Tory Vote Counting Fiasco No Laughing Matter! LOL!

I couldn’t help it. I found myself laughing out loud too many times Sunday night during what was supposed to be a dramatic Conservative TV Political Prime Time Special: balloting for the party’s new federal Leader, coast-to-coast-to-coast, LIVE from Ottawa.

A perfect opportunity for the Tories to introduce their new Leader … with a Prime Time address watched by millions of Canadians.

It was also a largely pre-packaged chance to “rebrand” their public image; display their efficiency; and show that they are well-organized, competent … and ready to govern!

That did not happen.

They didn’t get to results of even the FIRST Ballot until 12:34 a.m. EST Monday! LOL!

That, of course was well after most viewers in the East had already gone to sleep; and well after the NHL Playoff Game between Vancouver and Las Vegas began on other stations … no doubt stealing away a sizeable portion of any audience still awake. LOL!

Remember, the Tories had been out there for months, loudly criticizing, denouncing, mocking the Liberal government for not acting fast enough in developing a plethora of wide-ranging and complicated Covid-19 assistance programs, processing millions of applications and then getting the millions of compensation cheques out to millions of Canadian workers, businesses, landlords and seniors.

With only FOUR leadership contenders, all the Tories’ sophisticated high-tech equipment had to do was count/collate 174,000 machine-ready mail-in ballots.

CBC Newsworld, CTV News and CBC Network stations went LIVE as early as 5 p.m Eastern, anticipating FIRST ballot results around 6:30 p.m.


Seems the Tories’ sophisticated envelope-opening machines had slashed to pieces thousands of ballots … LOL … because the party had changed the size of the return envelopes, but the machines had not been adjusted. LOL!

So results were delayed and delayed and delayed because party workers had to Scotch tape together ripped ballots or … how’s this for election confidence … “re-produce” by hand ballots that were torn too badly to be repaired and put through the counting machines at all.

That’s NO laughing matter!

Conservative officials went on TV and offered assurances that scrutineers were carefully monitoring the accuracy of the thousands of replacement ballots being prepared.

But of course, producing ballots by hand takes time. Canada is not Belarus! LOL!

After the delay had gone on for more than two hours, a seemingly exasperated Kory Teneycke, former Communications Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, candidly remarked on air that counting ballots shouldn’t be “rocket science”!

Broadcasters were left to fill HOURS of airtime … I admired their tenacity and creativity: one even jesting it could soon be time to start telling Knock-Knock jokes; and after the waiting crossed into after Midnight, another quipped “Welcome to the second day of our coverage …”. LOL!

As they struggled to fill time, one party official reminded viewers there was also a delay at the Tories’ last federal leadership contest in 2017 and results at the Ontario Tory provincial leadership race, organized by many of the same people as this one, also didn’t emerge until almost Midnight. (I recommend none of them point this out on their Resumes!)

While waiting, the Tories moved up out-going Leader Andrew Scheer’s farewell address. I never viewed him before as much of a comedian, until … in the midst of the ongoing chaos, delays and embarrassment … Scheer delivered this line:

“I have never been prouder to be a Conservative.”


Canadians watching were not likely as impressed that his Official Opposition is ready to run the country.

Results of the Second Ballot finally came at 1:04 a.m. EST; the third and Final ballot results at 1:05 a.m. EST … as the Canucks were losing to Las Vegas 5-0.

The Conservatives new Leader: Erin O’Toole.

Montreal-born, O’Toole is a current MP (Ontario), former RCAF officer, Bay Street lawyer, and Veterans Affairs Minister in Stephen Harper’s Cabinet.

In his acceptance speech, O’Toole began: ” “To the millions of Canadians who are still up: Good morning, I’m Erin O’Toole,.” (It was 10:30 p.m. in BC)

He specifically addressed/reached out to Quebeckers and Ontarians, pointed to his links to the Maritimes, mentioned Alberta and acknowledged the importance of minorities, immigrants, the middle class and small business.

