March 24, 2014

Protests demand Fix or scrap "Fair Elections Act”

A member of the YCL being arrested at a
recent anti-Harper protest action in Vancouver
 Canadian Federation of Students

Canadians rallied at over 25 Conservative MP offices today to oppose the government’s proposed changes to election law and tell their MPs to “Let People Vote!”

Citizens delivered an 80,000-strong petition that opposes the unnecessarily strict voter ID requirements that could stop hundreds of thousands from voting in the next election, and calls for election fraud investigators to be given the power to compel political operatives to testify.

The “Let People Vote!” national day of action was supported and facilitated by, the Council of Canadians and the Canadian Federation of Students.

“People are worried that the changes to the elections law are politically motivated,” said Jamie Biggar, Executive Director of “We’ve seen politicians use similar tactics in the US to disenfranchise people if they think they will vote for the other side.”

A recent poll shows that a majority of Canadians oppose the provisions in the Unfair Elections Act that would eliminate the voucher system, prevent Elections Canada from publicly reporting on election fraud, and cancel Elections Canada’s research and public education programs.

“The Unfair Elections Act proposes dangerous changes that undermine the rights of young voters and will ensure a continued decline to already low voter turnouts,” said Jessica McCormick, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Students stand united with Canadians across the country to oppose the Unfair Elections Act.”

“The Unfair Elections Act does nothing to bring to justice the people behind the widespread election fraud in 2011 and would actually make it harder to catch perpetrators of election fraud like Pierre Poutine,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “Canadians have the right to know when election fraud has been reported and if it is being investigated. That fact that this bill would prevent that is deeply troubling.”

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The Young Communist League of Canada stands for democratic electoral reform. From the 24th Central Convention of the YCL-LJC:

Since before Confederation, armed struggle and public pressure has forced our electoral system to change, first abolishing colonial rule in 1837, then enfranchising working class men, latter white women, and latter Aboriginal peoples. But the basic system of voting members of parliament (first past the post) has not changed once. Today, if you look at previous electoral data, you will notice that the results rarely accurately affect the seat distribution in the House of Commons. Simply put, our voting system is a sham. Youth, together with oppressed communities, as well as the working class, are more likely to be cut out of this electoral system....

The Communists were the first to call for proportional representation, which is now championed by the NDP, the Green Party and a growing voting reform movement. We need to pull hundreds of thousands of people for a better voting system that will more accurately deliver the will of the people. We must actively campaign for mixed-member proportional representation, equal media time for all parties, and voting age reduction to sixteen.

  • Proportional representation in all federal and provincial elections
  • Right of voters to recall elected representatives
  • Significantly reduced spending limits on election campaigns
  • Lower the voting age to 16
  • Ensure equal opportunities for all candidates and parties in candidate meetings, televised debates and media coverage

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