Ottawa, ON: On Tuesday, Democratic Reform Minister, Pierre Poilievre, introduced a sweeping bill designed to protect the fairness of federal elections. “The Fair Elections Act will ensure that citizens are in charge of democracy, by putting special interests on the sidelines and rule-breakers out of business,” said Poilievre. “The bill also makes it harder to break elections law. It closes loopholes to big money, imposes new penalties on political imposters who make rogue calls, and empowers law enforcement with sharper teeth, a longer reach and a freer hand.”The Fair Elections Act will implement 38 of the Chief Electoral Officer’s past recommendations. Once implemented the Fair Elections Act will protect voters from rogue calls and impersonation with a mandatory public registry for mass calling, prison time for impersonating elections officials and increased penalties for deceiving people out of their votes. It will also give law enforcement sharper teeth, a longer reach and a freer hand.
Studies commissioned by Elections Canada demonstrate mass irregularities in the use of vouching and high rates of inaccuracy on Voter Information Cards. Through ‘Fair elections act’ Harper government hopes to bring down the voter fraud. As the voters will have 39 forms of authorized ID to choose from to prove identity and residence. Most importantly the new law will keep the big money out of electioneering. The Fair Elections Act will ban the use of loans to evade donation rules.
However, the Fair Elections Act will allow parties to better fund democratic outreach with small increases in spending limits, while imposing tougher audits and penalties to enforce those limits. It will let small donors contribute more to democracy through the front door and block illegal big money from sneaking in the back door.The Fair Elections Act’s modest adjustments in the donation limit (to $1,500) and election spending limits(up 5%) will let parties raise their own funds to reach out to Canadians.