Saturday, February 08, 2014

Chief Electoral Officer Laments Gagging of Canadian Democracy at Harper's Hand

Marc Mayrand isn't pulling any punches in his outright condemnation of the Harper regime's election reform bill.

In an interview airing Saturday on CBC Radio's The House, Mayrand said "my reading of the act is that I can no longer speak about democracy in this country."

The Fair Elections Act says it "limits the chief electoral officer's power to provide information to the public."

Under the proposed bill, the only role of the chief electoral officer would be to inform the public of when, where, and how to vote.

Elections Canada would be forbidden from launching ad campaigns encouraging Canadians to vote. Surveys and research would be forbidden under the new bill, Mayrand said.

"Most of the research will no longer be published because these are communications to the public."
The chief electoral officer and the commissioner of Canada elections would also no longer be allowed to publish their reports, Mayrand said.

Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre, who introduced the bill in Parliament on Tuesday, said candidates are better placed to get the vote out.
Political candidates who are aspiring for office are far better at inspiring voters to get out and cast their ballot than are government bureaucracies," ​Poilievre told the Commons on Wednesday.

Persistent and declining voter turnout could undermine the legitimacy of an election's outcome, warned Mayrand.

"Nobody owns [voter] turnout. I think it requires a collective, collaborative approach of the whole society."

That's where you're wrong, Marc.  The whole purpose of Poilievre's brainchild is to see that somebody indeed owns voter turnout - his party, the one that has already dabbled in achieving that very goal through robocalls.


Elliott Taylor said...

Warning signal #4 on the road to despotism. I refuse to characterize Stephen Harper or his party in any other terms.

Beijing York said...

It was a good interview just wish Mayrand had exercised more outrage and used the power he once had on the heels of when the robocall fraud was first exposed.

I certainly hope the opposition parties get their act together to condemn this POS Orwellian legislation. So far each is just cherry picking their complaints.

the salamander said...

.. it truly is shocking .. the lack of howling anger and outrage in this country.. to yet another despicable Harper Flanagan ideological stab.. via 'legislation' at Canada and Canadians. & Poilievre has long been sleazy cabin boy to the stone cold bully boyz from the Calgary School

Steve said...

The money shot is that the enforcement of Election Law will now be under ministerial control. Yep the Fox guarding the henhouse made legal.

The Mound of Sound said...

@Elliott - Yes this is a manifestation of despotism. That it came from that miserable little prick, Poilievre, was to be expected when they announced his appointment.

@ BY. Wouldn't it be delightful if we saw the opposition stand up on their hind legs and actually do what they're paid to do - oppose something on its merits for the sake of Canada instead of trying to wring out partisan advantage.

@ Sal - "sleazy cabin boy." Perfect. That one has to be entered into the book.

@ Steve. Yeah.

Anonymous said...

The howling anger and rage from the great unwashed can only come about if all the opposition parties bury their differences and collectively, and continuously, tell the stupid masses what is happening to their country under the Harper Regime while they sleep.

If the Liberals and NDP keep howling at each other, the great unwashed will dismiss the few uncoordinated warnings that come from each party as politics as usual. Then Harper wins again in 2015.

If you are concerned, go yell at both Trudeau and Mulcair and their hardcore but stupid/selfish supporters for putting their own partisan interests ahead of that of the oountry.

When even the Chief Electoral Officer calls it an affront to democracy, the opposition parties and their hardcore supporters need to wake up and cooperate to Heave Steve first in 2015.

Owen Gray said...

More than any other piece of legislation these folks have brought forward, Mound, this bill shows their true colours.

They are tyrants.

deb Scott said...

Because the cons are being charged with stealing elections and voter fraud, Harper and his corrupt gang plan to take legal avenues away from canadians too.
jesus, why cant the opposition take this govt down. If this happened in some banana republic somewhere, the UN would be intervening and calling for a democratic election to be staged with watchers from other countries.

It just goes to show folks how much corporate control there is over canada. As none of the politicians want to act in favour of canadians for fear of reprisal with campaign donations.WE need a mass protest, and we need the politicans to lead the charge instead of standing around waiting for their media soundbytes.
We need a political hero that can act with integrity and im afraid they have been weeded out decades ago:P
This is what happens when lawyers control the country, they end up closing up all the loopholes necessary to allow the country to be a real democracy. We should have been able to hold another election the moment robocalls and other fraud were being uncovered.
Instead we give the Harper govt enough time to make sure they can steal another election.

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 10:17 I doubt the 'masses' are stupid as you claim. They have been lulled to sleep or driven to indifference by the sad state of politics in Ottawa but that, in my view, lies largely at the feet of the Opposition parties. Even though it plays to Harper's direct advantage, the Libs and NDP have donned Tory grey suits and blurred the distinction between the lot. Sure, they're quick enough to gripe but they drop issues about as quickly as they take them up and then move on so that nothing much ever sticks.

@ Owen. Yes they are tyrants indeed but what does that mean in the context of ordinary Canadians, you and me? Is there not an obligation to push back, to resist tyranny? Surely there must be a number of forms of meaningful civil disobedience we can initiate.

@ Deb - Yes, you're quite right. As I just replied to Owen, it seems like the time has arrived for some action, some 'forms of meaningful civil disobedience.'

It also strikes me that this is the very sort of situation in which our opposition parties have a duty to the Canadian people to not only denounce the legislation as despotic but to also pledge to repeal it once they succeed the Tories to power. It's bloody well time those useless twits finally stood for something. If they're this timid in opposition, how much more feckless will they be if they have to shoulder the responsibility of governing?

Anonymous said...

Yes! Why isn't the Opposition shouting loud and clear about this Bull Ride. Could it be, the Opposition Parties can use it to their advantage when they are in power? Anyong