Strong voter registration campaign could mean the end for Harper
Date Written: 2015-09-02
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX17840
The primary objective of Stephen Harper's absurdly-named Fair Elections Act is to prevent hundreds-of-thousands of Canadians from voting for the NDP, Liberals, Greens, etc. But efforts to help people to register to vote are not as strong as they could be. There needs to be close co-operation among groups to make sure that as many people as possible - particularly people in some 70 ridings where the Conservatives are vulnerable - have the identification they need to vote.
The Council of Canadians contends that some 770,000 people may have a difficult time voting because of the changes to the Act. Included are 400,000 people who used the voter ID card in 2011 and believe that’s all they need this time; 250,000 people who will move during the election period; and 120,000 who used vouching in 2011.
If many of those 770,000 people are unable to vote, the Conservatives could win a crucial number of closely contested seats. Vote splitting among New Democrats, Liberal and Greens – similar to what occurred in 2011 – could also result in another Harper government.
There is still time – and a serious need – for more groups, particularly unions, to get involved in voter registration campaigning.
Groups involved in the registration campaign need to co-ordinate their efforts. The Canada Elections Act restricts groups (Third Parties) from colluding to provide more than the legal amount of advertising revenue in support of a candidate, but there’s nothing in the Act preventing groups from working together to help people to vote.