Sen. Hugh Segal Wants Negotiated Elections Act with Broader Public Support

In his remarks regarding the controversy surrounding the contentious Fair Elections Act, Conservative Senator Hugh Segal has alleged that the criticism of the proposed bill is overblown but also recommended both the government and opposition to unstiffen their positions and pass a law that will have broader public support.

Segal suggested that “I think everybody should take a Valium” because “it’s not as good as some people say. It’s certainly not as bad as some people say.” The intense debate surrounding the electoral reform bill is focused on the critics warning that it could disenfranchise thousands of voters. Segal dismissed as “an overreaction” the opposition to provisions in the bill that end the practice of vouching, i.e. to allow electors to vouch for the identity of another person who doesn’t have identification documents. He stated alleged “the notion that we’re going to be keeping hundreds of thousands of people from voting is fiction. It’s the worst kind of creationism.”

However, on the other hand, Segal added that the government should also ease its inflexible position against amendments in order to win acceptance of the bill. He stated that “the success of this legislation will depend upon the ability of both sides to put a little bit of water in their wine because, in the end, if the only people supporting it are the government and there are no amendments brought in of any kind, it probably won’t be as effective as if there was some multi-partisan presence.”

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