Tories Signal towards Possible Amendments to contentious ‘Fair Elections Act’

commons 20140331

commons 20140331

Opposition parties claim that the Conservative government has indicated that it might be open to amending its contentious new fair elections bill following a meeting with its Senate caucus. Addressing reporters right after the meeting, Democratic Reform Minister who spearheaded the bill, Pierre Poilievre, alleged that Canadians would have to wait 30 days to see if there are any amendments proposed to the legislation.

While the Senate Conservative caucus generally seems to have no serious objection to pass the bill in its current form, several senators have expressed their doubts on a provision to end vouching for voters without proper identification at the polls and recommended changes for Poilievre to consider. It was suggested that people who use the vouching system could be asked to sign a legal declaration, providing an example of a similar system to be in place in Australia.

In her remarks after the meeting, Sen. Marjory LeBreton alleged that “he [Poilievre] came in there with an open mind,” and that “he was very open to all of the discussions.” Since the government has previously forcefully defended its legislation, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair alleged that “Minister Poilievre, I think, has finally been told he pushed things too far. That smarmy arrogance that we’ve seen from Pierre Poilievre since the beginning is starting to play tricks on Stephen Harper.” He added that “they’re going to have back off on a lot of this stuff, which is a good thing for our democracy.”

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