By Roy L Hales
I can’t resist the temptation of commenting on one of the silliest explanations for what is probably one of the silliest lawsuits of recent history. One of the plaintiffs appears to have published an explanation for her/his actions in the June 21-28 Cortes Marketer. As this person chose to hide behind the cloak of anonymity, I am going to use a pseudonym for “her” name: “Annie Ominous.” Throughout “her” article, Annie displays a frightening lack of logic.
For any reader who is not aware of it, shortly after Noba Anderson was re-elected as Regional Director, last October, fourteen Cortes residents filed a legal petition designed to remove her from office. The facts paraded in this document are so erroneous that their own lawyer finally agreed that “There is no basis for the declarations sought by the petitioners.” When the case finally came to court, the lawyers from both sides signed a joint submission which resulted in the case being dismissed.
How About An Apology?
In the Cortes Tideline, Gabriel Dinim suggested that one or two of the petitioners have the decency to apologize. He added:
“There are so many layers to this sorry cake, that it is an interesting exercise to take it apart.”
“There is the layer where one can take a democratically elected representative to court with no evidence, simply as part of a political strategy to circumvent the electoral process and derail for months the effective administration of an electoral area.”
“Then there is, familiarity breeds contempt, where enjoying the benefits of democracy and just shedding words for it, will eventually lead to a lack of understanding and respect for the act and power of democracy.”
“The malice layer, the wilful disregard of another person’s dignity by putting forth baseless accusations.”
“And the equanimity layer where the ripples through the community actuate humiliation, anxiety, paranoia, distrust, indignation, righteousness anger self reflection.”
“Then there is this juicy layer, how do 14 mostly respectable, mostly intelligent, mostly competent professional individuals participate in such a half baked, cockamamie idea without checking the publicly available records first.”
“It would obviously have been cheaper for them to hire the private detective, if they did not want to do the fact checking work; then they would have been heroes, had there been evidence of corruption, rather than just disruptive malcontents.”
The Cortes Petitioner’s Response
Annie struck back through the Marketer:
“To the Individual who demanded an apology from those exercising their democratic right to question an elected lawmaker who admitted taking money from her electorate.”
Now I happen to agree that questions are good, even “stupid” questions – because they lead to answers. However that is not what this is about.
The first order sought through the legal petition was “that Anderson be disqualified from holding office until the next general local election.”
If the petitioners had asked some pertinent questions, they might have discovered that the “facts” their case was built on were erroneous. Instead they filed a list of allegations with the Supreme Court of British Columbia. At this point Director Anderson had two choices: resign, or fight what even the petitioner’s lawyer finally admitted were baseless allegations.
The Rights Of Others
In response to Mr Dinim’s suggestion/hope that one or two of the petitioners apologize for wasting everyone’s time, Annie wrote:
“With this letter you are using your bully stick to put fear into the equation. You just can’t admit to the rights of others, they apparently only reside with the lawmaker. Your comments and actions overall prove the need for anonymity in this community and after all this isn’t even about you.”
Wrong again Ms Ominous, this is about everyone. You and your colleagues just attempted to use the courts to deprive Cortes Island’s electorate of the right to choose who would be our Regional Director. In the process, you also trampled on the reputations of a number of respected Cortes residents and volunteer organizations. Six months later, Cortes Island is still working through the repercussions of your actions.
Photo credit: Typewriter keys by Steven Depolo via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)