The New Democrats are forcing a debate in the House over whether to hold cross-Canada consultations on the government’s proposed changes to federal election laws. The party is using its opposition day, a day set aside for it to set the subject of debate in the House, to present a motion that would instruct the procedure and House affairs committee to travel the country and seek input from Canadians. NDP Deputy Leader David Christopherson called the Conservatives a “serial-cheating government” that’s trying to “pre-cheat” the next election through the proposed changes. New Democrat MP Craig Scott called the bill the “unfair elections act,” playing off the government’s title for the bill, the fair elections act.
The Conservatives have more than enough MPs to vote down the NDP’s motion, but it will force the Conservatives to defend the decision and to vote publicly on it.
Scott also called on the Conservative backbench MPs who have spoken out against Prime Minister’s Office control to vote with the opposition on the NDP motion.
“Yeah, they have a majority, but they also have, what is it — who’s counting — but 15-20 backbenchers who like every now and again to tell the media that they’re very concerned about democratic process and the state of their democracy,” Scott said.