Make the Fair Elections Act Actually Fair

The federal Conservatives have proposed a new “Fair Elections Act” (Bill C-23).  The problem is the bill will make federal elections more unfair in 5 key ways, and the bill also fails to correct 5 key unfair flaws in our current federal elections system.

For a summary updated to April 28 about these and other problems with the so-called Fair Elections Act, click here.

Please send your letter now calling on federal politicians to Make the Fair Elections Act Actually Fair!

The so-called “Fair Elections Act” will make federal elections more unfair by:

  1. Requiring more ID to vote, which will make it more difficult for hundreds of thousands voters to vote – instead the current ID rules should be kept with the voter registration card added to the list of valid ID, and Elections Canada should be empowered and given the resources to hire election workers earlier and train them better, and to make the voter registration list even more accurate.
  2. Allowing wealthy people and banks to give more money to parties and politicians (and to give some candidates unlimited donations in secret), which is a recipe for corruption — instead, gifts, donations and loans should all be limited to amounts most people can afford, and should all be fully disclosed, and the per-vote annual funding for parties should be restored.
  3. Allowing political parties to hide millions of dollars of election campaign spending that secretly violates spending limits, and to audit their own spending, both of which are also recipes for corruption — instead, all spending should be disclosed and limited, and Elections Canada should do the audits.
  4. Allowing the ruling party to choose who runs voting stations on election day, which is dangerously undemocratic and unethical – instead Elections Canada should appoint these people.
  5. Requiring secrecy by election watchdogs – Bill C-23 requires the Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to keep their rulings on complaints about election law violations secret, which will make it impossible to ensure the CCE and the DPP always make fair rulings.

And the so-called “Fair Elections Act” fails to make the following key changes needed to correct unfair flaws in our current federal elections system:

  1. Prohibit parties and candidates from baiting voters with false election promises or advertising, and from breaking election promises (unless truly unforeseen circumstances require them to be broken).
  2. Democratize the federal election voting system to ensure that the number of politicians each political party elects is based upon the voter support each party receives, to allow voters to vote “none of the above,” and also to actually fix election dates for late fall every four years (unless an actual vote on non-confidence occurs earlier).
  3. Regulate nomination races to ensure party leaders can’t appoint candidates or stop candidates from running (other than for “good character” reasons such as no criminal convictions), and give Elections Canada the power to run nomination races and enforce the rules.
  4. Have Elections Canada decide the date and number of election debates, and which party leaders get to participate based only on voter support for each party, and require all broadcasters to broadcast the debates.
  5. Give Elections Canada and the other election watchdog agencies stronger powers to get whatever documents they need from political parties, riding associations and candidates to ensure fair election rules are always followed.

For a summary updated to April 28 about these and other problems with the so-called Fair Elections Act, click here.