Everything #cdnpoli needs to know about the #FairElectionsAct via: @globepolitics

A man casts his vote for the 2011 federal election in Toronto in this May, 2011 photo. Elections Canada is going to audit contributions made during the 2011 federal election campaign to nomination contestants, riding associations and candidates affiliated with the same parties. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Everything you need to know about the Fair Elections Act


Canada’s election laws are set to change. A major government bill, the Fair Elections Act, is working its way through the House of Commons but has proven controversial. It’s a big deal, so here’s your crash course.

This page will stay updated as news develops. Submit your own questions by e-mail or Twitter.


Jump to questions:


What is the Fair Elections Act?

Essentially, it changes the rules for voters, candidates, parties and the people whose job it is to make sure elections are fair. Ottawa says it will boost penalties for offences, reduce voter fraud and empower political parties, as opposed to Elections Canada, to drive voter turnout. For some voters, it means it’ll be harder to cast a ballot – a voter will no longer be able to have someone vouch for his or her identity, a system the government argues is too vulnerable to fraud. Political parties will also get an amalgamated list showing if you voted or not, but not who you voted for, while Elections Canada will no longer be able to run advertising campaigns encouraging people to vote.

Reuters

Who’s behind it?

Pierre Poilievre – Canada’s Minister of State for Democratic Reform and, at 34, among the youngest faces in cabinet. Mr. Poilievre has tirelessly stumped for the bill in interviews and in the House of Commons. His go-to line is that the bill gives investigators a “sharper teeth, longer reach and a freer hand.” Many of the changes are meant to reduce fraud and rein in Elections Canada, which he says has failed to boost voter turnout.

What are the changes?

There are a lot. If you have time on your hands and a knack for legalese, you can read the bill for yourself here and look at some of the Chief Electoral Officer’s more detailed objections here. But we’ll give you the short version.

The Globe and Mail

1. Vouching

Under the current rules, “vouching” is the sort of voter-ID catch-all. If you don’t have the proper ID, someone can vouch for you so you can still vote. The list of ways to vote is here. Yes, it raises a question: “Who doesn’t have any ID?” Roughly 120,000 voters in 2011 didn’t, or about 1 per cent of voters. The Chief Electoral Officer says it’s often a case of someone who can prove their identity but not their current address, specifically – such as a student or someone who has moved. The bill also eliminates using a voter information card (the thing you get in the mail saying where to vote) as a way to corroborate where you live. Axing these two options essentially raises the bar on what’s required to cast a ballot, though an extra day of advance voting is being added. Both the current and former chief electoral officer have called, unequivocally, for vouching to be kept, as have provincial and territorial counterparts.

2. Campaign finance

Candidates face limits on what they can spend. This bill would exempt one important thing from those limits – fundraising calls to anyone who has donated $20 or more in the previous five years. Critics call it a new loophole. For instance, the cost of calls to past supporters urging them to support a party again could theoretically be exempted from spending limits if, at some point during the call, a party asks for a donation. This exemption would, presumably, benefit the party with the most donors and the most robust database. At the moment, that appears to be the Conservatives.


Mr. Poilievre argues fundraising is different from campaigning – and that party donors are the most earnest supporters, and therefore don’t often need to be called and reminded to vote. The NDP similarly exempted fundraising costs from spending limits in their leadership race, a point frequently cited by Mr. Poilievre. The NDP say it’s comparing apples to oranges. “There is a huge difference between an internal party race and the federal election,” NDP National Director Nathan Rotman said.


3. The Chief Electoral Officer

The head of Elections Canada is targeted. First, the bill limits what he can say publicly – a gag order, critics say – though Mr. Poilievre has already indicated they will amend this clause.

Critically, the CEO and Elections Canada also won’t be allowed to publicly encourage citizens to vote – as they have with ad campaigns in previous elections – but only give the technical information about where and how to vote. The Conservatives argue it’s up to political parties to drive voter turnout. Former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley told a committee the changes must not go through. If it does, “Canadians will lose their trust and confidence in our elections,” he told a committee.


4. The Commissioner of Canada Elections

Essentially the elections cop, the commissioner investigates people for shady campaigning, though has been criticized as ineffective by watchdogs. The bill will move the commissioner out of Elections Canada and into the officer of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Elections Canada’s current Chief Electoral Officer has warned this provision needs rules guaranteeing he and the Commissioner can still share information.

