Letters

Tories would rather you didn't vote

Have you ever heard the expression “If you don’t vote, you deserve the government you get”?

Well, heads up non-voters. You’re about to get more than you bargained for in a 242-page bill misnamed the “Fair Elections Act”.

You may not realize this, but the federal government benefits from you staying disinterested or disenchanted.

So much so that the Harper Conservatives propose to keep you there. Why? Well, it just might be because you represent a potential threat to their re-election.

In the 2011 federal election about 10 million of you who didn’t vote. What do you think would happen if a large number of you decided to vote in the 2015 election?

You could change the government, and my guess is that makes the current Conservative government a bit nervous. Arguably, non-voters are its worst nightmare.

The proposal in question is a small but significant one among many others designed to make it harder to vote. They intend to forbid Elections Canada to make any effort to persuade voters to get out and vote. That means we will not get those reminders in the mail, nor will we see media ads about the importance of voting. The Conservatives say getting out the vote is the job of the political parties, not Elections Canada.

Nonsense.

The objective of political parties is to get their supporters to the polls in greater numbers than their opponents. Harangue non-voters to visit the polls without actually knowing how they intend to vote? I don’t think so.

Given the penchant of this government to ram legislative change through with little debate, it will be difficult to stop them. Our best hope perhaps is that the next government will put it back the way it should be.

One thing is for certain. If you want that to happen, you better get out and vote.

Bill Brassington

Burnaby

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