To the Editor,
What we should be concentrating on is cleaning up the way elections are run.
We need to stop things like robocalls and illegal election contributions and spending. But when Elections Canada tried to get to the bottom of the robocalls, the Conservative party refused to co-operate with the investigation. If the government was serious about stopping real election fraud it would have co-operated. It would also provide future investigators with the power to compel testimony. And those found to have broken the rules should lose their seats, because these sorts of illegal activities can actually impact the outcome of an election.
However the new Fair Elections Act makes the probability of getting caught and punished, for serious election illegalities, even less likely than today.
On the other hand, the proposed tightening of voter ID rules and outlawing vouching are more about suppressing voting than preventing fraud.
Considering how few Canadians bother to vote now, do we really want to make it more difficult? I cannot imagine many people breaking the law for a single vote, when that vote is meaningless in most ridings. But suppressing large numbers of votes, or winning as a result of breaking the spending rules, that can swing a riding and possibly an election.
This bill needs a serious rethink and then let MPs represent the wishes of their constituents in a free vote.