The former Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Kingsley, said the change is a neutral one, because of a previous change that already requires the DPP to be involved. “To me, it’s ballgame over on that one and the [latest] change really isn’t affecting anything,” he said.

The bill creates new offences – for impersonating a candidate or elections officials, for instance – and hikes fines for those found guilty.

Elections Canada has also frequently asked for the power to seek a court order to force people to co-operate with investigations, a power held in other jurisdictions. This bill doesn’t offer that – in other words, in trying to tackle fraud, it doesn’t do what Elections Canada has long asked for to combat fraud.


5. Data of who voted

Parties will get “bingo cards” – checklists of which registered voters cast a ballot, and which didn’t. They currently can gather these piece-by-piece at each polling station, but gathering them all would require armies of volunteers and extensive co-ordination. It’s virtually impossible under current rules. This change will allow parties to further develop their databases of supporters.

6. Permission to hire

Currently, Elections Canada needs government approval to pay outside experts. This bill will require EC to seek Treasury Board approval for the hiring altogether. Northwest Territories Chief Electoral Officer David Brock said this should be abandoned, as the notion that Treasury Board might refuse such a request “muddles and undermines the basic relationship between the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada and Parliament.”

7. Poll clerks

The bill will allow local party associations – or, failing that, national parties themselves – to nominate deputy returning officers and poll clerks. (Currently, people for these positions can be nominated by the parties’ local candidates.) These are people who help oversee the vote at your local polling station. The Chief Electoral Officer warns the provision has no “operation benefit” and that waiting for nominations may not leave enough time to recruit and train proper officials. Under the bill, the party that won the most votes in a previous election will also be able to recommend people to act as central poll supervisor, a person in charge of a particular polling location. The Chief Electoral Officer says doing so will compromise the non-partisan nature of that role. The NWT Chief Electoral Officer also focused on this provision, saying all election officers – including central poll supervisors – be appointed by Elections Canada “without any influence by a registered political party.”

The Globe and Mail

8. Donation limits

They’re going up – in most cases, from $1,200 this year to $1,500 if passed, and $25 per year after. Two changes, however, will open the door to wealthier candidates, who would be able to donate $5,000 to a campaign or up to $25,000 to a party leadership campaign, specifically. Presently, the limits for those donations are just $1,000, but that’s on top of the $1,200 limit, meaning candidates can give their campaigns $2,200. Under the new rules, the limits are higher but the proposed new $1,500 general donation limit can no longer be tacked on to it.

9. Robocalls

The bill will require robo-calling firms, and people or groups (such as parties) that hire them, to keep a recording of each call, and records of when they were made, for up to one year. It will also require dates and scripts of live calls to be kept for a year. The Chief Electoral Officer has, however, objected to the bill failing to require companies to keep records of what numbers they call. Mr. Poilievre says that would be an invasion of privacy. The bill also creates new offences and higher fines for those caught making fraudulent calls. In short, robocalls can continue. Investigators can hear them and know when they took place – but not who they targeted. Democracy Watch, an advocacy group, argues numbers and other records should be kept for five years. The former chief electoral officer, Mr. Kingsley, suggested 10 years, telling a committee “there’s not much point in keeping it for one year.”

10. Third-party advertising

Outside groups are currently allowed $200,100 in ad spending during an election campaign period. Under the bill, they’ll now be allowed that for anything in “relation” to an election – not just during the campaign itself. This would dramatically reduce the amount groups can spend on political advertising, because the sum outside groups could spend in a campaign – as little as 36 days – would now be applied, theoretically, to a period of four years. Democracy Watch warns it would likely be struck down by a court, but would first put a chill on groups hoping to advertise ahead of the 2015 election, including those intent on advertising against the Conservatives.

Political parties, meanwhile, face no limits on what they can spend on advertising before an election period formally begins.


This all sounds big. How’s it going over?

Not well. Canada’s former chief electoral officer, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, initially gave it a grade of A-, but the response from academics and observers has otherwise largely ranged from concern to flat-out opposition. The bill’s tabling triggered filibustering and early polls have shown that the more people know about it, the less they like it (see this one and this one). The Tories tried to push the act quickly through the House of Commons, suggesting they were in no mood to debate the changes. The NDP tried to force cross-country tours for the committee considering the bill, which was rejected. The NDP have since done their own.

