Friday, April 11, 2014
Are We Losing the Battle to Kill the Unfair Elections Act?
I thought we were making good progress in our struggle to try to force the Cons to change or kill their foul so-called Fair Elections Act.
But it turns out I may have been a bit too optimistic.
For while we have made progress, it seems far too many Canadians are still too ignorant or too complacent.
Over the past couple weeks, the federal Opposition has been ramping up its criticism of the Federal Elections Act, pounding the Conservative government during question period over the proposed bill that many critics have claimed is a threat to democracy.
And while this has all generated lots of headlines and the issue is certainly big news on Parliament Hill, it doesn’t seem to be causing much of a stir with the rest of Canada.
And as Frank Graves points out, motivating them won't be easy.
When 40 per cent of the public don’t even bother voting, then how whipped up are they going to be over, what is seen as arcane changes to regulations governing something that, if you’re under 40, most people don’t do. Which is vote,” Graves said.
Which makes it even more urgent that we step up our campaign to educate Canadians about the dangers of the bill.
Because polls also show that the more they know about it, the more they dislike it.
“Telling them a little bit about it raised people’s concerns dramatically. Once people heard about it, they said that doesn’t sound like a good idea," Graves said.
“But the challenge is, and I’m sure the government is pleased about this, is that in a world where democratic engagement is so low…it’s an area where people aren’t paying much attention.”
But the problem remains how to get their attention, and explain why it's important, or why they should care.
Because as the pollster Jaime Watt says, right now it's just not registering.
"Right now, when Canadians look at this, they look at the issue, for example of vouching and some of these other issues, and they don’t see that applying to them. They see it applying to very few people.
“And people who really want to stop this bill or get it changed, need to think hard about how they can adjust their messaging so that it affects more Canadians.”
So we do need to adjust the message, or the same voter apathy will come back to bite us in the next election.
And we do have to do it ourselves because the Cons are trying to stop Elections Canada from putting out ads to encourage people to vote.
For the most sinister of motives, and the craziest of reasons.
But the good news is the more we educate Canadians about that foul bill, the more people will oppose it, and the more they will be motivated to vote to defeat the Cons in the next election.
And if this issue does catch fire, as I still think it will, the flames could help burn down the House of Harper.
So keep supporting groups like this one.
Or dedicated Canadians like Ted Musson.
"The ultimate goal is just to make the protest and be as loud and as obnoxious as I can going across the country,” Musson told the Lethbridge Herald last week.
“It occurred to me in about March of 2012, that the 2011 (election) was a fraud. The robocalls; the financial fraud. Harper will say anything knowing that he’s not going to do what he says. It’s an illegal government and there’s just no rational sense, in my mind, to believe that they’re anything other than an illegal government.”
Keep spreading their message. Or make your own.
Keep encouraging young Canadians to vote by showing them why it's important, and why only they can shape their future.
Or as I do by showing them this video...
Then asking them if they can guess why the Cons don't want them to watch videos like that one?
And what kind of government or what kind of leader do they think would do that?
Before telling them bluntly what I tell everyone.
Or they will join The Great Canadian Resistance, and help save our democracy, by defeating the Harper regime.
Or we will all end up in a really bad place.
In a country we don't recognize...
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