In the Supreme Court of Canada case about voting in a Toronto area riding during last May’s federal election, Elections Canada and some provincial elections agencies seem to be arguing that problems are inevitable instead of acknowledging that their current systems have significant weaknesses in being able to ensure that voters are voting properly at the correct polling station.
The robocall election fraud situation has revealed other weaknesses in fair election enforcement.
And these two situations are likely the tip of the iceberg, as there are more than 3,000 complaints that Elections Canada alone has received since 1997. Unfortunately, Elections Canada continues to refuse to disclose its rulings in those complaints, so the public has no idea whether enforcement of the rules has been proper and effective in the past six federal elections.
Rather than defending systems with loopholes, and hiding enforcement records, Elections Canada and the provincial agencies should be disclosing details to prove their enforcement is effective, and pushing for stronger laws and more resources and training to ensure our future elections are fraud-free.
Tyler Sommers is the coordinator of Democracy Watch