A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Election Canada to Review Processes.

It was recently reported that Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand appeared before the Procedure and House affairs committee and responded to questions regarding both “the voter registration and voting processes based on what transpired in Etobicoke Centre” and the status of “1,100 complaints about misleading election calls, which redirected voters to the wrong polling stations”.
Upon checking the parliament web page for said committee I was rather disappointed to see NO reference to said meeting, NO transcripts or in fact anything to say it even took place. It is possible that said information is there somewhere as the Parl site is hardly the easiest site to search but for now I will have to rely upon reports from the news media.

It seems that we should get an “update” on the robocall thing sometime this month but there were no promises as to when the investigation would be complete or if anyone would be held responsible. No surprises there! The focus of his remarks seems to have been regarding a report to be presented sometime next spring “to suggest improvements to the Canada Elections Act in order to deal with a number of issues relating to new technologies and social media, as well as to how political entities communicate with electors during a general election.” and "among other things, it will address issues such as voter contacts, either through automated or live calls, and whether, or to what extent, these communications need to be regulated,"

As regards to the Etobicoke Centre election results which were declared invalid by the Ontario Superior Court and which ruling is now being appealed by the Conservatives (again no surprise there) Mayrand said:- “we have readjusted our plans, to place a major priority on strengthening measures aiming to improve compliance with the procedures and standards applicable on voting day,"
"Our intention is threefold: first, to review the voter registration and voting processes based on what transpired in Etobicoke Centre," Mayrand said.
"Second, to assess the effectiveness of existing checks and balances; and third, to engage key stakeholders in implementing solutions for the 2015 election. We believe this is critical regardless of the outcome of the appeal."
I can find no problem with this, as I said before it is obvious that established procedures were not followed in this case but I would still like to know who ignored the rules and why.

More troubling is his concern that Elections Canada may not be able to afford its salaries by 2014, so the agency is going through a zero-based budget exercise, meaning starting from scratch and allocating money from there. It seems that the agency is dealing with its $7.5 million cut is by delaying planned programs. The agency cut its budget by about eight per cent and that the program delay means a pilot project on internet voting will wait until the next federal election in 2015, rather than happening in a 2013 by-election.

I have said before that voting by electronic means MAY be the answer to both the low number of citizens who bother to vote and in reducing the opportunity for malicious interference with the voting process. It will take a long time to develop and bring in to place such a system and the sooner such methods are explored the better. Putting Elections Canada in a position where budget restrictions reduce their ability to not only explore such future voting systems but limit their ability to investigate current electoral malfeasance does nothing to give me any confidence that the Harper regime gives a shit. Nothing new there either! Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

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