So why is it a big deal?

The bill has a lot of critics. They include a group of Canadian academics and a group of international ones. Canadian student groups have objected to the elimination of vouching and other changes. The international scholars, in particular, warn the bill will not only dilute the strength of Canada’s democracy, but set a poor example for fledgling democracies worldwide.

When would this take effect?

Some of it would kick in as soon as it’s passed, and certainly before the next election, expected in late 2015.


What’s the government’s argument?

That this bill combats voter fraud, includes needed updates to campaign finance laws and, in fact, preserves the investigative power of the Commissioner. We spoke with Mr. Poilievre here. You can find their news release here. Mr. Poilievre also wrote an op-ed here.

What’s The Globe’s position?

The Globe editorial board – a group separate from reporters – was not impressed, and wrote a series of five editorials about the Act and even called for it to be killed altogether.

The five-part series: one, two, three, four and five.


You know, Mr. Poilievre’s right. I really like this idea. What should I do?

You could tell your MP. Find him or her here.


I don’t like this bill. What should I do?

You could tell your MP. Find him or her here.

Has the bill passed yet?

Not yet. It’s in committee after passing second reading. Check on its status here.

I have another question…

E-mail us or tweet at us.


This explainer is written and produced by Josh Wingrove, Chris Hannay, Matt Frehner and Matt Bambach.

 

continue reading source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/fair-elections-act/article17648947/

 


Our Question(s)

Below you will find an inquiry we submitted to the Globe and Mail Team…

Greetings Josh Wingrove, Chris Hannay, Matt Frehner, Matt Bambach and Globe Investigative Team,

We are writing this “letter” regarding your rather comprehensive summary article “Everything you need to know about the Fair Elections Act” in response to your “I have another question” to inquire about something that has seemingly eluded the press and pundits. This inquiry is specifically targeting the role that the Treasury Board will play with regards to Elections Canada that the Harper Regime has opaquely implemented last fall and is now being ramped up with the Babylonian Budget Implementation Act aka: Bill C-31.

Since this issue may be the greatest of our day, it would seem as if you may have the adequate resources and contacts to address this. Please bear with us and consider taking a few moments to review the following summary articles that we have compiled on our website. Please note that among other resources, we have also uploaded segments of the Fair Elections Act Committee hearings on our ytube as well.

While the voter suppression issue is very troubling and requires great attention, we believe we have found one of the Trojan Horses that is not getting very much attention. This was also addressed in that slide show presentation on scribd a while back. This segment contains some info about the Treasury Board having to approve the hiring. Craig Scott asks the question and David Brock responds at about the 2 min mark. The reasons why this seems odd/important is due to the fact that when we were looking into conflicts of interest re: the use and abuse of social media for campaign fundraising paid for by tax dollars by the Harper Regime, we were referred to the Treasury Dept website. Here is the provision in the the (un)Fair Elections Act. Now, we can’t be very sure how this may tie in, but it seems like the Treasury Board has a bit too much power to change and/or amend many things without consent and the Regime may well be abusing those powers already. That being stated, below you will find introductions and summaries from various sources along with the links. Please keep in mind that we not journalists, we are a collaboration that relies upon many contributors and creative copypasta’ing of commentaries, so bear with our rather crude approach at summarizing but please take this seriously…

Technical assistance

20. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may engage on a temporary basis the services of persons having technical or specialized knowledge of any matter relating to the Chief Electoral Officer’s work to advise and assist him or her in the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties and functions under this or any other Act of Parliament and, with the Treasury Board’s approval, may fix and pay those persons’ remuneration and expenses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuevldk_PN8&list=PLKm1boxcMsqHzv8s4f2svegffYfqiqYMm

Below you will find brief summaries and links to what we found a while back. Please note that the summary below contains links to three related summaries of interest so they will be posted directly below along with the intro’s. You will also notice that one of your competitors attempted to address this issue on 07Mar2014 and it seems as if the article was subsequently updated 09Mar2014 with some additional tidbits…

“There is a burning question that has been simmering for a bit and one that demands answers before any further attempts by the Conservative Party of Canada, aka: Harper Party, at passing, or shall we say ramming, Minister of Democratic Subversion Pierre Poilievre’s so called Fair Elections Act into legislation.

