It appears that Justin Trudeau’s Libertal government has learned a thing, or two or three, about how to muddy the waters in an election.
Taking a page out of the Democrats’ playbook, the Liberal government is proposing temporary changes to extend the voting period for almost a month while also heavily promoting mail-in ballots.
The proposed changes were recently tabled as part of Bill C-19. The goal is to limit crowds and wait times at polling stations if an election was called during the COVID-19 “pandemic”.
Changes would take effect for an election 90 days after the bill passes. They include:
- 13 Days of voting in long-term care homes and similar residences prior to polling places opening.
- 4 Days of early voting.
- 3 Days of voting as Election Day becomes Election Weekend with 28 hours of voting from Saturday to Monday.
- Increasing mail-in voting, allowing for mail-in ballot registration online and installing drop boxes at polling places.
All combined, votes will be cast over a 16-day period, not including the mail-in votes.
“Canadians deserve to have full confidence in their ability to exercise their democratic rights safely in these unprecedented times,” Minister Dominic LeBlanc noted in a statement.
“This will ensure the health and safety of voters, election workers and all participants in Canada’s electoral system. By introducing these temporary amendments, Elections Canada will be able to offer more ways for Canadians to vote during a pandemic. I look forward to working with my parliamentary colleagues to deliver our shared goal of a free, fair and safe election.”
Full confidence in the democratic process could be hard to come by though. Several of these suggestions are similar to changes adopted ahead of the United States’ election which led rampant claims of voter fraud and legal battles that continue more than a month after the election was supposed to be finalized.
You can view the full bill here. If it progresses through the House of Commons without any delays, the changes would be in place for a possible spring election.