Last August, Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James sniveled:
“I have been frankly saddened by the vitriolic attacks that I and my office have been subjected to in the past week.”
Complaints should come as no surprise given that James sits in that position inappropriately, having been appointed by BC Liberals alone, when the position should be filled by joint approval of the Opposition. Failing that agreement, which the Liberals made little effort to gain, the former Chief Electoral Officer could have been continued. He was willing and acceptable to the NDP and Independent MLAs.
Blog DoneWithDalton demonstrates that Elections BC changed its website after the application for recall petition had been submitted. However, the legislation contains the requirement that a statement justifying recall was limited to 200 words. So, slyly altering their website doesn’t really change anything.
Craig James, Elections BC head, ruled that acronyms or abbreviations are not words so must be counted as if written out completely. He rejected the application because of word count, an act which treats the legislated intent of the law with contempt. His action is contrary to every dictionary definition of an acronym or an abbreviation. Rules of grammar define those as words, as written. The Oxford English Dictionary provides this guidance:
An abbreviation composed of the first letters of other words so that the abbreviation itself forms a word. . .
Acronyms are treated just like ordinary words in a sentence, and may be composed of all capital letters, or of an initial capital followed by small letters. . .
Acting Chief Electoral Officer James is making up rules aimed at preventing operation of the act he is charged with administering. Not the first time, either, Mr. James. Shame.