Is Stephen Harper’s Prime Ministers Office (PMO) subverting and/or violating Elections Canada rules by using taxpayers funds to manage and solicit illegal election donations via social media in preparation for 2015? If so, then another question pops into the equation. Why are the Opposition Parties allowing it to happen and not demanding a Regime change and immediate elections?

This will be a rather short summary primarily consisting of photographic evidence for the visitor to ponder. Below you will find several screen-grabs taken 21 February 2014 of the “official” social media accounts and campaign propaganda donation website that are manged by those kids in short-pants within the PMO. These links were take directly from the following social media pages and lead directly to the Harper Party StephenHarper[dot]ca campaign propaganda website and not the “official” Government of Canada website located at pm.gc.ca. In addition, while researching and archiving back to last summer we noticed that the @pmharper Twitter has also been redirecting visitors to the Conservative[dot]ca website, ConsumersFirst[dot]ca website and cpcconvention[dot]ca website to solicit donations for the Harper Party.”

https://dumpharper.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/is-harpers-pmo-using-taxpayers-to-solicit-cdnpoli-election-donations-via-social-media/

“There are even more burning questions that are ever growing and now expanding into a full blown firestorm and we are now demanding immediate answers and actions before any further attempts by the Conservative Party of Canada, aka: Harper Party, at passing, or shall we say ramming, Minister of Democratic Subversion Pierre Poilievre’s so called Fair Elections Act into legislation.

Once again we must ask ourselves a couple of valid questions and below we will once again utilize Twitter to begin our quest and gather more evidence in support of our initial question and summary Is #Harper’s #PMO using taxpayers $$$ to Solicit #cdnpoli Election Donations via Social Media?

Are Stephen Harper’s appointed Ministers subverting and/or violating Elections Canada rules by using taxpayers funds to manage and solicit illegal election donations via social media in preparation for 2015?

Why are the Opposition Parties allowing it to happen and not demanding a Regime change and immediate elections?

It is worth noting that not all of Harper’s appointed Ministers are engaging in this actively but it seems as if the majority are. In addition there are several Harper Party Ministers that utilize more than on Twitter account and very few of their profile summaries differentiate between the “official” and personal accounts and most contain links to their campaign websites as opposed to the “official Government of Canada website portals. Below, while not all inclusive, we will provide an overview of Tweets and ReTweets as well as utilizing redirection links that are obfuscated via the bit.ly and is.gd short url services.

In addition we are concerned that the government issued devices that we are paying for, such as Blackberry’s, smartphones, computers, laptops and tablets are being utilized for partisan activities, not to mention the time frames in which they are performing these partisan activities is taking away from necessary ministerial functions. In other words, they are campaigning while siphoning off the dole. So basically they are utilizing “company” time while “on the clock” for personal activities, which in the private sector could and usually are grounds for termination or other disciplinary measures. Below you will find examples of questionable conflicts of interest and please note that majority of the archiving was done 21Feb2014 with a few exceptions and that the images contain text archives from the accounts from as far back as possible.”

https://dumpharper.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/are-harpers-ministers-using-taxpayers-to-solicit-cdnpoli-election-donations-via-social-media/

“If you notice the inquiry by FMPsportsguy was specifically delivered to the “Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner” who then replied that the Treasury Board website would be the first point of inquiry. So it seems like it will be up to us to sift through the information that is contained on the Treasury Board website that was referenced above to see what applies. We also have to consider how this campaigning fits within the current Elections Act as well as Pierre Poilievre’s Fair Election Act. For now, here are the links to the page and the sections that seem to apply in this case. It is worth noting that in section n “Policy on the Use of Electronic Networks” was rescinded and replaced by “Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use” updated 2014-03-06, these links will be posted below”

https://dumpharper.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/is-harpers-pmo-using-taxpayers-to-solicit-cdnpoli-election-donations-via-social-media-ii/

Below you will find several playlists for your convenience and please note that they are segmented and arranged in sequential order…

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli #HOC Procedure and House Affairs Committee Debate 13Feb2014 [4 parts]
Featuring Pierre Poilievre and Tom Lukiwski.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqF9vTjCNiCk3lqDaCGURMj3

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli #HOC Procedure and House Affairs Committee Debate 25Mar2014 [10 parts]
Featuring former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Northwest Territories Chief Electoral Officer David Brock and B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHzv8s4f2svegffYfqiqYMm

