Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stealing Democracy Part XI: Quebec As A Model For C-23

What kind of fuckery is this?

I had heard the Quebec had made some changes to the requirements for registering as a voter.  I had no idea that it was the inspiration for C-23's voter id requirements which I have analyzed in depth already.
She, again asked me what documentation I had, and I again began to list it out when she told me that my documentation did not seem to be adequate. I pulled out the voter's manual that had been mailed to me by the organization for which she worked and pointed out that it said I merely needed two identity papers to register, and that I had the birth certificate and drivers license which were given as examples. 
She pointed to the Can You Vote section where the conditions for voting were listed. She said that I did not meet the third condition, "domiciled in Quebec for at least the past six months" and that my documents did nothing to prove that. I insisted that I had gone online to find out the additional documentation I'd need and had come prepared with bank statements and letters from businesses and elected representatives. She rejected that such information had been put out by her organization.
I cannot believe how arbitrary this sounds.  Basically the woman at the voter registration office is arbitrarily deciding that perfectly legitimate documentation is somehow inadequate.

This is nothing less than deliberately throwing obstacles in the way of someone participating in our electoral system.  It is as much a violation of the basic tenets of democracy in this nation as the voter id and giving control over the voting stations to partisan employees is in Bill C-23.

Electoral reform needs to make easier for more people to engage in our electoral process, not shut more people out.  Marois' electoral reforms in Quebec do not do that, and neither will Bill C-23.


Anonymous said...

Harper is probably watching to see how successful these rules are at keeping people from voting. As far as our Dear Leader is concerned, the Quebec election is a dry run for his UnFair Elections Act.

Alison said...

Hi Mgs
I have required vouching for as long as I have voted - which is decades.
I have a passport, a citizenship card, a BC health card, and a library card - none of them have a street address. I have a deed to my house and tax assessments, both of which are addressed to my rural box # - my correct and only address - which is not recognized by Elections Canada.
Voting was always a huge hassle.

This got fixed two years ago when the post office assigned everyone in my riding a street address even though we all still pick up our mail at rural post boxes. I wonder if it got fixed in all rural ridings in Canada.

MgS said...

Hi Alison,

I doubt very much that this has been fixed across the board.

There was also an interesting discussion on CBC yesterday talking about the voter id issue and the problems that voters in Nunavut have - namely that the majority do not have any kind of government photo id at all.

Thank you for the additional bit - living in a large city, I wasn't aware of that difficulty for rural voters.

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