He didn’t mention British Columbia.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of all new topics on this BC-based Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam … ust Alerts to new postings.)

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17 Responses to Tory Vote Counting Fiasco No Laughing Matter! LOL!

  1. DBW says:

    Well Harvey. Last night I read a book. No hockey and certainly no watching a virtual political convention. I did check the internet to see who had won and learned that there were delays and then just before bed, I checked again to learn that O’Toole had won.

    Here is my take.

    Come election time, nobody will care about the voting mess. Only Conservatives and political junkies were watching anyway. When I was first getting interested in politics, I loved the drama of Trudeau’s victory, of the political machinations of Diefenbaker being bumped aside by Stanfield, of Joe Clark’s victory as Flora MacDonald and her supporters moved to Clark. Every thing seems stale today, more so when covid prevents in person conventions.

    There is a facebook page called BC Proud. It is very Conservative. I don’t go there often but every other week or so I check to see what they are posting. Always anti-Trudeau. Rarely anything about BC politics. So to your point about Erin O’Toole not mentioning BC: the only posts I ever saw on BC proud dealing with the Conservative leadership were supportive of O’Toole. Is there a breakdown of support by province? I couldn’t find one yet.

    And lastly. Why do all political parties use ranked ballots for leadership votes but refuse to consider it at all for riding counts during provincial and federal elections?

    (Response: Absolutely …by election time, the leadership selection process won’t matter. But is was a startling and embarrassing indication of “not ready for prime time” … literally. And as a political junkie, I found it quite amateurish and funny. As for the balloting procedure, it worked … but remember, there were only four candidates. And I’d bet MacKay’s people would argue the pre-marked second and third choices denied them the chance to convince swing voters to go their way in betweeen ballots. h.o)

  2. D. M. Johnston says:

    O’Tooles Conservatives are nothing more than Scheer’s Conservatives, which were nothing more than Harper’s Conservatives, a retooled Reformed Party, based on the US Tea Party.

    Filled with the same latent hate, racism and religious bile, O’Toole will find that this retooling of the Conservative party will be no match for the much more practiced, but utterly corrupt Liberal party.

    What we have in Canada is the utterly corrupt Liberal Party; the retooled, O’Toole, Trumpian Conservatives; the banal and incompetent NDP; and the UnGreen, Greens.

    With political parties like this, Quebec’s BQ can be rest assured that they will retain their seats after the next election.

    Quote: He didn’t mention British Columbia.

    Why should he, the Conservatives are a Prairie party of religious hate, they don’t need and really don’t care about BC and the fools of voters in BC will still mark X on the Conservative ticket.

    The next election, I think voting Mr. Peanut or the “Raving Loony” Party is a viable option.

    (Response: I don’t know anything about him, which is interesting since he has been an MP since 2012, served also as a Cabinet minister and and Opposition critic for Foreign Affairs. However, he did mention both the LGBT and Indigenous communities in his acceptance speech … so not quite a Harperite! I’m prepared to give him time to mold the party and its platform to see exactly what his vision is: the question is will Trudeau, who is still maneuvering (more bucks for CERB etc just recently announced) just in case he decides to go to the voters this Fall. h.o)

  3. Harry Lawson says:


    Such a fitting way for the party administration under Scheer to end.

    I know nothing about O”Toole considering he was a sitting MP , running for leader of the opposition during the biggest health crisis in a century, as well as a economic crisis that may be the worst in world history.

    I hope he doesn’t allow Trudeau to manipulate a election this Fall.

    To do so would be foolish.

