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Results: 1 - 14 of 14
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
View Pat Kelly Profile
2018-10-30 10:41 [p.22993]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleagues. I appreciate that very much.
Following the last election, the government, when its ministry was sworn in, claimed that it would be the most open and accountable government in history. Ministers were issued letters that instructed them to ensure that they conduct themselves in a manner that would withstand the greatest public scrutiny. The government gave a Speech from the Throne that contained a very clear and specific commitment on electoral reform.
The wheels came off all of these assertions almost immediately. Within the first few weeks of the government, it came to light that its ministers were fundraising from their own lobbyists and their own stakeholder groups, in secret, with the cash-for-access fundraising regime. We also saw how the promise of being the most open and transparent government in history quickly gave way to repeated assertions in this House, especially from its House leader, that it was acting in accordance with the law.
It went from the highest possible scrutiny to, “well, it is a loophole and it is not illegal, so what we are doing is okay”.
This is important because it goes to the heart of the principal problem, and there are many problems with this bill but I am going to focus on the one that I am most concerned about, and that is money. The governing party has demonstrated that it struggles to raise money from regular Canadians motivated by ideas and motivated by things that are simply important to them for the good of the country.
For its own reasons, the governing party relies on fundraising from lobbyists and stakeholders, people who have something directly in the game in their relations with the government. This has spilled over into the realm of third parties, and reliance on third parties to also act as proxies for the government and to help it win elections.
The first bit of business under this minister's predecessor was its promise on electoral reform. This was part of the Speech from the Throne. It was a campaign promise, although not one that the Liberals really led with in my part of Canada, in my riding. I do not recall my Liberal opponent bringing it up at all in the forums I attended with her. I do not recall hearing about it at the door. However, I know it was brought up, and the Liberals did campaign on it in other parts of the country.
The Liberals were deliberately cultivating support from the people who might be traditionally expected to vote for the NDP. These people voted for the Liberals and they helped elect them, and they expected that promise to be kept. We know what happened. Under the previous minister, the Liberals were surprised to find that opposition parties were not going to quietly roll over, let them rig the game to their advantage in the next election, nor was the Canadian public, for that matter, interested in doing so.
The government established a special committee, asked for its recommendations, and when it realized the committee was not going to tell it what it wanted to hear, it established a bizarre parallel rigged game of consultation. Finally, when the committee did make a recommendation that the Liberals could not accept, they buried that election promise and instructed the new minister to table a less ambitious bill.
In fact, there was already a bill at that time, which my colleague, the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley pointed out, that was tabled under the previous minister. It sat there for two years without anything happening on it, until this spring when we got into Bill C-76.
With this history on democratic institutions and electoral reform, I cannot imagine why any of my constituents would expect me to give credit to the government and to support the legislation before us. As far as the specifics of this bill and the current conduct of the government goes, there are still very serious problems with this bill.
There were some minor amendments that were proposed at committee that may have made some subtle improvement, but right now foreign, third party entities can still fund their Canadian proxies and participate in our democracy with foreign money.
The parliamentary secretary said it was an amendment that was dealt with at committee, but it is not so. There is no provision for audits outside the writ and pre-writ periods. A foreign third party entity can give money to its Canadian proxy, which can advertise or conduct itself in opposition to a particular party or a particular issue. There is nothing to prevent the Canadian entity from using that money perhaps for administration or legal purposes, freeing up its other resources to participate in public discourse in politics.
I have real concerns about this, and it is not something we are making up. The Tides Foundation brags about how it influenced the last Canadian election. On its website, it takes credit for helping to defeat the last government. It sent millions of dollars into Canada. It sent money to LeadNow, which in its Harper report, talked about how it paid organizers to go out and campaign in the last election and how in 26 out of the 29 seats it targeted, Conservative candidates were defeated. It is not a secret. They openly boast about these activities and about the ability to influence a Canadian election.
Until we get this right out of politics and take a clear stand, with audit provisions that span the period between elections, we are going to be at risk of this type of activity. I used the examples of Tides and LeadNow and some of the groups they funded, because that is real and it happened in the last election. However, who knows, in the next election, which other organizations or governments might use the loopholes in this law? The government has very little credibility on this entire file, and I will not support the bill for that reason.
One other thing I want to point out in the minute or two I have left is that we saw this week that there was an expectation that four by-elections would likely be called this past Sunday, and in fact, only one was called. If the bill passes, the Prime Minister will not be able to call a by-election within the nine months that precede the fixed date that exists for next October.
Three seats are still vacated from the resignations of Peter Van Loan, September 3; Tom Mulcair, August 2; and Kennedy Stewart, September 16. If the Prime Minister does not call these by-elections soon, they will not be able to be called if this bill becomes law. That would be a real shame. Citizens of three ridings would go over a year without a member of Parliament. That nine-month prohibition against calling a by-election before a general election is scheduled, when added to the six months of flexibility the current Prime Minister has, will actually allow the non-representation of constituents for potentially 15 months. I hope that is not what is happening right now. I would hope that with the leader of a federal party nominated in Burnaby, the Prime Minister is not deliberately preventing this by-election from happening, but we will have to see how this eventually plays out.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2016-12-08 14:40 [p.7849]
Mr. Speaker, the minister has told us that she wants to consult Canadians by launching a survey to determine the respondents' age, gender, nationality, and what kind of voter they are. Oddly, she never talks about real things. Do Canadians want a referendum? Do Canadians want proportional representation or first past the post? Do Canadians want regional representation?
If the minister did not create this survey, can she tell us who are the geniuses who rigged the questions?
