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declare invalid

Karol Siroky

Karol Siroky was a minor political figure in Ontario, Canada during the 1980s. He is most notable for his abortive legal challenge to declare invalid the 1985 provincial election.

Siroky registered with Ontario Election Finances new party name called the "New Tory Party" for the 1985 election, and campaigned under the party's banner in the Toronto constituency of St. George. He made an Application (Motion) in the Supreme Court of Ontario to declare the election invalid on the grounds that the government of Premier David Peterson failed to ensure the "Equal access to goods and services as any other business or any other person" for all political parties and all candidates as stipulated by the Ontario Election Finances Act. Among many other problems, Siroky was refused campaign banking services by several Canadian chartered banks for himself and the "New Tories". Some bank managers, publishers and other providers of goods and services refused to provide any services, several facetiously stating that they were "Old Tories". This prevented Siroky from legally constituting the New Tory Party by fielding then-required 50 candidates because he was prevented from legally raising and disbursing funds for the campaign, running advertisements and engaging in recruiting candidates in all electoral districts of Ontario. The Supreme Court Motion failed since Siroky, the ad hoc interim leader and spokesman of the "New Tory Party", who acted in Court on his own behalf, had "standing" only in his electoral district of St. George and therefore did not have the legal standing to declare the whole election invalid. Siroky did not avail himself of the opportunity verbally to amend the Motion so as to limit it to the electoral district of St. George only. Siroky failed to see any merit in rerunning the election in St. George, where the position of the incumbent Susan Fish (PC) was very strong and at any rate this would not enable "New Tory Party" legally to constitute itself. The Presiding Justice of the Supreme Court of Ontario had no option but to deny Siroky's Motion to Declare Election Invalid. Siroky apparently believed that he made his point and accomplished his objective of ensuring equal access to goods and services for all political candidates in future elections.

The New Tory Party ran only two candidates in Ontario. The second candidate (name?) was a disabled permanent resident of the Salvation Army Men's Hostel who ran in the electoral district immediately south of St. George. Siroky acted as campaign manager, scrutinizer and witness of his nominating papers. The candidate won a "landslide" of votes at the hostel, and more than double the votes that Siroky received. He was interviewed on radio and television.

The New Tory Party never held a convention, and its name did not actually appear on the official electoral ballot, as is customary for parties in a state of formation. Siroky, an Ontario Professional Engineer and efficiency expert, produced and personally supervised delivery of 15,000 copies of a tabloid-format, two-color four-page campaign pamphlet at a cost of less than $1,000. Almost all of those tabloids were delivered to tenants in residential low-income high-rise apartment buildings located at the north end of St. George electoral district just South of Bloor Street. As later became apparent, most of the tenants were new immigrants and as such were not eligible or not interested in voting. Siroky received 385 votes in preliminary count and 186 votes in final count. The reason for the above "shrinkage" was investigated by Mr Bailey, Chief Electoral Officer, who found it perplexing, but it was never satisfactorily explained. Siroky finished distant last in a field of five candidates. The winner was Progressive Conservative incumbent Susan Fish.

Siroky's campaign was followed in the next Provincial Parliament by an amendment of the Election Finances Act of Ontario that governs the party names to forbid the use of "sobriquets" (nicknames) of existing parties or alternatively any word that is used in the name of any other registered political party in a name of a new political party. Names or abbreviations that sounded similar to names or abbreviations of existing parties were also outlawed. The amendment received unanimous support. By that a new political party would have to have a coccoid name that would be either meaningless or misleading to voters.

Siroky later in 1985 registered name of another political Party called the New Ontario Party that he attempted to use for the 1987 provincial election, but was prevented from campaigning and fielding candidates by a legal frame-up. When the party name registration expired two years later, Siroky attempted to re-register the party. The re-registration was disallowed by the Election Finances Commission on the basis that the party's abbreviation, "NOP", was too closely resembling that of an existing party, the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Siroky quit Ontario politics and moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, where he resides to this day.

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