Dozens of Shelly Glover supporters gathered outside Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative headquarters on Sunday to protest what they call an unfair election.
A day earlier, nominated Prime Minister Heather Stefanson won the party’s leadership race, which decided who became Manitoba’s next prime minister, and came out ahead of former MP Glover by 363 votes.
Stefansson’s victory came amid an ongoing controversy over missing ballots after at least 1,200 party members said they did not get their postal ballot days before the vote.
That included Leah Wiebe, who said she voted for Glover but forgot to include ID when she submitted her ballot about three weeks ago.
Wiebe, who is from the rural municipality of La Broquerie in southern Manitoba, said she was first promised a new ballot that never arrived in the mail.
She said she was then told to drive to places in Winnipeg and Oakbank to get a poll that did not end up being there either.
“I have no idea where this ballot paper is, as I have asked three times now,” Wiebe said at the meeting on Sunday, where about 60 people were present outside the Kennedy Street building.
“A person should not have to come to Winnipeg two or three times to get a ballot that is not there. It’s ridiculous.”
She said she was not sure exactly where all the confusion surrounding the voting process came from.
But she believes the party should either do a recount or another voting process where it ensures that everyone who has the right to cast a vote gets the chance to do so.
“They are not attentive or they do not care, I do not know,” Wiebe said.
“I think it’s very unfair to Shelly … The voices that are out there somewhere could all have been voices on her.”
She said she feels the process is being rushed and she does not understand why.
The party has so far ignored concerns about the missing ballots.
Meanwhile, the campaign for Glover – which has still refused to admit – would not comment on Sunday’s meeting.
Party member Todd Dube was also among those gathered outside the party headquarters, using a microphone to address other protesters with signs bearing phrases such as “dirty party politics” and “give our votes back now.”
“We are here to call for truth and transparency and accountability from the party. If the party is not accountable to its members, who are they so accountable to, exactly?” said Dube.
“It’s a pretty basic question, and it deserves a pretty basic answer.”
He said he also hopes to pressure the party to take another look at the ballot paper announced on Saturday – especially because the margin between the two candidates was so thin.
“[It was] The difference between winning and losing is what it was, “Dube said.
“We are looking for a proper election process, one that has a certain credibility, because this one from start to finish did not.”