Proposed changes to Canada’s election act have me pondering. Pierre Poilievre, at 34, Canada’s youngest cabinet minister and Minister of State for Democratic Reform is driving “Fair Election” reform through the House of Commons. His motto “sharper teeth, longer reach and a freer hand” is supposed to put Canadians at ease over his plan to squash the authority of Elections Canada and reduce voter fraud.
Call me cynical but I find his timing curious. As support grows for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau – especially among students, minorities, and the poor – what better way to limit their votes while bolstering advantages for the wealthy, than to disallow “vouching” and muzzle Elections Canada.
Vouching – much as it sounds is a system enabling those without proper ID, or proof of residence to vote.As it stands now, roughly 1% of voters had someone “vouch” for them in the last federal election. For the most part students and people who recently moved – those able to verify identity but not address. If Bill C-23 (Fair Election Act) passes – vouching is history.
I have less problem with vouching than this bat shit piece of logic – Poilievre openly criticizes Elections Canada for failing to boost voter turnout. If passed, C-23 puts an end to those voter registration cards we get in the mail – the ones with our address telling us where our polling station is. It would restrict Elections Canada from any “get out and vote” ads, they could only advertise when the election is taking place – our government believes it is up to political parties to drive voters to the polls.
It gets better – the Conservative government’s “tackle fraud” mandate is hilarious. Returning officers and poll clerks would be elected by political parties – the party with highest number of votes in the previous election, given the right to “recommend” central poll supervisors. Election Canada’s repeated attempts for jurisdiction to obtain court orders when investigating questionable election funding or practices – not happening with C-23.
A few more nuggets – post election, political parties would be handed lists gathered at each polling station – that same list of registered voters polling clerks have you sign before casting a ballot – political parties pouring over names and addresses of who did or didn’t vote. “Robo-calling” companies and those who hire them would have to keep recordings of calls and when they were made for one year – when the Chief Electoral Officer insisted records of numbers called be included in the legislation – Poilievre scoffed “that would be an invasion of privacy”. Holy crap.
Third party advertising restrictions, convoluted wording in favor of “loopholes” allowing fundraising calls to any who donated $20 or more in the past five years be exempt from “campaign finance” stipulations, and changes to how the Commissioner of Canada Elections conducts investigations, round out the “Fair Election Act”.
Wake up Canada! Bill C-23 begs a resounding “oh hell no”. “Sharper teeth, longer reach, and freer hand” – if this isn’t an alarming turn, I don’t know what is.
Slowly but surely democracy in Canada is slipping due to this Alberta’s oil backed Conservative government…
A survey taken today by a Vancouver radio station showed 7 out of 10 people hadn’t even heard of this legislation.It’s astounding so few Canadians grasp the impact of your comment, or bother to give a damn if they did. 🙂
We need people to reveal these kind of things, people like you.
Thank you – now get out there and spread the word. Knowledge is power 🙂
While our two governments are substantially different it’s amazing how similar politicians are in every land!
If voters don’t hear that slogan, “sharper teeth, longer reach and a freer hand” with alarm and run for the polls to defeat the bill I’ll lose all respect for my Canadian neighbors. The idea that any of those three attributes would spell good things for the voting population is ludicrous. Sometimes politicians are too smart and smug for their own good.
Sadly – Canadians don’t vote on the changes. They are simply “debated” by elected representatives and put to a vote in the house of commons. Currently at its second reading.- not a lot of time left to storm our local MP’s office.
Knowledge might be power, but I’m not sure our schools and their teachers are all that reliable when it comes to teaching religion or politics. Both topics come with so much emotional baggage!
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Reblogged this on notestoponder and commented:
With Canada’s federal election a few weeks away, I ask all Canadians to ponder Harper’s “Fair Elections Act”. We seem to have forgotten this asinine piece of Conservative legislation.
I know how you feel. The Tories are making it increasingly difficult for voters here too, but nothing as mental as this
What gets me is that nobody is calling bat-shit on Conservative shenanigans.Tonight I was called a “raving idiot” for suggesting Canadians vote strategically to rid ourselves of the nincompoop behind banning Elections Canada for urging people to get out and vote. Has the world gone mad?
The worry they have is that people will go and vote them out of office