license there, which I'm going to change for a French one soon anyway) or where the rest of my mail is going now.

Moving along to questions of the sound producing capabilities of tumbling conifers in arboretums owned by Schools for the Hearing Impaired, if I receive a ballot and choose to eat it in protest, do I need to take pictures of me enjoying my meal, or should I just send back remnants of the masticated bits? The former obviates the concept of a secret ballot and the latter doesn't seem very hygenic. Thoughts, anyone?


Anonymous said...

If you want to know about voting while outside of Canada, check here:

If you want to know the consequences of doing something as irresponsible as eating your ballot, you can get more information at However, this is the gist of it.
Eating a ballot, not returning it or otherwise destroying or defacing it constitutes a serious breach of the Canada Elections Act. These rules are part of a system of unobtrusive checks and balances that are intended to protect the integrity of the voting process and Canadians' trust in the integrity of the electoral system. The relevant procedures provided by the Act are summarized below.
According to section 167(2)(a) of the Canada Elections Act, "no person shall wilfully alter, deface or destroy a ballot". Subsection 480(1) of the Act also provides that every person is guilty of an offence who, with the intention of delaying or obstructing the electoral process, contravenes this Act.

Dana Phillip Doiron
Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia

Mark Reynolds said...

Thanks! Though the eating my ballot question was purely hypothetical. I think that even though I'm in a country that makes snails a delicacy it would be seen as a perverse choice of nourishment.

julie said...

I can't believe the "Can I eat my ballot?" question is actually in the FAQ on Thanks for a good laugh tonight. :)

p.s. If I eat mine, I'll be sure to use my best chopsticks to do so.