Carifelle contesting UCP LSL result

Recount takes place on March 9

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

As reported a week ago, Scott Sinclair of Slave Lake won the United Conservative Party nomination for Lesser Slave Lake. It was a very tight result, with just three votes the margin of victory over Martine Carifelle on the third ballot.

As of last Friday, March 3, Carifelle had filed an appeal of the results.

“Martine is contesting the nomination (result),” says United Conservative Party constituency association president Gordon Ferguson.

What that means, according to a UCP news release issued on March 3, is a recount of the ballots. This is to take place this Thursday, March 9.

Voting in the Feb. 25 and 26 UCP LSL election was by a ‘ranked’ or ‘preferential’ system. Voters could rank the candidates by preference. To win, a candidate had to get 244 votes, or 50 per cent plus one. Under that system, if no one has the sufficient number on the first ballot, the counting is done again, with the last-place candidate removed, and those ballots’ (the ones on which that person was the first choice) second choice candidates getting those votes added. This continues until there’s a clear winner. It took three such counts to put Sinclair over the top.

In total, 487 UCP members voted.

Ferguson isn’t sure of the vote breakdown by polling station, but he does know that 153 people voted in High Prairie, and that Carifelle won there “handily.” Sinclair carried Slave Lake. Silas Yellowknee probably did well in Wabasca, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Here are the ballot-by-ballot results:

The following results come directly from a letter from the UCP to Ferguson.

First ballot
Carifelle: 232
Cunningham: 47
Sinclair: 229
Yellowknee: 40
Votes required for a majority: 275

As no contestant received a majority of valid votes cast, Silas Yellowknee was eliminated and his ballots were re-distributed according to their second preference.

Second ballot
Carifelle: 232
Cunningham: 48
Sinclair: 234
Votes required for a majority: 258

As no contestant received a majority of valid votes cast, Jerrad Cunningham was eliminated and his ballots were re-distributed according to their highest remaining preference.

Third ballot
Carifelle: 242
Sinclair: 245

Sinclair says there’s a lesson to be learned from the vote, and it is not a new one: every vote matters. He repeated that bit of advice during the course of an interview, hoping to get the message across to people (apparently there are quite a few of them) who think that their vote wouldn’t make any difference.

Meanwhile, Ferguson says he’s called an annual general meeting for the Lesser Slave UCP constituency association for March 30. It’ll be held at the seniors’ centre in Kinuso.

Martine Carifelle

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