    (Response: There are two ways an early election can be triggered: either the minority government gets defeated (won’t likely happen …the Opposition parties are not ready and are broke) … but Trudeau himself could pull the plug. He certainly has been maneuvering to improve conditions to call one before OTOOLE gets much of a chance to develop new policies, tour the country, meet all kinds of Canadians, promise everything to everyone and possibly catch on. Trudeau’s been using huge spending and handouts to almost every sector of the economy and nation, given his apology over WE and voluntary appearance before the committee, a cabinet shuffle, a new Throne Speech which will contain all kinds of promises (national pharmacare/daycare?), followed by a new Budget …maybe even more tax cuts. (Leaving the HUGE debt till afterwards). h.o)

  4. Gilbert says:

    The delay was unacceptable. I completely agree. The Conservatives must now work hard to appeal to voters in urban ridings and increase their support with young Canadians. If they can do that, I like their chances. Canada needs a serious, hard-working, intelligent and more ethical prime minister.

    (Response: Yes, they sure looked incompetent. I don’t think their hope for winning office lies with young voters: I doubt they ever comparatively get many of them. However, I could see them making major inroads with business/professional types in their thirties and above, middle class families, seniors …. people who may see the Liberals as giving away too much too easily to those in need, but don’t even bother looking for work, or the gimme, gimme, gimme activists, protestors. I think he will have some vulnerability there … once the bills have to be paid. h.o)

  5. nonconfidencevote says:

    Same old same old.
    The Trudeau Libs will win a majority by promising free money for all and have their mandate to financially ruin this country through spend and tax policies.
    Universal Basic Income and a sky rocketing debt.
    Prepare for a $0.50 dollar by 2024
    God help us all.

    (Response: O’Toole does have one advantage: a scandal-free current image. That could mean a lot to voters , especially if the Ethics Commissioner finds him guilty of a third violation. h.o)

  6. Richard Skelly says:

    Conrad Black and Rex Murphy may be tempted to blame dastardly Liberal moles for the administrative screwups…or Hillary Clinton. Lol.

    Seriously, the Conservatives seem—like the stateside Republicans—as a party taken over by grass roots members hell bent on rejecting politics as usual. But, in Canada, a steady-handed politician like Peter MacKay would probably have had the best chance of leading the Tories to at least a minority victory in the next election…in my opinion.

    (Response: It will be interesting to see which way O’Toole leans: the pundits say he won the second and third round over MacKay because of support from the party’s social conservatives. That would not seem to be a winning formula Canada-wide these days. However, since he is so little known to Canadians, it could give him a chance to build and put forward a cleaner and better image than Trudeau currently offers. The question remains whether and why the Liberals would give him enough time to do that. h.o)

  7. D. Malcolm Johnston says:

    You never know in Canada. Voting screw-ups, ring eerily of Trump’s claims of fake voting.

    O’Tooles slogan, “Take back Canada” begs a question, take back from who?

    And here I thought we took Canada back from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, the very same as O’Tooles conservatives.

    I really wish the Conservatives stop trying to be American GOP evangelical Tea Party clones.

    They don’t get it; the Conservatives don’t get it.

    (Response: I will be really interested in the views/stances the party takes under O’Toole … and can hardly wait to see their election platform. Che Guevara … I mean Trudeau … is more vulnerable now than he has ever been, for many reasons, and frankly I see the Tories, not the NDP or Greens as being their big threat. h.o)

  8. Marge says:

    “O’Tooles slogan, “Take back Canada” begs a question, take back from who?” This was a question posed here. Here’s a partial answer. I am sure others can add to this as well.

    The answer is perfectly obvious to those with any ethics. Take back Canada from the corrupt Liberals. Take back Canada from the extravagant spending, the giving of money to companies run by party favorites such as Telford’s husband. Take back Canada from the giving of money to the WE organization because of the connection to Maggie, Sophie and Justin. (As an aside was the remaining $30 or so million ever returned from this organization or will we ever find out?)

    Take back Canada from the blatant lies that come from Trudeau each and every day that he speaks. Take back Canada from the spin (and more lies) when he’s caught. Take back Canada from pretending to be all inclusive while throwing female Cabinet ministers under the bus. Take back Canada from Justin Trudeau. Take back Canada from a party that attacks others for their personal beliefs but believes it’s acceptable to cheat and lie to Canadians each and every day.

