Protecting our democracy, one non-issue at a time
by Andrew Fogarasi
To the Arnprior Chronicle Guide:
I was a tad confused by Cheryl Gallant’s latest “Report from Parliament” (Arnprior Chronicle Guide, January 21) as well as her recent mailout “Protecting Our Democracy”. She sure seems worked up over something (again), but I’m not entirely sure what. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of good old fashioned fear-mongering. But for my fear to be properly mongered, I require more detail than the vague Chicken Little claim that the Liberals are going to change the way we elect our government and they don’t want Canadians to have any say in the matter. So I decided to do a little research into how the government of Canada is planning to unilaterally mess with our parliamentary democracy.
Could she be referring to the hilariously named Fair Elections Act, a dog’s breakfast of a bill that added burdensome ID requirements that made it more difficult for citizens to cast a ballot, and which also attempted to restrict Elections Canada and the Chief Electoral Officer from doing their job of encouraging and ensuring Canadians’ right to vote? No, wait. That was her government that shoved that embarrassment of a bill through. Trudeau says he’s going to scrap it.
In that case, could she be referring to the re-drawing of riding maps in the 2015 election, a nifty bit of gerrymandering that, had everyone voted the same way as they had in the election previous to 2015, would have garnered the conservatives 22 out of 30 new seats according to Elections Canada? No, wait. That was the Harper government as well.
I guess she can only be talking about the Liberals’ plan to reform our antiquated first-past-the-post electoral system after a lengthy and thorough consultative process that includes convening an all-party parliamentary committee to review the matter. If this is indeed what she is nattering on about, I can only express further confusion. How exactly is the implementation of a key campaign platform that led to Trudeau’s election as our Prime Minister something that we had no say on? I coulda sworn it was a mere few months ago that we cast our votes based on this and other issues in a federal election.