The Fair Elections Act Out from the Shadows
In the past I have decried the fact that our Leaders and politicians have pointed to our Electoral System as proof that we have a Democracy, when at the same time we, the People, do not have a say between elections, nor even the decency of being consulted. The Party System dominates our so-called Democracy, where Leaders dictate how our so-called representatives will represent our interests as constituents.
So if our Electoral System is under attack, it is time for the electorate to stand up and make some noise. Sure the Conservatives hide behind the slogans, in this case, the Fair Elections Act, while many, aside from NDP and Liberal parties, speak out about the Fair Election Act. The Globe and Mail headline declares “Why the Hurry to Pass the Fair Elections Act?” and go on to write,
“The Harper government seems determined to muscle its Fair Elections Act into law with as little debate as possible. The massive, 252-page overhaul of the Canada Elections Act is on track to go through second reading in under a week”.
The present Elections Canada Chief Marc Mayrand was interviewed on CTV and quoting CTV he stated “he also had concerns over limiting his office’s ability to communicate with voters, saying it would be “a first around the world,” and said the bill fails to give the elections commissioner the proper tools to enforce the country’s election laws”.
Mayrand said “It’s certainly restricting the topics that we can discuss with Canadians. It’s very clear that it’s now limited to only three topics essentially: where you vote, when you vote, how you can be a candidate,” (end of quote)(http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/end-to-vouching-would-impact-100-000-voters-elections-canada-chief-1.1677803)
In an interview on CBC The House he said that he could no longer report to the public how the election went, as he did when he reported on the Robocall incident. He would be muzzled to the 3 topic a fore mentioned. (Paraphrasing)We would no longer get to hear of attacks on our democratic electoral system. He stated that they likely would not even be investigated because they would not be mandated to do so.
We all remember former Conservative, Brent Rathgerber, who left the Conservative Party so that he could represent his constituents free of interference from Steven Harper’s Office, we get an article from the Huffington Post. Now that he is an Independent he sees how the Fair Act is very unfair to Independents for funding (his title is “Not Much Fairness in the “Fair Elections Act”), that any party can collect financial contributions all year round, whereas an Independent has to wait for the election to actually be called before he/she can collect financing for their bid to office.
This stifling of Independents come with an Act that, according to my information has three parts of the bill that would garner a 20% increase in political donations to the political parties, of which the Conservatives have always outstripped the other parties in donations.
Many of my readers will know that I advocate to vote for Independents rather than those associated with parties to get democracy in Canada.
We expect the Opposition to be opposed to anything the Government is doing, so I have shared the view of independent sources for this article. There was the Huffington Post newspaper, CTV, and Independent and the present Elections Canada Chief, who all have put out their particular warnings about the Fairness Act. It is very sad indeed when this Act was intended to be an answer to the public outcry for the robocalls incidents, the misdirecting and harassing phone-calls during the last elections (almost entirely perpetrated by the Conservatives) and here the Elections Fairness Act takes away the Chiefs ability to investigate. The Conservative’s problem solved.
I could go on with other quotes, three strikes seems to be enough to put the Government out, but I will point out that even stronger evidence than what was said is what was done. Pierre Poilievre stated in the House of Commons that he had a good conversation with the Elections Canada Chief Marc Mayrand to get his views of changes that should be made to the Act. The next day we got the truth from the not yet muzzled Chief Mayrand, who stated that Pierre Poilievere had not discussed the act with him. I do not know about you, but if the Minister pushing the bill lies, in my books that is a deal breaker when it comes to trust.
My advise is that if we cannot trust the fox in the chicken-coup we better start yelling to get it out. Please call your MP, particularly if your MP is a Conservative representative and tell them that you are categorically against the Conservatives making changes to the Elections Act. This is just another attack on the fringes of democracy by a Government that talks transparency and then sneaks around in the shadows. When our politicians tout election as proof of us having a democracy, then when changes to the Elections Act are made we better take notice of the changes the Government is making.
An update on what is going on in the Conservative ranks, even Reformer founder Preston Manning has come out to criticize the Harper Government, saying that he sees “danger in” Harper “putting politics over policy”. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/03/01/preston_manning_sees_danger_in_putting_politics_over_policy.html
Podcast of the CBC The House with Evan Soloman
Does the Elections Fair Act pave the way for the Conservatives in 2015? (CBC The Current)