NDP DEFENDS CANADIANS’ RIGHT TO VOTE

OTTAWA – The NDP will continue to fight tooth and nail to get the Conservatives to agree to hold public hearings across the country regarding their electoral reform bill, which proposes drastic changes to our democracy.

“The Conservatives are weighing the dice in their favour and are making it harder for Canadians to exercise their right to vote,” said MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Beauharnois-Salaberry). “Worse still, they’re trying to stifle debate around this bill that will fundamentally change our democracy. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

The NDP tabled a motion asking for public hearings on this bill to be held in several regions across Canada.

“We’re all citizens of a democracy: Stephen Harper and his Conservatives need to understand that we also have the right to have our say on these serious changes,” said Official Opposition deputy Democratic Reform critic, Alexandrine Latendresse (Louis-Saint-Laurent). “We are calling for open and transparent consultations -- we won’t accept anything less.”

If the new Conservative Bill C-23 is passed the ceiling on contributions to political parties will be raised and parties will no longer have to account for certain expenses, which will increase the influence power of wealthy friends of the government.

Elections Canada will be stripped of its investigative powers. It will no longer have the authority to engage in public education about democracy or speak publicly about the importance of voting.

 Voter ID cards and vouching for voters will also no longer be accepted, which will prevent thousands of students, elderly persons and members of First Nations from voting.

 To show your opposition to the unfair electoral reforms included in Bill C-23, sign our petition: petition.ndp.ca/stand-up-for-canadian-democracy