|Not only did the Court award Kasakaoff damages for the defamation of $50,000.00, but aggravated damages of $25,000.00 finding: 'Almost every aspect of this case demonstrates the persistent malice of the defendant|
towards the plaintiff.' In addition, the Court awarded a full indemnity of Kasakoff's legal fees which is highly unusual: 'An award of special costs is an extraordinary measure intended to punish a litigant for reprehensible conduct during the litigation.' Those legal costs could approach $100,000.00. You can be assured that Cloverchuk will do his best to make the judge's comments known in the last days of the campaign as widely as possible. This may well sway undecided vote, or alternatively, NDP vote stays home or votes Green. Liberal win be a narrow margin.
|Lawrence, I'd agree with you if it were just about which side of the deer cull issue he was on. But I do think he let it become a very public issue about his reasonableness, credibility and discipline. This seems to be something he could have easily have gotten himself out of by just apologizing and retracting. Instead he just made excuses for every action and inaction. See the BCSC judgment, especially at paras 104-113. IMO, this person should not be an MLA. Solid NDP supporters will certainly be able to rationalize maintaining support, but I think this judgment will cost him among undecided voters who read it or about it. Of course, the degree to which voters will be exposed to it is a different matter. The last result shows that with the NDP way down in the interior, the district doesn't have the same NDP tilt it used to. With no incumbency advantage, I think this is enough to cost the NDP the seat.|
|Homemade the recent trial outcome, Taft is now Toast|
|Must respectfully disagree with South Islander. If you read the particulars of that case, I don't think Mr Taft's views on the matter in general would be out of step with many in his community. The issue appears to be his cavalier use of legal terminology that has landed him in trouble. If anything, the punishment seems a little harsh to me. I could be wrong, but I think there are other bread and butter issues that are more important in this riding and that in any event the average person who were to read about this case would probably be sympathetic to Mr Taft's side anyhow. I know I would be, and I am most definitely not an NDP supporter!|
|Number of factors why this could swing BC Liberal:|
-Christy Clark has spent much time campaigning in the interior and the North, with a focused message on resource development. Latest polls suggest a huge swing towards Libs in the interior region. Horgan has spent almost all his time in Metro Vancouver.
-New NDP candidate under a lot of controversy, from nomination tensions to the recent ruling for defamation. Loss of incumbency advantages as former MLA not running.
-No BC Conservatives are running. They got 8% last election, and if most of them vote BC Libs, you have a very tight race.
|Update: This finding of defamation in Kazakoff v Taft a mere 4 days before the election has to be pretty devastating to the NDP's chances.|
|When I posted earlier, I didn't realize that Taft was sued because he refused to apologize and would spend half the campaign in BCSC defending the suit, or that he had to be hounded by the press about his equity status. Given that Norm Macdonald won with less than 50% last time as an 8-year incumbent, this is definitely winnable as an open seat. The BCLs may even be favoured now.|
|I agree with the previous poster; the internal nomination politics of the NDP will cost maybe a couple hundred votes but usually nobody cares about these types of issues unless the candidates are well known quantities (i.e. Harry Lali, where I think the issues will matter). In this case I don't think it will be a big deal and while the loss of Norm Macdonald may also cost the NDP a few votes, I can't see them erasing a 12 point lead that was won with Adrian Dix at the helm. This is likely to be close than last time as an open seat, but the tea leaves are still pointing to an ultimate NDP victory.|
|Much talk about the local NDP candidate issue, but will it have much traction here? While those dynamics in such places as Cowichan Valley may lead to a much closer and very different outcome, I don't see that happening here. The Green and BCL support is not quite strong enough to climb the hill and knock off the NDP.|
|I think that defamation suit will sink the NDP, along with some of the lost votes from the seemingly rigged Candidate selection. It's going to be Doug or maybe Justin if voter unite to keep him put.|
| ||17 03 09
|Whether the defamation suit will hurt the NDP at ll depends on whether voters even know about it or find the claimant sympathetic and I'm not sure they will. If the NDP campaign is a complete disaster and they lose further ground in the interior, the BCL have an outside chance here. But this district has a substantial NDP tilt and Taft is definitely still the favourite at this point.|
| ||17 01 20
|This riding for the NDP has seen some internal strife. First over their election equity policy. The current candidate Gerry Taft is being hit with a defamation lawsuit as well. http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/animal-rights-activist-continues-with-defamation-suit-against-bc-ndp-candidate|
With incumbent Norm Macdonald not running for the NDP, it's becoming clearer this is one of the few opportunities for pickup by the BC Liberals.
| ||17 01 18
|Invermere mayor Gerry Taft will have no trouble holding this seat for the BCNDP after retiring MLA Norm MacDonald won it the last three elections.|