Professors call for fair elections

Brock University professors are joining others across the country in their opposition to the proposed changes to Canada’s election laws.

Political science professor Stefan Dolgert says the changes the Harper government wants to bring in are disturbing. They would restrict the types of identification voters can use at the polls, and ban the practice of allowing other voters to vouch for somebody who doesn’t have proper ID.

Opponents say that will impact people who are already marginalized, including students, First Nations and the elderly who live in long term care homes – people who traditionally don’t support the Conservatives.

Dolgert and nearly 200 other academics put their names in an open later to Stephen Harper outlining their concerns. “What we are calling for – and it was mostly 200 political scientists from across the political spectrum – who were calling on the government to slow down, to have open hearings.”

“Certainly not to pass C23 right now; they were trying to rush this through. To invite public participation, to invite hearings across the country, to call in testimony from experts from the government’s own branches – from Elections Canada. So, slow the process down, bring in more information and actually let the public see what’s going on.”

The Harper government says the changes will curb election fraud. Critics say it smacks of tactics used by totalitarian regimes — and that in Canada there’s very little evidence of election fraud.

Editor’s note: This article was revised to correct a number of spelling and grammatical mistakes. CHCH News regrets these errors.



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