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli #HOC Procedure and House Affairs Committee Debate 27Mar2014 [11 parts]
Featuring former B.C. chief electoral officer Harry Neufeld, Samara executive director and co-founder Alison Loat, Fair Vote Canada board member Nathalie Des Rosiers, Institute for Research on Public Policy president Graham Fox, and Civix president Taylor Gunn.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHq0H_3k6RgNzE4Sst-ECc8

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli [42 videos]
Compilation of various clips.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqFL1UDjYPeqVFniC1uSi8u4

In advance we appreciate your attention to this matter and please note that this “message” has been forwarded to other interested parties and will be posted publicly. Unless redactions are specifically requested, any/all replies will be added as updates to our publicly posted versions for transparency and the public’s right to know.

Thank you for your support,
Canadians Against the Harper Regime Collective Research Collaboration

–This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.–

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Below you will find a slightly modified inquiry sent to various national news outlets and other interested parties…

re: Unaddressed Questions about the Fair Elections Act‏

Greetings,

We are writing this “letter” to inquire about something that has seemingly eluded the press and pundits or at least has been overshadowed. This inquiry is specifically targeting the role that the Treasury Board will play with regards to Elections Canada that the Harper Regime has opaquely implemented last fall and is now being ramped up with the Babylonian Budget Implementation Act aka: Bill C-31.

Since this issue may be the greatest of our day, it would seem as if you may have the adequate resources and contacts to address this. Please bear with us and consider taking a few moments to review the following summary articles that we have compiled on our website. Please note that among other resources, we have also uploaded segments of the Fair Elections Act Committee hearings on our ytube as well.

While the voter suppression issue is very troubling and requires great attention, we believe we have found one of the Trojan Horses that is not getting very much attention. This was one of the issues that was also addressed in that slide show presentation on scribd a while back [http://www.scribd.com/doc/211020015/Elections-Canada-proposals-for-Bill-C-23].

Now, we can’t be very sure how this may tie in, but it seems like the Treasury Board has a bit too much power to change and/or amend many things without consent and the Regime may well be abusing those powers already. That being stated, below you will find introductions and summaries from various sources along with the links. Please keep in mind that we not journalists, we are a collaboration that relies upon many contributors and creative copypasta’ing of commentaries, so bear with our rather crude approach at summarizing but please take this seriously. Here is the provision in the the (un)Fair Elections Act that is concerning to us…

Technical assistance

20. (1) The Chief Electoral Officer may engage on a temporary basis the services of persons having technical or specialized knowledge of any matter relating to the Chief Electoral Officer’s work to advise and assist him or her in the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties and functions under this or any other Act of Parliament and, with the Treasury Board’s approval, may fix and pay those persons’ remuneration and expenses.

This segment contains some info about the Treasury Board having to approve the hiring. Craig Scott asks the question and David Brock responds at about the 2 min mark. The reasons why this seems odd/important is due to the fact that when we were looking into conflicts of interest re: the use and abuse of social media for campaign fundraising paid for by tax dollars by the Harper Regime, we were referred to the Treasury Dept website.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuevldk_PN8&list=PLKm1boxcMsqHzv8s4f2svegffYfqiqYMm

Below you will find brief summaries and links to what we found a while back. Please note that the summary below contains links to three related summaries of interest so they will be posted directly below along with the intro’s. It is worth noting that one of your competitors attempted to address this issue on 07Mar2014 and it seems as if the article was subsequently updated 09Mar2014 with some additional tidbits…

“There is a burning question that has been simmering for a bit and one that demands answers before any further attempts by the Conservative Party of Canada, aka: Harper Party, at passing, or shall we say ramming, Minister of Democratic Subversion Pierre Poilievre’s so called Fair Elections Act into legislation.

Is Stephen Harper’s Prime Ministers Office (PMO) subverting and/or violating Elections Canada rules by using taxpayers funds to manage and solicit illegal election donations via social media in preparation for 2015? If so, then another question pops into the equation. Why are the Opposition Parties allowing it to happen and not demanding a Regime change and immediate elections?

