AFN concerned about Harper government’s planned changes to election law

The Assembly of First Nations is expected to raise several concerns about the Harper government’s proposed changes to how people vote in federal elections including plans to eliminate vouching.

APTN National News
OTTAWA–The Assembly of First Nations is expected to raise several concerns about the Harper government’s proposed changes to how people vote in federal elections including its plans to eliminate vouching.

Peter Dinsdale, AFN CEO, is scheduled to appear Thursday morning before a Parliamentary committee studying the proposed changes contained in Bill C-23, also known as the Fair Election Act.

Dinsdale is expected to raise concerns about the elimination of vouching which allowed people to vote if they didn’t have proper identification. He is also expected to question planned changes to disallow the use of voter information cards as proof of residence because many First Nation communities rely on post office boxes or postal drop offs.

Pierre Poilievre, the minister of state for democratic reform, refuse to answer questions about the AFN’s concerns when approached by an APTN National News reporter.

The Harper government has been on the defensive over the proposed legislation. Critics charge that the elimination of vouching, which allows a voter with one of the 39 accepted IDs to vouch for a voter without any, would impact people who would never vote Conservative. It’s estimated about 100,000 people would be impacted by the elimination of vouching.

Indian status cards are among the acceptable forms of ID.

First Nations people usually vote below the national average during federal elections. According to an Elections Canada study, about 62 per cent of First Nations people voted in the 2011 federal election.

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1 thought on “AFN concerned about Harper government’s planned changes to election law

  1. I am Metis, and I always vote, I also am NDP, I never presume to tell anyone which way to vote, however, when I am working I have been asked many times by people from the Reserves who I feel would make a difference, My answer is that I feel it sure would be nice to see the Party who realistically has a shot at winning get elected. Many of my Status friends simply don’t vote at all, they have become totally disheartened , and I feel that is a shame. I can at least voice an opinion, I know it will not happen in my lifetime, but I sure wish that the Green Party would somehow come together with the NDP. The Green Party has some very good people, and if they were alive my parents would hate me even saying it, but the Reality is, the Green Party does not have enough backing to win a Federal Election , but if even 75% of First Nation’s and Metis were to get out and Vote and have their vote be NDP, firstly there would be major positive change for First Nations, and secondly, how can we all sit and just “Assume” the NDP would be just the same as the Cons or Grits. I say, in regards to things like A Federal Inquisition into Our Missing and Murdered Girls and Women, NO NDP member has refused to form an Inquisition, as they have never had the chance. No NDP Member has ever proposed making slashes to First Educations Education Act, nor First Nation’s Dental Care , as once again, the NDP has not been the Party In Power. No Party can initiate real change for Environmental and First Nations related issues, unless they get in place as leader of this Country. I suggest to people to Google the NDP Party going back to the CCF, and you will see, while so many wrongs were being Committed , never has the NDP, been the Party leading this Country. My personal feeling is that it is wrong to just “Assume” the NDP would be no different. If First Nations people do not get out and Vote, we could end up with Harper leading this land again, surely all of my FN and Metis friends must know, Harper has dragged us down and he has plenty more he wants to do, to see our people so backed into a corner that we can not scream it out loud in regards to Protection of the Lands and Waters . Quite frankly that scares me, as we are a strong people, but we need a Government who will at least work with us on many of the Issues we justly say are due to be discussed. We need our Voices heard on Lands our Ancestors cared for, for Generation after Generation. Just personally I see the NDP as the Party that needs to be given a chance, and that chance can not be given any hope, if we don’t get out and vote. Luc

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