The Fair Elections Act has roused me from my political slumber.
If you haven't seen the scathing reviews from experts, or the incomprehensible defense of it, I encourage you to do so. You'll find that the Conservative Party of Canada and its acolytes are the only supporters. Listen to Sheila Fraser talk about it.
The Fair Elections Act is a key element of the Conservative plan to win a second majority government; the Conservatives are campaigning for nothing less.
Bill Overtly Favours Ruling Party
I was drawn to the following section of the Act:
Basically this allows partisan appointments to supervisory positions at polling stations. In every riding. Partisans running polling stations. This does not bode well for democracy. How can this possibly further enhance transparency in democratic processes? It only obfuscates it with the taint of possible partisan meddling. It reduces trust in the outcome, unless you're the ruling party.
To get a majority government, you need voters. And the Conservatives have been been losing support to the Liberals for a few years now. The atrophy can only continue since they are not about to change tact now. The last EKOS poll had the Conservatives with less voter intention than the Liberals. Eyes on the prize. But how? If our voter count is low, we need the Liberal and NDP votes to be lower.
Bad Behaviour Spilling into the Streets
If they are going for a second majority, of course the nomination fights are going to be nasty. And they are. Do they know something we don't? Is it just assumed that a second majority is in the works? Eyes on the prize.
Andrew Coyne wrote a great article on the sensational flameout in Oakville-North Burlington.
Erin O'Toole said that the Fair Elections Act will make elections more predictable. If he isn't hinting at a second majority there I'm not sure what he's hinting at.
Harper Will Retire Before Losing to Trudeau or Mulcair
Harper will never sit on the other side of the aisle again. He will never be leader of the Opposition or leader of the third party. I think this is a pretty safe call, but feel free to disagree. I predict he will leave politics as a head of state, when it is appropriate to do so. But if he stays it means his team is convinced that a majority government is possible, plausible and probable.
Right now they are losing support and their opposition is mounting. Eyes on the prize. Now what? Well, for one, Harper is still the Prime Minister.
Disenfranchise the Opposition
And so we come to another provision of the bill, which removes vouching as a form of ID. This process is when person Y (with ID) signs a legal document stating X (without ID) is who X is. X also signs a document stating that he/she is X. The chances that this activity would lead to widespread voting fraud are practically nil. Who is going to sign a legal document under false pretence for one vote? Remember, one person has to have ID to vouch for the other. The only way that this can be used fraudulently is if one person has fake ID and two people sign a legal document under false pretences.
At any rate, this affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians, insofar as they may not be able to vote in the next election. The demographics of the disenfranchised are the elderly, the infirm, the impoverished, Canadians with disabilities, new Canadians, students, Artic inhabitants, First Nations, the homeless. These people are not committing widespread voter fraud.
So why then, introduce a law specifically designed to disenfranchise these groups? Eyes on the prize.
Because the bill favours a majority government, because the bill taints democractic processes with partisanship, because the Conservatives are losing support, because their in-fighting is peaking, because Harper will not be anything but Prime Minister, and because the Fair Elections Act disenfranchises 100,000s of voters the Conservatives believe vote for their opponents, I think it is fair to say that the Conservatives have their eyes on a second majority, by hook or by crook.