Canada’s cleverly named “Fair Elections Act”: is anything but fair. Some things you should know.

If you thought the $5 Billion dollars (a new record) set during the last u.s election was excessive and also thought that the u.s election process was skewed toward a corpratocracy and fascism (merging corporate and government powers).

The AlbertanOr perhaps you are beginning to realize that the amount of money someone (or some corporation) donates to a party or candidate is directly related and proportionate to the policy outcomes desired by the donor, which usurps the power of “democracy” from the people and puts it directly in the hands of the “Donors”.

Perhaps you sighed relief in knowing; that although not perfect, the Canadian elections system was “better” than your neighbour to the south; Think again, everything is about to change!

 

The 10 things you should know about Bill C-23 “fair elections act” are as follows:

  1. The prohibition on one voter “vouching” for the identity of one other voter, and on using the voter registration card (VIC) as ID — together these changes will make it more difficult for hundreds of thousands of voters to vote, and so they should be removed from Bill C-23.  Instead, add the VIC to the current list of valid ID, and empower Elections Canada, and provide it with adequate funding, to hire and fully train all election workers for elections well before each election, and to make the voter registration list and ID checking even more accurate.
  2. The failure to democratize the federal political finance system by reducing the annual donation and loan limits to an amount an average voter can afford, continuing the annual per-vote funding for parties, and requiring disclosure of all gifts and donations to all types of candidates.  In contrast, Bill C-23
    1. Hikes the annual donation limit for individuals from $2,400 to $3,000 (and during an election year from $3,600 to $4,500);
    2. Hikes the amount candidates can donate to their own campaign from $1,200 to $5,000 (and to $25,000 for leadership candidates),
    3. Allows banks to make unlimited loans to parties and candidates(even candidates that influence financial policy relating to banks)
    4. Does not require disclosure of donations of volunteer labour, and fails to prohibit secret gifts to nomination race and party leadership candidates.
  3. The change to NOT count the amount spent on communications (advertising) for “fundraising” purposes in the total amount parties are allowed to spend during election campaigns (a loophole that will be abused to hide millions of dollars of unaccountable spending that secretly violates campaign spending limits).
  4. The failure to empower Elections Canada to appoint all election workers – in contrast the bill extends the dangerously unethical power of political parties and candidates who won or came second in the previous election to force returning officers to appoint the deputy returning officers, poll clerks, registration officers and central poll supervisors that they choose.
  5. The failure to empower Elections Canada to appoint the auditors for all the parties, riding associations and candidates – instead, the bill continues to allow these entities to choose their own auditors (which is a recipe for corruption).
  6. The failure to require (finally) that the Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE) disclose the results of investigations and his rulings on all complaints, and the failure to require the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to publish their reasons whenever they decide not to prosecute or agree to a plea deal.  In contrast, the bill includes a dangerously secretive new rule that requires the Commissioner and the DPP to keep the evidence and rulings for all investigations secret (unless a prosecution or compliance agreement happens).  This excessive secrecy will make it impossible to hold the CCE and the DPP accountable if they make unfair, biased or improper rulings or enforcement decisions.
  7. The restriction on all pre-election campaign advertising spending by interest groups (which means an ad run today could count as part of the total amount an interest group is legally allowed to spend on ads during the 2015 election campaign) – and the failure to also restrict pre-election ad spending by parties and candidates (including via their riding association).
  8. The failure to require anyone or any entity that uses robocalls to file a copy of each robocall script and recording, and a list of the numbers called, with the CRTC for the CRTC to keep for 5 years, and the failure to require political parties to keep a record of who accesses their voter database, and to make it a violation for political parties to allow their database to be misused.  In contrast, Bill C-23 only requires people or entities that make robocalls to register and keep just the script and recording of the call for only 1 year.
  9. The failure to increase the amount of all proposed fines to a level that will actually discourage violations (all the fines proposed in Bill C-23 should be 10 times higher) and the failure to require courts to impose the maximum fine unless extraordinary circumstances mean it would be unjust to do so.
  10. The failure to give voters up to one year to challenge a fraudulent election result (voters only have 30 days now), and the requirement in Bill C-23 that a voter must give written notice to the returning officer when the voter applies to a judge for a recount (which will make it more difficult to challenge election results).

the AlbertanIf you think all is well and agree with the act then by all means carry on watching american idol sorry for the interruption, however if you have concerns and would like to do something take a second and submit your voice here http://democracywatch.ca/campaigns/makefairelectionsactfair/

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