Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement he will shut down the House of Commons until at least October is going to delay a new Elections Bill to fight vote fraud even further – likely until after the next election.
As a result, Canadians will likely go to the polls again with a weaker Elections Act that makes it that much harder for the Chief Electoral Officer to track down election dirty tricks.
“Mired in Senate scandals, Stephen Harper’s out-of-gas government hopes that shutting down Parliament will allow him to hide from Canadians – and evade the effective questioning by Official Opposition leader Tom Mulcair,” said Craig Scott, NDP critic for Parliamentary and Democratic Reform.
“For years the Chief Electoral Officer has asked for clear and specific changes to the Elections Act that will improve elections and bolster Elections Canada’s ability to track down fraud and wrongdoing. Unfortunately, Conservatives have failed to act, and now are delaying progress further by shutting down the House of Commons.”
The Chief Electoral Officer has previously stated that unless legislation is adopted by early 2014, Elections Canada will not be able to implement any new rules before the 2015 general election.
Scott pledged the NDP will keep up the pressure for more transparency and accountability from Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. “The NDP’s message to the new minister, Pierre Poilievre, is clear – Conservatives can run from accountability, but they cannot hide.”