This will be a rather short summary primarily consisting of photographic evidence for the visitor to ponder. Below you will find several screen-grabs taken 21 February 2014 of the “official” social media accounts and campaign propaganda donation website that are manged by those kids in short-pants within the PMO. These links were take directly from the following social media pages and lead directly to the Harper Party StephenHarper[dot]ca campaign propaganda website and not the “official” Government of Canada website located at pm.gc.ca. In addition, while researching and archiving back to last summer we noticed that the @pmharper Twitter has also been redirecting visitors to the Conservative[dot]ca website, ConsumersFirst[dot]ca website and cpcconvention[dot]ca website to solicit donations for the Harper Party.”

https://dumpharper.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/is-harpers-pmo-using-taxpayers-to-solicit-cdnpoli-election-donations-via-social-media/

“There are even more burning questions that are ever growing and now expanding into a full blown firestorm and we are now demanding immediate answers and actions before any further attempts by the Conservative Party of Canada, aka: Harper Party, at passing, or shall we say ramming, Minister of Democratic Subversion Pierre Poilievre’s so called Fair Elections Act into legislation.

Once again we must ask ourselves a couple of valid questions and below we will once again utilize Twitter to begin our quest and gather more evidence in support of our initial question and summary Is #Harper’s #PMO using taxpayers $$$ to Solicit #cdnpoli Election Donations via Social Media?

Are Stephen Harper’s appointed Ministers subverting and/or violating Elections Canada rules by using taxpayers funds to manage and solicit illegal election donations via social media in preparation for 2015?

Why are the Opposition Parties allowing it to happen and not demanding a Regime change and immediate elections?

It is worth noting that not all of Harper’s appointed Ministers are engaging in this actively but it seems as if the majority are. In addition there are several Harper Party Ministers that utilize more than on Twitter account and very few of their profile summaries differentiate between the “official” and personal accounts and most contain links to their campaign websites as opposed to the “official Government of Canada website portals. Below, while not all inclusive, we will provide an overview of Tweets and ReTweets as well as utilizing redirection links that are obfuscated via the bit.ly and is.gd short url services.

In addition we are concerned that the government issued devices that we are paying for, such as Blackberry’s, smartphones, computers, laptops and tablets are being utilized for partisan activities, not to mention the time frames in which they are performing these partisan activities is taking away from necessary ministerial functions. In other words, they are campaigning while siphoning off the dole. So basically they are utilizing “company” time while “on the clock” for personal activities, which in the private sector could and usually are grounds for termination or other disciplinary measures. Below you will find examples of questionable conflicts of interest and please note that majority of the archiving was done 21Feb2014 with a few exceptions and that the images contain text archives from the accounts from as far back as possible.”

https://dumpharper.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/are-harpers-ministers-using-taxpayers-to-solicit-cdnpoli-election-donations-via-social-media/

“If you notice the inquiry by FMPsportsguy was specifically delivered to the “Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner” who then replied that the Treasury Board website would be the first point of inquiry. So it seems like it will be up to us to sift through the information that is contained on the Treasury Board website that was referenced above to see what applies. We also have to consider how this campaigning fits within the current Elections Act as well as Pierre Poilievre’s Fair Election Act. For now, here are the links to the page and the sections that seem to apply in this case. It is worth noting that in section n “Policy on the Use of Electronic Networks” was rescinded and replaced by “Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use” updated 2014-03-06, these links will be posted below”

https://dumpharper.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/is-harpers-pmo-using-taxpayers-to-solicit-cdnpoli-election-donations-via-social-media-ii/

Below you will find several playlists for your convenience and please note that they are segmented and arranged in sequential order…

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli #HOC Procedure and House Affairs Committee Debate 13Feb2014 [4 parts]
Featuring Pierre Poilievre and Tom Lukiwski.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqF9vTjCNiCk3lqDaCGURMj3

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli #HOC Procedure and House Affairs Committee Debate 25Mar2014 [10 parts]
Featuring former chief electoral officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Northwest Territories Chief Electoral Officer David Brock and B.C. Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHzv8s4f2svegffYfqiqYMm

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli #HOC Procedure and House Affairs Committee Debate 27Mar2014 [11 parts]
Featuring former B.C. chief electoral officer Harry Neufeld, Samara executive director and co-founder Alison Loat, Fair Vote Canada board member Nathalie Des Rosiers, Institute for Research on Public Policy president Graham Fox, and Civix president Taylor Gunn.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqHq0H_3k6RgNzE4Sst-ECc8

#FairElectionsAct #BillC23 #cdnpoli [42 videos]
Compilation of various clips.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKm1boxcMsqFL1UDjYPeqVFniC1uSi8u4

In advance we appreciate your attention to this matter and please note that this “message” has been forwarded to other interested parties and will be posted publicly. Unless redactions are specifically requested, any/all replies will be added as updates to our publicly posted versions of this inquiry for transparency and the public’s right to know.