    As an elderly extremely religious female friend of mine said to me recently: “Canada needs a leader with balls (her words) to take on Justin Trudeau.” I hope Erin O”Toole is the man for it.

    (Response: Unfortunately, ethical lapses and scandals are not the sole preserve of the Liberals. Anyone who has a few free hours should just Google “Tory Scandals under Harper”. I did …and it came up with ” 3,530,000 results”. I didn’t dare try “lies” too. Having said that, I wish O’Toole well: Canada could use a moderate viable right of center electable voice as an alternative to the Liberals, NDP and Greens. h.o)

  9. D. M. Johnston says:

    I thought overnight about this and this term “Take back Canada” is highly disturbing and seems to come from the utterly corrupt Trump regime.

    This makes me worry that the Conservative party strategists are in direct contact with Trumps “Make America Great Again”.

    The Conservatives, denying their own recent dubious history are embarking not on issues, but on a smear campaign.

    Sadly today all politics are corrupt and politicians do nothing about it – they have given themselves a free pass on honesty. The Conservatives and the Liberals come to the top of the heap of dishonesty.

    Canada has some real issues, homelessness, global warming, and an increasingly unstable neighbour to the south to name a few.

    The Conservatives play lip service to this and they take on Trudeau’s ethics, well just to remind them, Harper lost due, in part, to his ethics. It seems to be a case of those who live in glass houses, should not throw stones.

    That being said, it seems O’Toole sold his political soul to the evangelical/extreme right-wing and he will have to show his mettle when the Liberals bring in a few bills, one of which is to ban conversion therapy, a most odious practice used, again, south of the 49th.

    Canada desperately needs a Canadian Conservative Party to deal with Canadian politics and not a Trumpian evangelical American Conservative party which wants to force its will, its religion and its pseudo science on the rest of the population.

    O’Toole has a massive job to do, but first, ditch that Take Canada Back campaign, because if you run with that, you may force me to do something, I have not done in over 40 years and that is to vote Liberal.

    (Response: I think it’s too early to judge him: let’s see what ideas/policies he actually puts forward. As for he “sold his political soul to the evangelical/extreme right-wing” … he has openly said he supports women’s choice and also LGBT rights, so that soul must already be burning with the extreme right. But I have noticed something that the media has overlooked: sure seems to have snubbed BC! He spoke to Quebeckers a number of times in his acceptance speech, pointed to his Ontario and Maritimes ties and mentioned Alberta. NOTHING about or to BC! And Tuesday, he phoned the premiers of Alberta and Saskatchewan (both conservative governments) but as far as I can tell, not a word with Horgan or BC officials …home to Canada’s third largest city and provincial population of five million. And when he reportedly talked to Trudeau about “Western alienation” every quote I’ve seen echoes Alberta’s positions…not BCs. The “working” media should be all over that. h.o.)

  10. Ken Murray says:

    I would vote for anybody but Trudeau and the Liberals and i hope they call an election this fall and if he should get back in again i’d be all for wexit.

    Provincially i don’t know who to vote for, if anyone.
    The corrupt Liberals are the same only missing Christy and then we have the hypocrite Horgan who is doing everything the Liberals were running on, like site c dam.

    I sure wish we had a Trump !!!

    (Response: The Tories, the NDP, the Greens and the Bloc have long criticized, condemned Trudeau/Liberals .. and in a few weeks, they will have a chance to defeat the government and cause an election. But I think they’re all talk and don’t have the guts to do it: the Tories’ leader needs time to organize and become known; the NDP and the Greens are too weak and/or broke; and the Bloc can’t do it on their own. Trudeau could pull the plug on his own …but with his falling popularity, and the Ethics Commissioner’s report still being awaited, that could be a risk … unless he/strategists believe their chances will be even worse in the Spring or next Fall. The deadline to call a Fall vote will be late October: stand by! h.o)

  11. Art Smith says:

    Hi Harvey, I googled liberal scandals and came up with 7,000,000 plus responses, so what? Even so, I would bet most of the reports on Harper were from The Star and The Tyee, both bastions of unbiased reporting, as long as it is against a Conservative.
    I know it must be difficult for all those who voted for our present PM to admit what an unmitigated disaster he and his government have been. I have never seen such a cowardly bunch of toadies and sycophants, sitting on their hands and doing nothing while he tears this country apart. Afraid of losing their gold-plated pensions I suppose.
    I do agree with you that a fall election is coming, if for no other reason than Trudeau won’t have face the WE committee again. Although he should probably be facing a judge.

