Stop the Unfair Elections Act! Open Letter to Kennedy Stewart

Subject: Stop the Unfair Elections Act! Open Letter to Kennedy Stewart
From: JMcKinnon
Date: 9 Apr 2014

Dear Kennedy Stewart,

I am writing to ask you to stand up for the rights of Canadians, and oppose Bill C-23, the so-called "Fair Elections Act." This bill thwarts democracy in many ways, but I believe the worst part is the new Amercian-style voter ID laws that are being brought in.

The Act would end the use of vouching to establish a voter's identity, as well as abolishing the use of voter ID cards from Elections Canada as way to prove one's identity. This will make it more difficult for Canadians to vote, especially those living in poverty.

Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all Canadian citizens have the right to vote. This right is subject to reasonable limits under Section 1, but the restrictions that would be imposed by Bill C-23 are not justified. If a voter has their Elections Canada voter ID card, that is good evidence of their identity, and disregarding it is not reasonable. If another voter with ID is willing to vouch for their friend or relative, that also is good evidence of the person's identity, and disregarding it is not reasonable.

The Conservatives have no evidence that voter fraud is a problem that is bad enough to require tightening voting rules. They also have no evidence that these restrictions will succeed at reducing voter fraud. The Section 1 reasonable limits clause cannot be used to restrict the right to vote in this manner. This bill will violate the rights of Canadians if is becomes law.

Personally, I have a driver's license, and expect to not be affected by the rule change in the next election. But I will likely not be voting until after work on Election Day, and if I happen to forget my wallet before I leave, or if I lose one of my cards without realizing it, then I will be asked to go home and return with ID. I probably will not have enough time in a case like that to go home and return before the polls close. Therefore, my right to vote could violated under Bill C-23.

The proposed restrictions on Canadians' right to vote are both excessive and illogical. I urge you to do everything you can to oppose this bill, and protect our democratic rights.


Burnaby BC