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The Senate’s proposed amendments to election bill are a facade.

The committee in the Senate designed to look at the (un)Fair Elections Act – Bill C-23 – tried to come across as dramatically wanting to amend this bill….it came up with 9 proposed amendments that were unanimously agreed to. That got initial press coverage as saying the Conservative-dominated Senate was being independent and defying the Conservative government.  However, when one took a look at the minority report from the Independent/Liberal caucus that the Conservatives would not sign on to (such as continuing to allow vouching, allowing Elections Canada to encourage voter participation etc) and more importantly, when Pierre Poliviere came out and welcomed/praised the amendments, one immediately smelled a rat.

These amendments that were put forth are at best half-hearted measures trying to make it appear as if the government decided to listen, or at least the government Senators tried to listen to the criticism.. in reality, this was nothing more then trying to mute the criticism of the bill and give the government an attempt to say they listened. All they did was make a very odious bill only slightly less bad.

This is probably the extent to the amendments the government will permit. I expect no amendments at all to come out of the House Committee studying it – those Conservative MP’s are even more bleating sheep that do as they’re told (or actually dont want to change the bill, as they know it will potentially benefit them).

As with other legislation passed, it will be up to the Federal courts and ultimately the Supreme Court to overturn the worst of this legislation – or at least part of the legislation that directly violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms per voting – and that will be vouching.

Speaking of that, hope you had a happy Re-patriated Constitution Day today.. this was the day that the Canadian Constitution and the Charter was officially re-patriated by Pierre Trudeau and Queen Elizabeth today in 1982




3 comments to The Senate’s proposed amendments to election bill are a facade.

  • billg

    Im still trying to understand what the big deal is with this act. Quebec just had an election where vouching was not allowed. The last 2 elections in Ontario vouching was not allowed and it will not be allowed in the next election.
    Is it the vouching thats got the Left all in an uproar or the fact that EC will no longer be able to act as policeman and judge. This new bill also has an interesting item to it, federal candidates will now be able to call and ask and get a ruling on any grey areas before or during or after the campaign, how can that be a bad thing. This reminds me of the Liberals yelling and screaming about Free Trade and, being wrong, and, yelling and screaming about the GST and running a campaign on cancelling it then after winning the election keeping it. What exactly is so wrong the Fair Elections act?

  • Partisan rhetoric. First the Senate’s proposals would stop the Fair Elections Act from creating an election financing loophole and would also allow the Elections Commissioner to continue voter education programs. No matter how much change you want, these two changes by themselves are important.

    Second, the bill isn’t even in the Senate yet. The Senate has literally yet to begin and it already has 9 amendments.

    Third, the idea that 9 amendments to the Fair Elections Act are a mere facade is contradicted by the fact opposition members approve of them, along with a slew of experts.

  • John B.

    This exercise was nothing but a staged pillow fight designed to support the pretense that the legislation is being subjected to examination beyond Poilièvre’s sorry excuse for a ministry of government. When Senator Plett appeared on TV to discuss the Senate committee’s input he did nothing except to offer praise for the legislation and the same sad rationalizations we have been hearing from Pierre since it was introduced.

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