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Bill C-76 - When Electoral Modernization Is Electoral Restoration And The Future

  • Broadcast in Politics



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One of the biggest planks in the 2015 Liberal election platform was "Electoral Reform" which was a multi-faceted pledge. We know what happened with the part concerning electoral systems - Sweet F**k All and Canadians will remember that. But the other part of the pledge was correcting the damage done by the "Unfair Elections Act" of the Harper regime. That process started in 2016 with introduction of a bill to address the issue but went absolutely nowhere until this past spring. In April 2018, Minister of Democratic Institutions Karina Gould introduced Bill C-76 The Elections Modernization Act.

This bill consisted of all the measures in the original bill that was paralyzed on the Order Paper plus issues that had come to the fore since early 2016. The US elections and the Brexit vote showed something previously unseen on the scale it was deployed. Messaging was no longer primary, data was. Motivated by cost-benefit analysis and efficiency political and special-interest entities had a new way to pinpoint what methods would work with specific target audiences. The effect continues to develop across the globe as controls on their effects race to catch up.

At over 300 pages including explanatory notes, Bill C-76 was highly detailed to counter the regressive law from the Harper era. Drawing over 300 amendment proposals from the House of Commons, progress was slow and acrimonious moving to the Senate near the end of October. Amidst warnings of being too late to be implemented for the 2019 election with much more delay, Conservative Senators did all they could to make that prediction come true. Despite the delays, grandstanding and misinformation programs, Bill C-76 received Royal Assent on the last day possible before Winter Recess.

So it's back to the future for voters rights and Elections Canada independence and an open future for fighting external influence on Canada's elections