OTTAWA — Parliamentarians have been offered some simple fixes to deal with the potential for voter fraud — without disenfranchising tens of thousands of Canadians as experts fear will result from the Harper government’s proposed overhaul of election rules.
They’ve also been offered simple remedies for ensuring the independence of the chief investigator of electoral malfeasance — without the upheaval the government proposes by severing his operations entirely from Elections Canada.
The alternatives to some of the most contentious provisions in Bill C-23 have been offered by experts testifying before both a Commons committee and a Senate committee, which are studying the bill simultaneously.
Whether the Conservative majority in either chamber will accept any of the alternatives remains to be seen.
But the government has so far shown no inclination to water down the bill, which has been almost universally panned by federal, provincial and international electoral experts.
Among other things, the bill proposes to eliminate the practice of allowing voters to vouch for others who don’t have adequate ID.