Does any BC citizen believe that the HST referendum result is not yet decided? I, for one, think the current mail-in vote is so full of pretence that it is a travesty. Elections BC claims to be non-partisan but its recent history suggests it is anything but that.
I majored in political science at UBC many years ago and, while my memory can be cloudy at times, I remember studying the fairness process of Canadian parliamentary elections. One of the critical factors in the conduct of a fair election is a rigorous and transparent system of oversight, with participation of election officials but, importantly, also representatives of those competing in the election. To reduce the possibility of error or corruption, scrutineers observe the casting and counting of ballots. The right of partisans to oversee the entire voting process is established by precedent and by statute.
For example, the BC Guide to the Election Act states:
A candidate or their official agent can appoint candidate representatives (scrutineers) to observe voting, registration in conjunction with voting and ballot counting for an election.
After voting ends on General Voting Day, the Voting Officers open the ballot boxes and count the ballots from general voting and advance voting. This is called the initial count.
Candidates and their representatives can watch the initial count.
However, long established fairness rules do not apply to the HST referendum. In the regulations, part 4-16 states:
The only individuals who may be present at a place where counting proceedings are being conducted are
(a) referendum officials, and
(b) individuals authorized to be present by the chief electoral officer.
In other words, BC Liberals and the officials they appointed at Elections BC say,
“Trust us folks. We may not have been truthful about certain other matters, but this time, we’ll be honest. Really, we will.”