David Krayden: There Should be No Meddling With Canada’s Election Laws

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Commentary

The NDP is boasting that it’s in talks with the Liberal government, with whom it has a de-facto coalition, to discuss “electoral reform,” according to CTV News.

They want to change a process that is expertly managed by Elections Canada and is arguably a model for the world into something that could potentially undermine the integrity of the process.

Specifically, the discussions are on amending that model to approve an “expanded” voting period of at least three days, allowing voters to cast their ballots at any polling place and increasing the use of mail-in ballots.

You could say it’s a highway to hell paved with good intentions, but when politicians facing re-election begin to tamper with the voting process, we should be more than just suspicious. We should be afraid.

Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc ’s office was tight-lipped when contacted by CTV News about the progress or final objective of the negotiations with the NDP, acknowledging that the government and NDP are “currently working on” the legislation and that the “next steps will be communicated in due course.”

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“Access to the vote is a fundamental principle of Canadian democracy, and our government is committed to further strengthening it,” spokesperson Jean-Sébastien Comeau told CTV News.

So why do we need to fix a system that isn’t broken? Canadians believe in the integrity of their elections because they have proven to be reputable, fair, and honest election after election. As of late 2023, an incredible 89 percent of Canadians said they have strong trust or some trust in elections, according to an Environics Institute survey.

And that’s because Canada’s voting procedures discourage fraud and abuse.

Canadians overwhelmingly vote in person and are expected to present valid ID when doing so. They know when they are handed a paper ballot and enter a private booth that the system is secure. They know when they physically mark their X beside their preferred candidate with that little pencil that they have done so in secret. They comprehend when they see the ballot placed in a ballot box that the system works well.

No machines that can malfunction. Nobody coming in from off the streets with boxes of ballots from God knows where. It’s a simple process but it’s effective and when those ballots are counted, every candidate knows the tabulation is accurate because he or she has people on the ground to monitor that part of the process.

Unlike the United States, where Democratic politicians decry the necessity of ID as “racist” and insist that even illegal immigrants should be allowed to vote, Canadians have always accepted the good sense of having to prove you are who you say you are if you expect to vote. It has absolutely nothing to do with the colour of your skin. White, black, brown, whatever. There are no racial barriers to obtaining valid ID in Canada.

If you can’t vote on the designated election day, you can participate in early voting—but once again that is monitored by Elections Canada in a secure setting that emphasizes integrity.

So why do we need to pile on more election days? And why should people be allowed to go to any voting area in their district? Doesn’t that encourage double or triple voting as people make the rounds?

But the most insidious part of “election reform” is the notion that we should expand mail-in voting rather than making it an exception to the rule and one that is stringently controlled so that multiple ballots are not being mailed to one household.

Mail-in voting in the United States has created the phenomenon of “ballot harvesting” where ballots are collected by third parties—usually political operatives—and delivered to a voting area for processing. The problem of course is that the ballot can be exchanged for another or tampered with on its trip from point A to point B.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been musing about changing Canada’s election laws over the last eight years, up to and including changing our entire democratic system from a first-past-the-post, winner-take-all election to one of proportional representation where political parties would be awarded seats in the House of Commons based on their percentage of the vote.

That system inevitably leads to fractured parliaments that frequently fall. Sometimes they create the catastrophe that awaited the end of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Nazism. But that’s a story for another day.

Where did I get that information? From the Elections Canada website of course, which actually has the voting data all the way back to 1867 when 73.1 percent of eligible Canadians voted in Canada’s first election as a self-governing dominion.

Leave it to Elections Canada to do their job. Let them continue to do their job running free and fair elections that are the envy of the world.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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