But on a more legal note, this is what Elections Canada and Parliament have to say about residency: The new information brought to my attention is pretty damaging information. That is, there are really two relevant factors here determining relevant to determining Ignatieff's candidacy:
- Length of absence from Canada
- Intention of residency
"If you are an elector (a person who is eligible to vote) and have been living away from Canada for less than five consecutive years since your last visit home, you are eligible to vote under The Special Voting Rules."
Ignatieff has been living away from Canada for more than five years. Thus, he runs afoul of the ordinarily resident clause in the Canada Elections Act, explained here by Parliament:
"Since 1993, Canadian citizens who reside outside Canada have been permitted to vote in federal elections provided they have been absent for five years or less and plan to return to Canada."
Ignatieff has not been absent for five years or less. I thus infer that he is not eligible to vote if the above information is correct.
Ignatieff only can be eligible to vote based on one factor: intention. If Ignatieff intends to reside in Canada again, he can vote. Ignatieff is not saved by his intentions, though. As he said before, he intends to go back to Harvard: “If I am not elected, I imagine that I will ask Harvard to let me back." Further, after politics, if elected, he still plans to go back to Harvard: “It would be an honor to return to Harvard once my political career is concluded."
I see no way to interpret his comments as a "joke." Who is laughing?
Besides, as one commenter put it more or less, we have a right to know what Ignatieff's permanent address is.
*****Correction: As someone stated correctly in the comments, Ignatieff is not prevented from voting per se. He may indeed be eligible. The problem is merely finding out which electoral district he was living in. If Ignatieff has bought some sort of permanent place, these questions surrounding his candidacy are answered. If Ignatieff does not have any place he is "ordinarily resident" at all, then I think all the above still applies.
As far as this comment goes, that "the "5 year" rule you continue to cite only applies if a person is currently absent and has been so for for 5 years or more," I have not seen any evidence to suggest that it only applies to people currently absent. When I read the material from Elections Canada's own website, it talks about past ("have lived") not the present ("currently lives").