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Another expert says feds are trying to make a 'cosmetic' fix.
"A referendum hasn't been done since 1992."
It was not until the media began covering the story that the number of robocalls complaints exploded. A whopping 3597 articles were written in 2012 about the "robocalls" affair, leading to Elections Canada receiving over 40,000 "complaints." But those "complaints" didn't come from electors reporting that they had received a call.
Elections Canada is tasked with ensuring that Canada has free and fair elections. Part of this responsibility includes communicating with Canadians, encouraging voter turnout, and ensuring voters can exercise their democratic rights. The Fair Elections Act, however, is an attempt to muzzle Elections Canada's ability to promote voting among our youth and other marginalized groups in society.
I recall moving up those grand steps of Parliament for the first time following my election and the sense of responsibility that suddenly seemed to descend onto my shoulders. But nothing had quite prepared me for the crudeness of human behaviour that I witnessed.
The bill eliminates two methods of voting that have proven effective in enfranchising voters. One is the long-standing Canadian practice of vouching that allowed 120,000 people to vote in 2011. The other is Elections Canada's expanded use of its Voter Identification Cards (VICs) for youth attending university, seniors in residence, and Aboriginal people living on reserve.
On Tuesday the Conservative government introduced the Fair Elections Act, a comprehensive list of reforms aimed at modernizing Elections Canada and Canada's whole electoral system. Bill C-23 was introduced by Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre and proposes to implement a number of recommendations made by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).