In 2014, we saw a Conservative government plagued by scandals, out of touch with challenges facing Canadians and preoccupied with photo-ops and their own partisan interests. Meanwhile, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals fail to hold Conservatives to account and, after two years, we still have no idea where they stand on key issues.
A year’s worth of scandals and ineptitude condensed into our annual list of the top political lowlights of the year… LOWLIGHT #5: Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and the Unfair Elections Act
Canadians deserve a fair electoral system. In the entire history of our country, no government had ever used its majority to adopt a bill to give its party an advantage in the next election cycle. But that’s exactly what the Conservatives did last May, when they adopted their highly controversial “Unfair” Elections Act.
Of course, the Conservatives rejected the NDP’s proposals to offer investigators the tools they need to fight electoral fraud, maintain the autonomy of Elections Canada vis-à-vis the government and to give the Chief Electoral Officer the ability to encourage Canadians to vote. The Conservatives weakened our democracy on the backs of Canadians, just like they did during last election’s robocall scandal, which interfered with some citizen’s right to vote.
The truth is that the Conservatives have no interest in strengthening the Elections Act.
Although Conservatives have been convicted for electoral fraud over the last several months (Dean Del Mastro, Michael Sona), the robocall trials underlined the fact that the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Elections Canada need more power to get to the bottom of cases of electoral fraud. Although judges Gary Hearn and Richard Mosley found that the Conservative databases were used for criminal purposes and that several people were involved in the scheme, only Michael Sona was convicted.
Without the power to compel individuals to testify, it’s difficult for investigators to shed light on these types of offences. And the Conservatives certainly aren’t going to complain….
Canadians deserve better. And after nine years of Stephen Harper, Canadians just can’t afford to wait for Justin Trudeau to get ready.
Tom Mulcair’s New Democrats can be trusted to hold Conservatives to account while fighting for families and proposing common sense solutions for issues they are facing every day.