OTTAWA – New Democrats hope to spark broad Canadian interest in a proposed Conservative rewrite of the elections rule book after the Winter Olympics wrap up this weekend.
The NDP will have a votable motion in Parliament on Monday seeking approval of cross-country committee hearings on the sweeping Elections Act overhaul.
The Harper government has already ridiculed the idea of travelling public hearings as a “circus” and a “gong show,” so NDP deputy leader David Christopherson says he fully expects to lose Monday’s vote.
But Christopherson wants to force individual Conservative backbenchers into defending their vote against getting broad public input on something as fundamental as changes to federal election rules.
New Democrats say it is no accident the Conservatives tabled a budget and controversial changes to elections law and the citizenship act while Canadians have been preoccupied with the Winter Games in Sochi.
But as democratic reform critic Craig Scott put it, as long as society becomes widely aware of what he calls a “wretched piece of legislation,” then that’s a win for democracy.