How is my case against the Electoral Commission and Council going?
The basic facts are that I ran as a candidate for Mayor for the City of Onkaparinga in the 2022 Council elections along with 11 candidates for the 12 Councillor positions. I came second missing by just 280 votes out of a total of 32,286 formal ballots. Only 1 of our 11 candidates for Councillor was elected. It was a disappointing result but we smelled a rat.
I was at the World Wide Freedom Rally today on the steps of Parliament House, North Terrace Adelaide, with, it has been estimated, about 1,000 people. But if people were in tune with events today then maybe there should have been at least 30,000, but that’s another story.
So many people came up to me and said, “What is happening with your case?”
Good question. The fact is I have been in limbo since 14th July this year when my case in the Court of Disputed Returns was dismissed. Although the Judge gave her unequivocal ruling on the day on the hearing she nevertheless deferred handing down her full reasons. It has now been just over 10 weeks and still nothing.
You can’t comment on matters currently before the court.
Is this a tactic to keep me silenced; who could know?
Why should there be such a delay?
Is the judge having a hard time justifying the dismissal?
Does this highlight a failure in the system?
Who could formulate articulate reasons that might explain this extraordinary decision?
The Local Government (Election) Act 1999 states;
71—Powers of the Court
(2) The Court may exercise all or any of its powers under this section on such grounds as the Court in its discretion thinks just and sufficient.
(3) The Court is not bound by the rules of evidence.
(4) The Court must act according to good conscience and the substantial merits of the case without regard to legal technicalities.
Furthermore, I acted without legal representation in the initial part of this case and courts are required to give leniency to litigants in these circumstances.
This implies the Court of Disputed Returns has a discretionary judgment far exceeding most courts.
If so, then this further emphasizes the question; if there is so much discretion in proceedings then why was my case dismissed?
There is an interesting note to add to this;
Judge Davison always appeared in court for all of the hearings in this case but quite a few of us commented that on the day she handed down her ruling she appeared on a monitor, online. This seemed quite extraordinary and we wondered why. For every hearing perhaps 20 to 50 people came in support of us and sat in the public gallery and inevitabley had to overflow into the corridor. Did she think that as soon as she handed down her judgment we would all rush the bench and tear her limb from limb? It sounds all too theatrical. Some of us wondered if she was sitting in the adjoining room, online, fearful of a bunch of nutters.
I will be very interested to hear what the judge’s reasons are in light of the wide parameters given to the court.