The man in charge of elections in Canada has warned the Conservative government that voters are going to be turned away from ballot boxes in significant numbers in 2015 and that the new “Fair Elections Act” may create real unfairness among the political players. Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand was blunt when he spoke to one of the lead Conservative MPs during an often-testy Commons committee meeting on Thursday. “In the next election, if those rules go through, you will see in your riding how many people will be sent away,” Mayrand told MP Tom Lukiwski. “And that will be an issue.”
Canada’s elections chief and the government are almost completely at odds on the Fair Elections Act, and Mayrand arrived on Parliament Hill on Thursday with a raft of more than two dozen suggested changes in a bid to improve legislation that clearly concerns him.
He framed his concerns around the large issue of democracy when talking to reporters after the committee meeting. “Fundamentally, we’ve had a long, long history in Canada to ensure that everybody had the right to vote. We shouldn’t move away from that,” Mayrand said.