“The PM says there ‘s no consensus in the country for electoral reform”, said Communist leader Liz Rowley, “but that’s not true. Seventy percent of electors cast votes for parties that campaigned for electoral reform, including the NDP, Greens, Communists, and the Liberals who promised to make every vote count and to do it in time for the next election. That’s a clear mandate.
The Communist Party of Canada is a registered political party with a 95 year history of fighting for peace, democracy, and socialism. Our party was the first political party in Canada to call for proportional representation. We maintain that any discussion about electoral reform should begin with scrapping the anti-democratic “Un-Fair Elections Act” imposed by the Harper Conservative government, and building from the principle of making every vote count.
In convening the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, Parliament mandated the committee to (1) “study of viable alternate voting systems to replace the first-past-the-post system”; (2) “examine mandatory voting and online voting”; and (3) “assess the extent to which the options identified” would advance democratic principles. This brief presents the perspective of the Communist Party of Canada towards these questions and associated matters, and our policy on electoral reform.
The 38th Central Convention of our Party follows a major political upheaval in the recent federal election, and a new escalation of the global economic crisis which emerged in 2007-08. Initially, the Canadian economy was buffered to some degree by exports of fossil fuels and other natural resources, and because Canada’s megabanks were somewhat less exposed to the collapse in value of leveraged (re-packaged) debt. Now, the dramatic collapse in energy prices and the Canadian dollar are causing new job losses and rapid increases in the cost of imported products. The working class is paying a heavy cost for the turmoil of the capitalist system.
Ottawa – April 11, 2014 – Registered political parties currently without representation in the House of Commons met in Ottawa to consider Bill C-23, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to certain Acts. The parties listed below agreed to issue the following statement. These parties are also concerned about many provisions in Bill C-23 aside from those outlined in the statement and they encourage the media to contact them individually.
The Conservative Party of Canada, overseen by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is hoping to steal the next federal election. Bill C-23, the so-called Fair Elections Act, is their game plan. We are working together to stop the Conservatives, and to protect every Canadian’s right to vote in a fair and honest election that is free of voter suppression schemes, of election fraud, of the denial of fundamental rights, and all watched over by an independent and effective Elections Canada.
Stop the Attack on Democracy!
Demand C-23 be Withdrawn Now!
The Communist Party of Canada joins with other federally-registered political parties, labour and community organizations, and hundreds of Canadian and international constitutional experts and scholars in condemning the anti-democratic character of the so-called Fair Elections Act (C-23) and demanding its immediate withdrawal. We urge all democratically-minded Canadians, unions and people’s organizations to act now to defeat this legislation.