Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks shouldn’t support Fair Elections Act

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To the Editor:

(Open letter to Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks)

I am writing to express my deep concern about the Harper government’s Bill C-23, also know as the Fair Elections Act. A fair election is the cornerstone of a democratic state. This bill, in both the manner in which it was crafted and its content, threatens our democracy.

First, a democracy needs transparency and accountability. Many of the decisions made to create this bill were done without genuine consultation of current experts in the field. In addition, other political parties were not included in the creation process. On top of this, the general public is being told that this bill, which affects our fundamental right to vote, is too complicated for us to understand. An incredibly important bill created behind closed doors is not transparent, and one that cannot be explained to the very public it represents is not accountable.

Second, Elections Canada has a sterling reputation in this country and around the world. For the Conservatives to attack its integrity is reprehensible. Who would want to take away its power to investigate fraudulent activity and put in a gag order to prevent Elections Canada from even revealing it is in the process of such an investigation? Who is afraid of exposing the truth? Doesn’t “tough on crime” include election fraud? Considering the Conservatives’ record of “in and out” overspending scandals, robocall fraud and consistently blocking every Elections Canada investigation into their activity, one would think they would use this bill to allow more power for Elections Canada to maintain the honesty of our elections.

Third, the changes to spending on elections puts Canada on the dangerous path to the corrupt American-style elections amounting to “one dollar, one vote”. We don’t want financially powerful corporations funding elections in return for deregulation deals and huge tax breaks. The one per cent have had their way for over 40 years now, and our societal inequality is almost at the level of the Great Depression.

In conclusion, the Fair Elections Act is about much more than voter-vouching. Did your own son not fight in Afghanistan for their democratic rights? Please honour his service, that of other veterans, and the citizens of this country by not supporting this undemocratic bill. Thank you.

Dan Hula