Democracy has gone off the rails

The Fair Elections Act, which is a misnomer if there ever was one, is being debated in our Parliament and could be passed by June. This act will shut out young voters, people with disabilities and aboriginals, and cause chaos at the polls.

The Fair Elections Act, which is a misnomer if there ever was one, is being debated in our Parliament and could be passed by June.

This act will shut out young voters, people with disabilities and aboriginals, and cause chaos at the polls.

The act will favour the Harper government and the Conservative Party for years to come.

Over and over again, this government refuses to speak to anyone who is in the know.

The comments and written report from the Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada was presented for consideration towards the writing of the Elections Act. Instead of listening to, and appreciating the work of, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform (another misnomer) Pierre Poilievre attacked the officer with name calling and unsupported accusations.

This is one issue in a litany of blunders, hiccups, poor judgment, basically poor government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed questionable senators who have come back to bite and will bite more at a later date!

He ignored the outcry over the census long form.

The prime minister appointed a judge who lacked the qualifications for a position on the Supreme Court.

He was scolded by the Supreme Court for his government’s tough-on-crime laws soon after the uproar from the Canadian judicial system.

His crippling of the Canadian Wheat Board in the belief that free enterprise works better has caused no grain movement.

The prime minister has shown poor judgment in the appointment of his Conservative party executive director, Dimitri Soudas. Does Nigel Wright come to mind?

The CF18 fiasco has resulted in confusing information as the cost grows.

The much needed search-and-rescue planes have been put aside for his passion for the War of 1812.

This prime minister gags scientists and their research; the experimental lakes project was dropped without consultation.

And, bite by bite erosion of the CBC is crippling our public broadcaster.

This government began its term with a pledge for openness, respect and democratic process. Over the years, we have seen the Conservatives erode this trust.

We see instead: disorder, disrespect, unrest and the undermining of democracy.

We see a government highly suspicious of scientific proof, consultation, evidence and public input.

We see a government that passes massive omnibus bills which confound Parliamentary debate then call for closure on what debate there is thereby muffling any open discussion.

We see a government that has prorogued parliament an unprecedented three times in order to get out of sticky situations.

Indeed perhaps it’s time for more of us to comment on our dissatisfaction.

Like Joni Mitchell said, “You won’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone!”

Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer

Red Deer

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