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September 27, 2018
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Meet the Canadian who has contested 95 polls in 39 years

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September 27, 2018

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LAHORE: John Turmel of Canada has contested 95 ballot exercises since 1979, and has won none, British newspaper “The Guardian” has reported.

And now the 67-year old is contesting for the 96th time! John’s his primary aim was to get gambling legalized after emerging triumphant, but his first election stint could only earn him 193 votes, and then the obsession dominated.

The “Guardian” writes: “Some four decades on, Turmel has contested 95 elections, throwing his hat into the ring for jobs ranging from city councillor to MP. Often running as an independent, the number of votes he’s received fluctuates wildly, from 11 to 4,500. Long-winded and prone to campaign ideas that fly in the face of science – such as describing climate change as a hoax – the perennial fringe candidate has racked up a string of bruising headlines over the years. “Super loser fails again,” read one article, while a recent radio appearance dubbed him “politics’ biggest loser.”

The British media house adds: “Turmel is quick to wave off the criticism. “Am I feeling bad? No,” says the 67-year-old in an interview in his cluttered home office in Brantford, a small city of some 99,000 in southern Ontario. To the self-described professional gambler elections are not there to bewon or lost, but rather a low-cost means of disseminating ideas. Turmel’s first foray into elections was prompted by a police crackdown on the underground blackjack games he was running in Ottawa. “I kept getting busted,” he says. “So I ran for parliament in 1979 to legalise gambling and stop busting me.”

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