A real ‘Fair Elections Act’ would start with getting rid of First Past the Post

On Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 in Press Releases

The Green Party of Canada today voiced its disappointment with the Conservatives’ new ‘Fair Elections Act’, unveiled this morning by Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State for Democratic Reform.

Bruce Hyer, Green Party Democratic Reform Critic and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, stated that the Fair Elections Act “Does nothing to tackle the real issues facing Canadian democracy.”

“If the Conservatives were serious about electoral reform, we would be talking about ending First Past the Post and introducing Proportional Representation, reforming our unelected and unaccountable Senate, and ending the practice of having party leaders sign off on candidates’ nomination forms,” said Hyer. “Unlike Michael Chong’s important Reform Act, this is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Under the new Act, which is purportedly aimed at combatting election fraud and reducing barriers to voting, Elections Canada will no longer enforce the Elections Act, and instead will serve in a purely administrative role. The investigation of elections fraud would become the responsibility of the office of the public prosecutor.

The Act would also end the practice of “vouching” for voters without proper ID at the polling station.

“To improve voter turnout, we should repeal all the changes, including the photo ID requirement, that make it harder for young people, First Nations, the poor, and seniors to vote. We need better voter enumeration in advance,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands. “In Canada, our problem isn’t people voting more than once, it’s people voting less than once.”

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