Open letter on proposed reforms to Canadian elections

Here is a copy of the open letter in opposition to Bill C-23, signed by 160 Canadian university professors who study democracy and constitutional law. It was published today in the National Post and Le Devoir.

Open Letter on C-23

Lettre ouverte C-23

The number of people who signed it (160 by my quick count), is another way of saying “practically everybody.”



Open letter on proposed reforms to Canadian elections — 5 Comments

  1. Thank you, I will circulate this letter. This is most worrisome and it is critical that
    Canadians pay attention to what is happening to Canada under the Federal Conservative Government.

  2. This is another sad comment on a government that makes up the rules, plays by its own rules and listens to noone. They lack apology and attack when asked to justify. It’s serious indeed but the only remedy is to elect another government and hope that by the time this roles around our cherished democracy and principles of fairness have not vanished from our northern landsacpe.

  3. The most frightening aspect of Harper’s control is that it’s whittling doen democracy one stifling law after another. Dictatoriship doesn’t have to come through violent revolution; apathy can ;let it happen. Hitler, among lesser known s was elected. I keep referring people to an old book by Sinclair Lewish titles: IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE. It can indeed happen here.

  4. Godwin’s law in action:'s_law
    Please note its prescriptive use: “As well as the descriptive form, it can be used prescriptively: so if any poster does mention the Nazis in a discussion thread, Godwin’s Law can be invoked, they instantly lose the argument and the thread can be ended.”

  5. “Practically everybody” is interesting, because pretty much the same group of bodies have been signing similar letters for about as long as their party has been out of power. Yet in every election they lose by larger margins. So letters like this amount to way for one strata of the country’s social elite to say: “We Are Not Amused”. Which is why similar letters were circulated a few years back when the same folks thought they had found a way to get their people back in power immediately after having lost an election – and, a little later on, set up whole conferences denouncing the idiot masses for having failed to rally around that scheme. So although I haven’t studied the Fair Elections Act, if these people are claiming that it’s “anti-democratic”, I’d be inclined to assume the opposite.

    At the least, the letter relies on the signatories exploiting their privileged social position to try and give their run-of-the-mill partisan loyalties some gravitas. So the best they can come up with is: “We [are]… professors at Canadian universities who study the principles and institutions of constitutional democracy”. Only if “studying the principles and institutions of constitutional democracy” is understood in a pretty broad sense, though. Plus, keeping in mind that many of the signatories truly do not know anymore about some of those principles or institutions than Canadians who happen not to be university professors. Besides, “the principles and institutions of constitutional democracy” are at least somewhat open to debate. But these people want you to believe that it always and everywhere speaks with one voice: VOTE LIBERAL (or NDP, where circumstances permit).

    Not to mention, since this crowd has made such a habit of issuing their imperious pronouncements through these kinds of quasi-petitions over the past several years, a few months ago I was wondering if the people who claim to “study the principles and institutions of constitutional democracy” might have anything to say about actual violations of fundamental freedoms such as we’ve seen proposed in Quebec recently. But no surprise that they got around to the Harper-hate-on first. They know where their bread is buttered.