One of the most outrageous aspects of Stephen Harper’s new voter suppression scheme, a.k.a The Fair Elections Act, is how many Canadians it would disenfranchise.
Canada’s chief electoral officer says eliminating a registered voter’s ability to vouch for another could impact more than 100,000 people, most of them aboriginals who live on reserves.
Citizens most likely to be affected by that change are aboriginals who live on reserves who may be challenged to verify where they live because their home may not have a typical residential address. Young people who are moving around a lot for school or new jobs also have trouble keeping their identification and other documents up-to-date, as do seniors who move into care facilities and may not have access to their papers.
Which has some like Adam Goldenberg wondering whether it’s even constitutional.
The government may be hard pressed to argue in court that vouching results in enough voting irregularities to justify the potential disenfranchisement that stricter voter-identification rules would entail. According to the same Elections Canada report that Poilievre proudly cites, just 0.4 percent of ballots cast in the 2011 election had irregularities due to vouching — of which the vast majority were cases of misfiled paperwork, not misidentified voters.
A court may well find that the government has overstated the Election Day problems that eliminating vouching would intend to solve. If so, then the salutary benefits of the voter-identification requirements may no longer outweigh their deleterious effects. The infringement of the Charter right to vote would then flunk the final step of the Oakes test, and the stricter voter-identification rules would be unconstitutional.
But since the Cons must have been aware of that when they drafted this sinister bill, I wonder whether they even care about a Supreme Court challenge.
Because the way they are preparing to rush that bill through the House, tells me they just want to pass the bill and then hold an election before any challenge gets anywhere near the Supreme Court.
For the only thing they care about is winning the next election. They know that even if the Supreme Court rules against them after it’s over, it would not dare overturn the results of a general election.
The Cons would be back in power, Harper would be able to bend the Court to his will with a number of new appointments. And of course continue his ghastly crusade to destroy the Canada we know and love.
Which makes it even more important that the Cons be made to pay a political price for that outrageous voter suppression bill, before they steal the next election like they tried to steal the last one.
Especially since that bill also makes it easier to cheat, by stripping the Chief Electoral Officer of his investigative powers, and placing them under their control.
And it should be obvious to everyone by now that this whole operation is a massive conspiracy aimed at the bleeding heart of our democracy.
And the good news?
Stephen Harper may spin his tangled web, and think he’s oh so clever…
But more and more Canadians are getting tired of his dirty games, and they want change.
According to a new CTV News Ipsos Reid poll, many Canadians are looking for a change in federal politics.
“I think that after eight years of Conservative rule people want a leader who is going to change the direction of the country and do some things that have not been down before,” Saleem Qureshi explained.
And if we are able to convince Canadians that the Harperites are trying to steal another election, and that the Fair Elections Act is just another Con scandal, it can only damage them further, make that desire for change even greater.
And hoist Stephen Harper upon his own petard. Or STINGER…