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Some things change

Editorial Obiter

I think a legal topic has hit peak coverage when you find people who aren’t lawyers who have suddenly become keenly interested in it.

(Four months ago, who would have expected a deferred prosecution agreement would become a household phrase across Canada?)

When you’ve been immersed in all things bencher election related, words and concepts that might seem unusual to others become downright normal.

The amount of discourse generated over the coming bencher election has been vociferous, active and, dare I say it, downright exciting, when it comes to discussing the future of the profession. But at the risk of being a wet blanket — will it actually translate into more votes and improving a dismal 33.84% turnout for voters?

Some figures suggest that incumbents have a powerful advantage going into the election, such as the fact that all 22 incumbent lawyer benchers that ran for re-election in 2015 kept their seats in Convocation. (And, given the experience and diversity of opinion shown by incumbents, that could be a good thing.) 

There has been a concerted effort throughout the campaign by non-incumbents to highlight a plethora of problems facing the profession. And others say there’s no such thing as a sure bet.

“I don’t know of a single incumbent who is resting on their incumbency to get re-elected,” says Sid Troister, a real estate partner at Torkin Manes LLP in Toronto. However you plan to cast your vote, I encourage you to check out our dedicated site, which now has more than 100 candidate profiles.

Voting starts soon and instructions on how to do so are spelled out, so there is no excuse for not taking part.

Law Times Poll

Are you surprised by the results of the bencher election?