News and Views from the MLPC National Office
Misdirected Frustration with Elections Canada
The MLPC National Office is receiving reports of frustration with the administration of the election. There are complaints about Returning Offices not yet fully operational, even though they were scheduled to be up and running by Tuesday, August 17. Prospective MLPC candidates, as well as those from other parties, are experiencing difficulties booking appointments to register.
The resulting frustration is directed against Elections Canada and its perceived inefficiency. In the opinion of the MLPC, this frustration is misdirected.
Since October 2020, Elections Canada did its best to get legislative changes that would have helped to avert the more than expected problems of a pandemic election. Aside from requesting changes to the Canada Elections Act, it asked for things possible within the law, such as a longer campaign period. Arguing his request before a parliamentary committee, Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault detailed all the reasons, documented with facts, from the difficulties of hiring election workers through to the additional time required to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots. He implored, “If an election is called during the pandemic, I strongly encourage the Government to set the longest possible election period.”
The Liberal Party chose the shortest possible period. In this light, frustration could and should be directed against the Liberal Party for its socially irresponsible decision to call the election and its defiance of the authority and expertise of Elections Canada.
Getting to the root of the problem, the MLPC places the blame on the archaic and anachronistic electoral law and political process that is controlled, preserved and defended by a corrupt cartel of parties. The blame lies in the system that blocks people from exercising control over the decisions that affect their lives. This includes the ensemble of administrators at Elections Canada. Their proposals for measures to facilitate the work with which they are entrusted were treated like minced meat by the Liberals and the House of Commons as a whole.
The frustration should be directed against the obsolete Royal Prerogative that vests sovereignty in the prime minister and his courtier entourage and enables rule by fiat. It is what allows the ruling party to call an election for its own self-serving reasons, no matter what the consequence. This is a classic case of the Emporor standing naked and the people watching helplessly without any formal recourse to do something about it. We need to address the source of the problem — please, don’t blame Elections Canada!