Fair elections being undermined

Staff writer
March 14, 2014 01:00 AM


I urge Canadians to sit up and try to understand that fair elections in a federal election are being undermined by a very flawed piece of legislation.

So many things in C-23, The Fair Elections Act, represent a clear and present danger to citizens.

The difficulty is among the weeds of a very complicated bill.

We now have a law before us that all polling supervisors will not be appointed by Elections Canada. In the new legislation, the elected member, the riding association or the party will appoint this position.

So exactly what does a polling supervisor do? They oversee the place you go to vote. They oversee the fairness and remedy any problems within the polling stations. Given the legislation for all future elections (yes, this includes 2015), the local referee will be from the political party of your incumbent member of Parliament.

I would never accuse our current member of Parliament of not upholding our election fairness. But it doesn't take a lot of imagination to think his party will instruct him on who to approve for these positions. Are they partisans? Quite possibly, and would they uphold the oath from Elections Canada? It is likely, but there are hyper-partisans from any political party who will not uphold those values.

Unfortunately even the political inference of unfair conduct does not bode well for voters and citizens.

It is why under the current law a polling supervisor is hired by the electoral returning officer (Elections Canada) to ensure that no voter or citizen should have any worry about the person who oversees your place of voting.

I urge anyone wanting to protect our election process to voice their concern by writing to their local member of Parliament.

Bonnie Nicol, Gibsons

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