Ontario byelection candidate changes name to 'none of the above'
Published Sunday, January 31, 2016 7:06PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, January 31, 2016 7:19PM EST
For Canadian voters turned off by their ballot choices, it has long been the elusive option: none of the above.
Technically, voters may decline their ballot after receiving it at a polling station. But to the man formerly known as Sheldon Bergson, that wasn’t enough. He wanted “none of the above” as an option on the ballot.
“I think Australia does that and some other places do, and I thought, ‘How will we get it here in Canada? And then it occurred to me that you can change your name to None Of The Above.”
So Bergson paid $137 to legally change his identity. First name: Above. Last name: Znoneofthe.
“My friends call me ‘Above,’ he said with a laugh.
If the “z” seems out of place, consider the placement of candidate names on a federal ballot.
“So you add a ‘z’ and that would put you in the bottom, and then it would be truly ‘none of the above,’” said the candidate, who is running in the Whitby-Oshawa byelection in Ontario.
But on a provincial ballot, the candidates are listed by first name followed by last name. So, instead of None of the Above, voters will actually see “Above, ZNoneofthe” on the provincial ballot.
Reaction from area residents over the weekend was lukewarm.
“It’s probably a gimmick,” said one man.
Said another: “None Of The Above sounds like he’s not affiliated with anybody.”
Other candidates in the Feb. 11 byelection are Liberal Elizabeth Roy, Progressive Conservative Lorne Coe and New Democrat Niki Lundquist. The byelection was called after the resignation of Conservative MPP Christine Elliott.
ZNoneofthe knows he’s a long-shot candidate, but is hoping to make a difference.
“If I get elected, I’ll keep the name I was elected under,” he said. “If there is a movement, and enough public support, maybe I’ll keep it until the next election.
“There could be a federal byelection at some point, I guess I could run there as well.”
Meanwhile, his old identity still exists.
“Ya, a lot of my friends still call me Sheldon.”
With a report by CTV Toronto’s Colin D’Mello