• MAUDE BARLOW: “on the very day the Unfair Elections Act became law, the Council of Canadians and Canadian Federation of Students announced we’re filing a Charter challenge to strike down key sections in court.”

    In response to Maude, I’ll post some of my blog interaction, of a few weeks ago,………..

    Gerda:  Every effort is made in Canadian elections to enable students, travellers, military………absolutely everyone who in entitled to vote is given that opportunity to do so. There are mail-in ballots, early voting, absentee voting,…….just no valid reason not to exercise this franchise. People who attend university whether in Canada or is Paris, are able to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice, in their home town. Those same people carry plenty of identification with them while away from home. I agree with you that we have a serious problem with apathy. I too would like to see every entitled voter make the effort to inform themselves and cast a ballot in every election opportunity.

  • Gerda Peachey • 3 hours ago

    When I read people scoffing at ‘reports’ about election irregularities, I’m inclined to believe that most people just give up trying to report what they see. In 2005 I ran for Council. Being a realist I run because it provides a platform for the issues that I see as important in our town. If you run to win you promise blue skies and lower taxes. So when really astounding ‘banana republic’ abuse of this wonderful right to vote was going on in plain view here, abuses that even the Abbotsford Election Officer was called out for, (but did not phone police), – then I challenged the election. I wrote to any and all possible government authorities. An Indo-Canadian candidate joined me as this involved primarily his community. I heard nary a peep from Elections, Police, Premier, local politicians, Ombudsman…….just…SILENCE. I and a different friend did however, work really hard to bring our local voting system out of the ‘voting at large’, which had allowed this mess to grow. I’ve talked to many election workers and concerned citizens over decades, who care, but have learned their voice is not taken seriously.

  • Gerda Peachey • 19 hours ago

    Getting on the voter’s list in Canada has always been remarkably easy. During enumeration we were told to simply add the names provided by a householder, as to who within the home met the requirements of citizenship, age and 6 month residency. I have done a number of cross-checks on Late Registration forms and found a lot of folk allowed to vote without the pre-registration….despite the months of mail and media invitations to register on time for election day. So here we are on that day and people are given the ballot, who waited till the last moment to do the paperwork. Many of my crosschecks of those late forms showed blanks where proof of ID was asked for. Often illiterate voters signed with an ‘X’, and the form gave no way to ever see if this person had a legitimate right to vote – or not. I have for years pointed out these discrepancies – but there is little interest in rocking this boat. Once a candidate achieves the coveted seat of power – all thoughts of fixing the election sieve dissipates.

  • Gerda Peachey • 20 hours ago

    Having worked a lot of elections, the incidence of folk bringing in cards sent to their deceased parents, grandparents, past renters and so on are adequate proof that Elections Canada has not done a great job of keeping the Voters List updated. But such a furor about asking people to carry a few pieces of paper in their pocket on this most important day, when the same people would not dream of going across the line, without adequate idea. No on takes a cruise or flies to Europe, or the Far East without all the necessary paperwork to verify their identity. Why no fuss at all about such indignities? This is all so shallow when we consider the courage of women and men voting while thugs with machine guns hover nearby. Show your ID gladly and keep Canada a free and democratic nation.

  • Gerda Peachey • 20 hours ago

    Within small villages and towns the voter ID card was all we needed. With only a few polling stations and a community where everyone knows everyone else, voter fraud is not easily done. My friends who live in apartments say you could scoop of fist-fulls of Voter Identification Cards, if you were so inclined. Elections Canada has done a dismal job of keeping track of address changes. We all need clear information to guide as as to where we can vote, but I am puzzled by the uproar at asking that voters carry clear identification on the day they wish to take part in this incredibly important function of our democratic system. Citizenship, 18 years of age, 6 months residency, and a few small pieces of ID in your back pocket, allow you to take part in determining who will be your Prime Minister, federally, who will be your Premier provincially, and who will be your Mayor locally. The Mayor automatically is head of the Police Board. All the other elected officials decide how much to tax you, and how they will spend your money. How is all of this so insignificant that to ask voters to prove they are who they claim to be, and have met those minimal requirements,……..how is this producing such an outrage?

 

MAUDE BARLOW:

“Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote…”

Nine simple words in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms lay the foundation of Canada’s democracy. And this constitutional right we’re all guaranteed must be upheld with laws and institutions that vigorously protect it.

That’s why on the very day the Unfair Elections Act became law, the Council of Canadians and Canadian Federation of Students announced we’re filing a Charter challenge to strike down key sections in court.

At this very moment we’re preparing potent evidence that the Harper Conservatives’ electoral reforms undermine the Charter and our right to vote on several key grounds:

  • The elimination of vouching and the Voter Information Card as proof of residency make it more difficult for people to vote, specifically students, the elderly and Indigenous people – who tend to not vote conservative.
  • The Chief Electoral Officer is handcuffed from performing duties critical to the integrity of our democracy, including engaging the Canadian public in the democratic process and alerting us of fraudulent activity that threatens a free vote.
  • Canadians remain vulnerable to more of the same voter suppression and fraud that was proven to have been perpetrated in the robocall scandal. In that case, the Federal Court Judge pointed to the Conservative Party of Canada as the most likely source of the data used to make the widespread fraudulent calls. The Act actually makes it harder for voters to exercise their right to overturn an election result that was fraudulently obtained.

And it’s critical that we launch this legal action immediately. If we don’t, these anti-democratic rules will be in effect for the 2015 federal election and the Harper Conservatives will have the deck stacked in their favour for re-election.

That’s where you come in.

Constitutional challenges aren’t cheap. But if we can raise $50,000 in public donations in the next 72 hours, we’ll be able to kick start the legal proceedings as early as next week.

As a Council of Canadians supporter, you’ve directly helped us sustain effective people-powered action to protect Canada’s democracy and demand truly fair elections.

Together we’ve made huge progress, and I know you agree we can’t stop now

 

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