Thank you for your support,
Canadians Against the Harper Regime Collective Research Collaboration

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Replies

Below you will find the replies that we have received thus far to our inquiry in the order in which they were received…

From: Craig Scott, M.P. (Toronto-Danforth)
Official Opposition Critic for Democratic Reform
02 April 2014 @ 10:23 AM

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns regarding Bill C-23, the Conservative Government’s Unfair Elections Act. Please be assured that the NDP is vigorously opposing this bill. I invite you to join our efforts and sign the petition: http://petition.ndp.ca/stand-up-for-canadian-democracy

Last week I put forward an NDP Opposition Day motion to stop the Unfair Elections Act, focusing on measures in this bill that could disenfranchise many Canadians. The motion read as follows: “That, in the opinion of the House, proposed changes to the Elections Act that would prohibit vouching, voter education programming by Elections Canada, and the use of voter cards as identification could disenfranchise many Canadians, particularly first-time voters like youth and new Canadians, Aboriginal Canadians and seniors living in residence, and should be abandoned.” I invite you to read my speech, where I called on my Conservative colleagues to stand up for democracy, here.

You may also be aware that my NDP colleagues and I have been hosting pan-Canadian consultations over the course of the last two weeks to hear from voters and increase awareness about the Unfair Elections Act. I spoke at three of the town halls in Toronto, Ottawa and Dartmouth, and I am pleased to report that they were all full to bursting with people. More and more Canadians are engaged; more and more Canadians are enraged.

As you have pointed out, this proposed legislation will actually make it harder for many Canadians to vote, it muzzles Elections Canada and it gives the Conservative party an unfair advantage. This bill is nothing short of a serious attack on our democracy.

Look no further than C-23’s removal of the right of the Chief Electoral Officer to engage in democracy promotion and general public education. Bill C-23 muzzles Elections Canada by prohibiting the institution from speaking publically about democracy or the importance of voting and from engaging with Canadians through initiatives like the Student Vote Program in schools. During the 2011 election, over 500,000 students across Canada cast mock ballots through the program, an effort designed to encourage them to vote when they turn 18. At a time of record low voter turnout, this change just does not make any sense. You can find a list of their education outreach programs that will be affected on Elections Canada’s website here.

Under Bill C-23, Voter ID cards, issued by Elections Canada, will no longer be accepted. This will make it much harder for students, seniors, aboriginal people, and low-income Canadians to prove their right to vote, and will prevent many thousands of Canadians from voting. That’s on top of the 120,000 Canadians who had a neighbour vouch for them and who will be turned away next election. Conservatives claim that vouching and VICs are the source of widespread fraud, but there is no evidence to support this. Instead, this appears to be a concerted attempt to disenfranchise those with lower incomes or more transient lives with U.S.-style voter suppression tactics.

The bill even bars Elections Canada from conducting electronic-voting pilot projects that might be attractive to younger voters—unless it gets permission from not only the House of Commons but also, wait for it, the unelected Senate – an additional barrier that was not necessary prior to this bill.

The Conservatives also claim that they are taking “big money” out of politics when in fact it creates new ways for “money politics” to skew elections, by raising donation and campaign spending limits as well as creating a huge loophole that allows virtually unlimited campaign spending for purposes of contacting previous donors. Clearly, they are using this bill as a way to try to stack the deck in their favour for the 2015 election, and beyond.

The list of problems goes on. I encourage you to read my longer analysis here (http://craigscott.ndp.ca/the-unfair-elections-act-is-a-con-game). I also invite you to learn more about my efforts to stop this bill, including speeches, media interviews and op-eds, please visit my website: http://craigscott.ndp.ca/news/democratic-reform

Again, thank you for writing. Please be assured that New Democrats will keep up the fight to ensure that Canadians’ voices are heard on a bill so fundamental to democratic voting rights.

Sincerely,

Craig Scott, M.P. (Toronto-Danforth)

Official Opposition Critic for Democratic Reform

Follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/craigscottndp

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/craigscottndp


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