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Democracy Watch calls on Commissioner of Canada Elections to rule Prime Minister Trudeau violated federal elections law by baiting voters with false electoral reform election promise

Group’s webpage invites voters to send email to the Commissioner, especially if they were baited to vote for the Liberals by the PM’s false promise

Thursday, February 22, 2018

OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch released the letter it sent this morning to federal Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Côté as it launched its new campaign – – that calls on Commissioner Côté to investigate and initiate a prosecution of Prime Minister Trudeau’s dishonest electoral reform election promise made during the 2015 federal election.

Democracy Watch’s campaign page allows voters to send an email to the Commissioner supporting the call for an investigation and prosecution, and to add a line to the email if they were baited to vote for the Liberals by Mr. Trudeau’s false promise.

Set out in the letter to Commissioner Côté is the clear evidence that shows, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Prime Minister Trudeau’s statements and actions violate the rule in the Canada Elections Act that (among other things) prohibits anyone from making a false claim that attempts to convince voters to vote for an election candidate (subsection 482(b)).

In the 2015 federal election campaign, and for some time after, Prime Minister Trudeau promised unequivocally and unconditionally to end the first-past-the-post voting system and replace it with a system that would “Make Every Vote Count.”

“The rule in Canada’s election law makes it clearly illegal to bait voters like Prime Minister Trudeau did in the 2015 federal election with his false promise that the Liberals would change the voting system if they won no matter what, and we hope that the Commissioner of Canada Elections will hold the PM accountable for violating the law,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch. “The rule prohibiting false promises is clearly intended to discourage people from making dishonest promises, and to penalize them in order to protect voters, and elections, from being undermined by unfair tricks.”

The rule prohibiting false promises has never been tested in the courts, and so Democracy Watch’s letter calls on Commissioner Côté, and Director of Public Prosecutions Kathleen Roussel, to let the courts determine the legally correct interpretation and application of the subsection 482(b) rule.

“The courts are the proper place for a determination of whether Prime Minister Trudeau violated the rule prohibiting false promises, and so neither the Commissioner of Elections nor the Director of Public Prosecutions should prevent the prosecution from being heard by the courts,” said Conacher.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s promise to change the voting system was repeated more than 2,000 times and was a key plank in the Liberal Party’s election platform.

After the election, the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE Committee) was formed and, over a five-month period in 2016, MPs on the Committee heard overwhelming evidence and appeals from thousands of Canadians to change the voting system to one that would reflect proportional representation.

After hearing months of testimony from academics, experts and citizens, the ERRE Committee submitted a majority report based on the recommendations of 180 experts, 107 of whom expressed an opinion on keeping our current system vs. adopting a proportional system.  Fully 88% of these experts called for a proportional system, according to a detailed compilation undertaken by Fair Vote Canada.

This consultation process was the fifteenth of its kind in Canada on the issue of electoral reform.  All, including this consultation, recommended to make the system fairer and more representative by moving to a proportional voting system.

Prime Minister Trudeau ignored all of the evidence and decided arbitrarily that “all forms of proportional representation would be bad for Canada.”  He also made several false statements after breaking his promise.

Prime Minister Trudeau’s many false statements make it very clear that he made his false promise solely to attract voters, and that he never intended to honour it.

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Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch
Tel: 613-241-5179    Cell: 416-546-3443
Email: [email protected]

Democracy Watch’s Democratic Voting System Campaign and Honesty in Politics Campaign