The Harper government is getting some serious push-back from Conservative senators on its controversial overhaul of elections laws, with a Senate committee unanimously recommending nine major changes to the legislation. In an interim report to be tabled Tuesday, the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee recommends that the government drop provisions to muzzle the chief electoral officer and the elections commissioner, The Canadian Press has learned. It also recommends removing another provision which electoral experts have said would give an unfair, potentially huge, financial advantage to established parties — particularly the ruling Conservatives — during election campaigns.
However, the committee is not recommending any change to the government’s plan to ban the practice of allowing registered voters to vouch for those who don’t have adequate ID.
Nor is it recommending that the government back off its plan to ban the use of voter information cards (VICs) as proof of address.
Electoral experts have said the ban on vouching and VICs is a double whammy that could rob up to 500,000 Canadians of their fundamental right to vote.