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Following rules down to the letter

It seems that writing an application for a recall petition is like writing a tweet — if you don’t nip and tuck your wording, it won’t be accepted.

It seems that writing an application for a recall petition is like writing a tweet — if you don’t nip and tuck your wording, it won’t be accepted.

That’s what Bill Vander Zalm is learning the hard way: his application to have Ida Chong removed as MLA was turned down because, according to acting chief electoral officer Craig James, it exceeded the 200-word maximum.

The bone of contention surrounds the terms “MLA” and “HST,” which James ruled count as a combined eight words rather than two.

Vander Zalm, in response, has accused James of sabotage and is calling for his resignation.

“This simply continues the same pattern of obstruction that has characterized Elections B.C. since Craig James was appointed,” Vander Zalm said.

“If there were restrictions on acronyms, that information should have been given to the applicants at the time ... But it wasn’t, because Craig James obviously made it up.”

Colin Nielsen, lead organizer for the Oak Bay–Gordon Head Recall, said he’s been told that, because the application was rejected, more than 150 canvasser applications must be redone.

“It is like we are living in some sort of banana republic run by corrupt officials,” he said.

 
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