    (Response: I have never said “a Fall election is coming” …but that Trudeau/Liberals are definitely maneuvering to prepare for one, and there are still BIG signs of that: extension of CERB and just this week, a Billion for schools (clearly a provincial responsibility). As for the number of scandals, you help make my point: they ALL are guilty of many, many, many. That’s why I enjoy calling out the holier than thou spin of the partisans. h.o)

  12. DBW says:

    I love the internet.

    Harvey googles “Tory scandals under Harper” and gets 3.5M hits.
    To counter, Art Smith googles “Liberal scandals” and gets 7M hits (7.61 when I did it).

    I googled simply “Conservative scandals” and got 7.65M hits, a virtual tie with the Liberals.

    So I googled NDP scandals and got only 800,000 hits. The media and the internet clearly have a bias favouring the NDP.

    But when I googled “Green Party scandals” I got a whopping 267M hits! 267,000,000!! So much for media bias favouring the Greens. Mind you some of these scandals involved a pedophilia scandal in Germany and a fake signature scandal in Montana, so I googled “Green Party of Canada scandals” and still got what I would consider a whopping 3.8M hits for a minor party.

    And what does any of this mean. Absolutely nothing unless we look for specifics.

    Back on topic,

    I wouldn’t consider myself partisan as I don’t adhere to nor defend outright all of the NDP policies, the party I normally support at election time. However, for a variety of reasons I have supported them about 80% of the time in my almost 50 years of voting. In 2015, I was fooled enough by Trudeau that I would have voted Liberal had the NDP not run a much better candidate in my riding. I didn’t even consider voting Liberal in 2019 nor will I consider them during the next election. But, there is absolutely no way I can support the Conservative Party of Canada no matter what nice things Erin O’Toole says about abortion or LGBT issues or BC or the west or the environment or any other host of issues. If the rest of Canada wants to put him and the Conservatives in power that is fine. But until that happens and they actually prove they have changed, I am going to vote for a strong opposition member.

    Does that make me partisan in a negative sort of way?

    (Response: And don’t forget: the Green tally likely doesn’t include the Stanley Park fiasco ..worth at least another 100,000 mentions! As for “partisan” I don’t see that as negative or positive … just having a bias that someone recognizes he or she has. I have voted at some point for all three major parties, dependent on the issues, record of the incumbent administration, platform and local candidate. Last federal election, I voted for the Independent Wilson Raybould, because I admired her willingness to stand up for truth and I disliked Trudeau/Liberals’ handling of her/SNC Lavalin. Likely won’t go with her next time…but not even close to choosing …except definitely not the Greens (just look at how they’re running the Parks Board … like fascist Ayatollahs.) . h.o.)

  13. Gilbert says:

    I think the prime minister wants a fall election, but I don’t think the NDP wants one. Mr. Singh is the weakest leader the NDP has ever had, and he doesn’t care about the corruption all around him because he’s just happy to have some influence over the government. It’s sad, but it just goes to show that he’s a wealthy socialist who only cares about his own interests.

    (Response: The calculation Trudeau/Liberals have to make is whether his chances will improve or get worse by Spring. Determining factors will be the Ethics Commissioner’s findings, O’Toole’s popularity, the economy … and I have no doubt starting after Labour Day, the Liberals will be doing a lot of private polling. h.o)

  14. e.a.f. says:

    they couldn’t even get the machine to work properly and they want to run the country? The conservatives were a joke with Scheer and its not going to be any better with OToole. If the Conservatives were ever going to get it right they ought to have gone with MacKay.

    the torn ballots left me wondering what the game really was all about. was it an accident or planned.