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2016-10-20 14:38 [p.5919]
Mr. Speaker, I think we can all agree on the amount of arrogance shown by the Republican candidate when he told Americans that if he does not win the election, then it must be rigged, yet after promising to end our unfair election system in his platform, in his throne speech, and now in the House of Commons many times, the Prime Minister now tells Canadians that because he won the last election, the system must now be perfect.
Canadians are tired of self-serving politicians making promises just to get elected. Will the Prime Minister honour his commitment to make every vote count, or will he use his popularity to trump promises he does not want to keep?
View Rona Ambrose Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister continues to ram through his change to our voting system without giving Canadians a voice. He has rigged the process to get the results that he wants. Canadians know that this entire thing is a sham and it shows a complete lack of respect for our democracy.
When is the Prime Minister going to climb down from this mess he has created and give Canadians what they want, which is a referendum?
View Rona Ambrose Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the evidence keeps piling up that the Liberal plan to change the way Canadians vote is completely rigged.
We now know that the Prime Minister has hired a former activist for the ranked ballot system, the very system the Prime Minister says he prefers and that experts say would rig the system in his favour. Canadians are not buying it. They know that this Liberal process is a complete sham.
When will the Prime Minister admit that he cannot change something as fundamental as the way we vote without a referendum?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2016-05-20 11:19 [p.3644]
Madam Speaker, they just cannot bring themselves to say the word “referendum”.
The right to have the final say on how we vote belongs to Canadians, not to the Liberal elite. They do not get to unilaterally choose what system of democracy we operate under.
They have already rigged the deck on the electoral reform committee, giving themselves a majority, when a majority of Canadians do not even support them. They do not have a legitimate mandate to change Canada's electoral system. Will they drop all these heavy-handed, anti-democratic tactics and assure us that Canadians will have the final say through a referendum?
View Jason Kenney Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jason Kenney Profile
2016-05-19 14:34 [p.3594]
Mr. Speaker, I invite the minister to move beyond her repetitive non-answers, beyond her refusal to allow the Canadian people to decide the manner by which they elect their representatives.
The minister stands and pretends that a few hundred witnesses at a committee are more inclusive than a referendum that could involve 17 million or more voters. What does she not understand about this?
This is a simple question of the legitimacy of this place. Does the government really think Canadians will accept a rigged system chosen by and for the Liberal Party of Canada?
View Jason Kenney Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jason Kenney Profile
2016-05-18 14:48 [p.3527]
Mr. Speaker, so it is not the Liberal culture to respect the majority of Canadians on the precise question of how they elect their representatives to their Parliament. This place does not belong to the Liberal Party, and the very question of legitimacy is at stake here.
It is absolutely clear if the Liberals thought they could get a majority of Canadians to endorse their rigged system, they would hold a referendum. Is it not true? The only reason they refuse to do so is because Canadians would veto the Liberal rigged electoral system.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
View Jacques Gourde Profile
2016-05-13 11:32 [p.3320]
Mr. Speaker, we are far from the Liberals' supposedly sunny ways. Choosing our new voting system is up to Canadians, not a partisan Liberal committee.
Why is the government proposing a rigged parliamentary process when the best solution in this case is a referendum?
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
View Jacques Gourde Profile
2016-05-13 11:33 [p.3320]
Mr. Speaker, again, the government's lack of vision is undermining our democracy. True to Liberal form, the government is proposing a rigged parliamentary process.
Why is the government refusing to hold a referendum on electoral reform?
View Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Profile
NDP (QC)
View Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Profile
2016-05-12 14:24 [p.3266]
Mr. Speaker, this makes absolutely no sense.
The Liberals say they want to make our system more democratic, and yet they give themselves a majority on the committee. They want to include the Green Party and the Bloc Québécois, but they do not give those parties the right to vote.
How can Canadians be sure that the process is not rigged from the start? Clearly, this reform is not off to a good start.
Will the government admit its mistake and give all parties the right to vote in committee?
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
NDP (QC)
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
2016-05-11 14:30 [p.3192]
Mr. Speaker, what part of this does the Prime Minister not understand? Members from two of those committees are being denied the right to vote. He has to change that.
Canadians have a hard time believing that the process is not rigged. The government will have a majority on the committee, and we know that the Liberal Party has already decided on the so-called preferential voting system, which is to the party's advantage.
Can the Prime Minister reassure Canadians and guarantee that his government will not act unilaterally without the support of all the other parties?
View Joyce Murray Profile
Lib. (BC)
View Joyce Murray Profile
2014-04-08 14:40 [p.4427]
Mr. Speaker, voter turnout among students and young people is the lowest of all age groups. Last night, student associations testified in Parliament about how Elections Canada had been helping them run educational programs to reverse that trend. Yet, the government's rigged elections act would not only stop Elections Canada from encouraging young voters, it would make it harder for them to vote.
Now, it seems to me to be a good thing to have young people participating in Canada's democracy. Why would the Conservatives want to block them? Is it because they tend to not vote Conservative?
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
NDP (QC)
View Thomas Mulcair Profile
2014-02-12 14:27 [p.2893]
Mr. Speaker, under the Conservatives' rigged elections act, the Chief Electoral Officer would be banned from warning the public about election fraud and voter suppression, but the commissioner of elections would actually have to warn suspects under investigation. The public would not be warned, but the fraudsters would.
Why do Conservatives want election fraud suspects warned that they are being investigated? Is it because the Conservatives are the suspects? The good people of Peterborough want to know.
Results: 1 - 14 of 14

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