Friday, September 21, 2012
OTTAWA – Today, Democracy Watch launched a national letter-writing and petition drive on Change.org calling for politicians across Canada to pass effective laws to stop election fraud robocalls, and to strengthen enforcement of election laws.
“Canadians have heard lots of talk from politicians saying they are concerned about false election robocalls and enforcement of election laws, but it is clear politicians need to be pushed and so we are making it easy for people across the country to add their voice to the call for politicians across Canada to make the changes needed to clean up and ensure our elections are fair,” said Tyler Sommers, Coordinator for Democracy Watch.
False robocalls were received by tens of thousands of voters in more than 230 ridings during the spring 2011 federal election, and were also used to mislead voters in some recent provincial elections.
Last March, federal politicians unanimously supported Democracy Watch’s proposal to pass a law quickly to stop false election robocalls, and the NDP’s motion to do this set a deadline for this fall for the federal Conservative government to introduce the changes.
Measures to make false robocalls illegal and essentially impossible will help, but there are also enforcement problems.
Elections Canada has failed to disclose the rulings it has made on more than 3,000 complaints it has received since 1997, and has recently made some very questionable rulings. Elections Canada must be required to disclose every ruling it makes to ensure that it proves it is enforcing the law fairly and properly (and election agencies across Canada must also be required to disclose all their rulings).
Democracy Watch is calling on Canadians to send a letter and to sign the petition that both call not only on federal politicians to introduce and pass a law to stop false election robocalls and strengthen enforcement, but also for politicians in every province and territory to pass similar laws that apply to their provincial, territorial and municipal elections.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Tyler Sommers, Coordinator of Democracy Watch