Newfoundland Municipal Democracy

02 Oct, 2009

Is it just me, or is it silly that an election for an office of power for the next four years was determined by a coin flip?

I know it’s legislation and it’s only fair that the rules laid out be followed, but it seems like this particular rule was drafted under the impression it was an impossible scenario.

I know nothing about the mayoral candidate from Paradise, except that one is a 19 year old student and they other is a seasoned municipal politician, but I don’t think what happened in that municipality was fair to either candidate or very democratic.

For anyone unfamiliar with this case the mayor was literally chosen at random after a recount resulted in a tie. In Newfoundland that is how we resolve electoral recounts.

Costly as they are, I think that legislation needs to be upgraded to allow additional recounts or a tie-breaking election. If there were any discrepancies from one count to a second, coundn’t it also be possible that the recount was inaccurate?

Could you imagine if a hockey playoff match tie was determined by a coin flip? I suspect people would lose interest in hockey.

About the author


I am an ex-pat Newfoundlander who has uprooted and moved to the big city of Toronto. I develop web applications for work and for fun. I play ultimate and ice hockey year-round and camp every chance my girlfriend will let me.

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