Allegations of vote fixing make Mississauga politics momentarily interesting
Shortly after election day, a few Mississauga councillors got a letter from a person known only as “Fred” that claimed the vote counts for the election—the one in which Hazel McCallion got exactly the city council she asked for—had been fixed. This prompted a recount of the ballots in the close race—only 129 votes separated the winner and loser. The result? Disappointingly for reporters who hoped for yet more scandal to cover from Mississauga, it looks like there was no vote tampering after all.
The recount was called after a motion was put forward by outgoing councillor Carolyn Parrish at the last meeting of the previous council. Carmen Corbasson had lost by 129 votes to Jim Tovey. The recount showed Tovey, who had been supported by McCallion during the election, did indeed win. The exact final number was still being tabulated, but city officials said if there was a discrepancy it was no more than one or two votes.
Tovey’s win along with that of Ron Starr who defeated Parrish and was also supported by the mayor, marked a shift in support toward the mayor on key issues. Corbasson was one of the so called group of seven councillors that had opposed McCallion throughout the previous term on certain issues, eventually bringing about the ongoing judicial inquiry into the mayor’s alleged conflict of interest in a land deal led by her son’s company.
Of course, it seems that a recount was simply running the same ballots through the same tabulating machines again, so the conspiracy theorists who believed that the machines were tampered with will still have plenty of fodder for their imaginations. The more direct explanation—that McCallion is so embarrassingly popular in Her City that her enemies fell before her—explains everything in a neat package.
The bigger question is who, exactly, is “Fred”? The only thing as explosive as vote tampering would be crude smears of vote tampering by an outgoing councillor who clashed with the mayor on numerous occasions. But God doesn’t love Toronto’s reporters enough for “Fred” to be Carolyn Parrish.