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'Mob rule' breaks out on BC campuses

"Vote mobs" are erupting on campuses across Canada, including B.C. universities. They are already having an impact on the federal election campaign.

Like flash mobs, vote mobs are organized to use technology to make an unexpected statement. A website called is encouraging students to form vote mobs on their campuses and to promote voting in the May 2 federal election.

In B.C., vote mobs have already formed at the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Victoria. At UBC, a vote mob is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20. On Thursday the 21st, UBC Okanagan will hold its own vote mob.

Langara College's vote mob is scheduled for April 21, 12:00-3:00. A Superhero Vote-Mob will hit the Broadway Skytrain Station on Friday, April 22 from 11:00-3:00.

Vote mobs have already made news across the country. At Guelph, according to a story by The Canadian Press, students held an early vote where about 700 ballots were cast. The Conservative Party at Canada tried to have the ballots annulled, but Elections Canada ruled that the ballots were indeed valid.

Guelph's vote mob and balloting have attracted attention in newspapers, on TV, in the university press, and the blogosphere. The Twitterverse is full of tweets about vote mobs as well.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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