    (Response: It didn’t look to me as deliberate …more like incompetence. They had changed the size of the return envelopes and clearly had not properly adjusted the envelope-opening machines … thousands of ballots were sliced in the processing. I found it quite funny to watch … although I’m sure Conservative organizers and supporters were not laughing … especially when it delayed their new leader from speaking to Canadian voters until 1:30 a.m. Eastern! h.o)

  15. e.a.f. says:

    I’m a suspicious type……….but then again who would want to “mess up” on national prime time.
    So what we have is one party who can’t get their ballots opened properly and another party who got a 48 yr old computer to issue over 500K cheques within 48 hrs. Who do I vote for. O.K. neither but if I had to make the choice, it would be the Liberals. the conservatives are going to be the party who couldn’t “shoot straight”.

    The whole thing on one level was funny. On another, not so much. Perhaps it is time we had a look at how party leaders are choosen because in some cases they do automatically become the P.M., Premier, Leader of the Opposition. Perhaps it ought to be covered by the Elections Act and more independent “operators”, just like our elections.

    (Response: I don’t think anyone should blame O’Toole personally for the ballot night debacle, but agree it sure reminded many Canadians the Tories are not perfect …or anywhere close to it. Personally, I will once again watch for policies, personalities, promises, performances and platform propaganda they throw at us before deciding … but admit, for me, although I voted for an Independent in the last election, next time it will likely only come down to Liberal or Conservative. h.o.)

  16. e.a.f. says:

    had to laugh reading the comments. some one with the balls to take on Trudeau. Ya, right. the only one with “balls’ is a woman, so lets say ovaries and that is Freeland. Tougher, smarter, etc. than the boys.

    Scandals, won’t matter if Trudeau comes out with a pharma care platform. Prescriptions take a huge bit out of some families budgets.

    when I’m assessing politicians, I sometimes turn off the sound, and then just watch the body language. its always interesting, when you’ve first watched with sound, then no sound.

    The deficit, in my opinion isn’t going to be a big deal for many because they, or their friends and family benefited during the initial COVID crisis. We are still in COVID mode and maybe for another 2 yrs. So who will people be voting for, the party which sends the cheques or the party who talks about deficits and cutting the cheques?

    We saw what social conservatism has done in the U.S.A. Had the Conservatives voted McKay as leader, who knows what they could have accomplished because he could well have taken the party back to the middle.

    A fall election might work, because the electorate hasn’t gotten to “like” O’toole. I can hardly wait for the Face Book type ads with a name like his. Not his fault, but it isn’t going to help.

    (Response: I agree that any promise of a national pharmacare program (and/or daycare) would go a long way to alleviate any anger Canadians still have by October over the WE scandal … maybe even if the Ethics Commissioner hands down a damning report. Many voters believe ALL politicians have a detain degree of sleaze in their dealings and are willing to accept it …IF their own pocketbooks get rewarded! The House is back Sept 23 that Throne Speech ..and if and how it backs the Tories into a corner over pharmacare! h.o)

  17. Gilbert says:

    I’m no fan of Peter MacKay. He left politics in 2015 because he suspected the Conservatives would lose. His comments about Andrew Scheer were disrespectful, and they hurt him in Saskatchewan.

    He isn’t very bright, either. He once told the governor of California that his state was a neighbour of British Columbia.

    Peter MacKay’s French is poor. I doubt he would have done well in Quebec. Erin O’Toole speaks good French and has strong support in Quebec. Let me quote Chantal Hebert, “O’Toole a gagne le Quebec.”

    (Response: No doubt O’Toole will do better in Quebec than MacKay …having been born there, speaking French not too badly (forget the accent) and lived much of his youth in St Therese. And I suspect the Liberals had a LOT more dirt or allegations or embarrassi9ng info against MacKay than O’Toole. Considering those running, I think the Tories made a good choice. h.o)

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