As we speak, Members of Parliament are being inundated with calls, emails, discussions of every nature regarding the Conservative-Party-backed ‘Unfair Elections Act’.
This bill is cloaked as a benevolent piece of legislation designed to make it easier for the “common person” to contribute financially to campaigns, among many other things. The ugly reality of it, however, is that it is inexplicably designed to knock Canada off of its own podium as a bastion for democracy. In a recent open letter published in The Globe and Mail , a group of 19 international and impartial scholars outlined many objections to the bill, which, if passed, would overhaul electoral laws in Canada.
Again, on the face this looks like the Benevolent Mr. Harper just trying to make it easier for his loyal constituents to keep him in the big seat for a while longer. Under the surface, where the real truth lies, the Prime Minister is desperate: desperately snuggling up to big oil companies and desperately clutching to his meal ticket. He is scared. Scared of the youth of the country who, for the most part, do not hold him in high regard. Which is why the proposed bill, which is being rushed through Parliament right now, targets youth and Aboriginal peoples and makes it harder for them to get their vote out. Political activist Jonathan Scott stated in a Globe and Mail article about the UEA,”The consequences of this limitation around promoting elections go far beyond a wrinkle in Team Trudeau’s youth election strategy: failing to combat a generation’s apathy now will only exacerbate declining voter turnout later on in life.” adding, “That’s yet another reason why we can’t let this Act pass, for the sake of my generation’s current and future participation in elections.”
This is ostensibly a heavy-handed attempt at suppressing young voters from exercising their right to tick their choice on the ballot, whatever that choice may be. With this attempt by the Harper Conservatives to circumvent proper Canadian democratic values, it is abundantly clear that decisions and policy of this nature are not being made based on the will of the people. If they were, then the governing party of this country would not be trying to drastically change electoral policy to aid the wealthy and politicize the voting process.
If this act is beneficial to the public, then why is it being rushed through parliament? The people, the ones who put these politicians in office, should be able to examine and debate this policy before it is even considered to be passed into law. The actions of the governing party are not those of a benevolent force.
This act is trying to explicitly limit democracy. If it is a choice between limiting democracy or leaving it free, this voter chooses to leave democracy in its true free state.
Which is why we need to make our voices heard. Signing the leadnow.ca petition is just one step in letting the Conservative Party know how people feel about this bill.
An even bigger step will be to get out on Tuesday, March 25th and make your voice heard at your local MP’s office. Exercise your democratic rights.