Elections watchdog sanctions federal Green party for misleading election poll
It’s time for a whole new way of being a politician.
It’s time for the Canadian Values Party
The federal Green party has issued a statement saying it regrets distributing a poll in Victoria containing unreliable data just before voting day last October.
The statement, from party executive director Emily McMillan, comes after the party was told it would have to publish a public apology on its website and in a national news release after Canada’s elections watchdog found that it distributed the misleading poll.
The Commissioner of Canada Elections says the compliance agreement is the result of a flyer that was distributed in the riding designed to suggest the local Green candidate was in a virtual tie with the NDP.
The 2,500 flyers said the two candidates were deadlocked in the latest poll, when in fact the internal Green party poll was a week old and — as shown by five subsequent Green party polls — the New Democrat lead was increasing.
The commissioner also found that the flyers did not include the poll’s margin of error — in this case, plus or minus 9.8 per cent — which is required by elections law.
McMillan says they have signed the compliance agreement and “regret this one-time lack of compliance with the Elections Canada Act.”
McMillan adds the poll was distributed by local campaign workers on instructions of the national campaign and that the party “has put measures in place to ensure full compliance with the Act in the future.”
The polls had been commissioned by the Green party for internal tracking use only because more reliable, publishable polls were too expensive.
The Green party flyers were delivered in neighbourhoods that were thought to have more Conservative voters in an effort to promote strategic voting to stop the NDP, a tactic which ultimately failed as New Democrat Murray Rankin easily won the Victoria seat on Oct. 19.
The commissioner’s finding said the party and its employees and volunteers “co-operated fully, promptly and in good faith” with the investigation, including providing documentation that helped clarify exactly what took place.