Wednesday, July 18, 2012

AFN Election First Ballot - Atleo Landslide

Shawn Atleo did better than I expected on the first ballot, I had thought there was more discontent with him, but clearly the Chiefs in Canada are happy with him.   The media and public wanted it to look like a horse race and not a landslide like it has turned out to be.
  • Shawn Atleo   284 52.59%
  • Pam Palmater   95 17.59%
  • Diane Kelly    39  7.22%
  • Terry Nelson   35  6.48%
  • Ellen Gabriel  33  6.11%
  • Bill Erasmus   29  5.37%
  • Joan Jack      20  3.70%
  • George Stanley  5  0.93%
  • Total Votes 540 - 324 needed to win - about 90 First Nations did not vote, 14.3% of the total
I am very surprised that Bill Erasmus and George Stanley did so badly.   They have years of connections among the Chiefs and I would have thought those long term connections would have been beneficial.  I suspect many of the Chiefs saw that Shawn Atleo was unbeatable and came on board to secure their favour with the national chief.   George Stanley needed 15 chiefs to nominate him and he only achieved 5 votes.

The results say to me that the chiefs are generally happy with the leadership of Shawn Atleo.   If there had been a significant discontent by the chiefs of Shawn Atleo I would have expected that to coalesce around someone like Bill Erasmus.   

The result should not be surprising because he is elected by the chiefs in Canada to look after the interests of Indian Act bands and Indian Act chiefs.    The AFN National Chief is not the representative of the First Nations people of Canada, he is the representative of the chiefs.   

The "protest vote" candidates are Palmater, Nelson and Gabriel, they achieved a total of about 30% of the vote, much better than I had thought.   I really had not thought at Pam Palmater would manage to get this many votes given she has not been part of the social circle of the chiefs.  I think she managed to gather to her most of the serious anti-Atleo crowd.  

The rest of the crowd was spread out thinner and more evenly than I had expected, five candidates with barely more votes than the number of nominators they had.   

I was estimating 550 to 570 votes cast, 540 is a bit light.

I can not see how Shawn Atleo does not get over 60% in the next ballot.  Odds are some chiefs will not vote in the second round because the race is defacto over, this lowers the number needed for 60%.  Also chiefs will be going over to Shawn Atleo now because they see the writing on the wall.

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