the bill would add a major advance vote on the day before election day, in which all regular polls would be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. That would effectively allow two days of voting in polls in neighbourhoods across the country.
The government's new bill would add two additional advance polling days to the three that already exist, although the biggest change is on the Sunday immediately prior to the traditional Monday voting day, when all polls will be open.
I don't agree with this conclusion:
The extra day of widespread voting would also carry additional costs for Elections Canada and the political parties who must have get-out-the-vote organizers available.
That might be a drawback for the Liberals and NDP, who do not have the vast war chest of the governing Conservatives.
GOTV abilities might be less relevant, if we had a system where it was easier to get out. In other words, if voters have another full day, particularly a relatively calm Sunday, the need for organization is less essential. Advance polls, in every neighbourhood, on a Sunday no less, effectively deals with time constraints and convenience. It's really hard to argue with the logic of this proposal, it seems like it will achieve the goal.
I also support the idea of reducing the unbalanced electoral system, that punishes certain provinces:
Ontario could have an extra 30 federal seats within three decades – and significantly more clout in the House of Commons – under legislation expected this week from the Conservative government.
Sources have told the Toronto Star that a bill to be unveiled by government House leader Peter Van Loan (York-Simcoe) will use the predicted growth in population, particularly in the GTA, to call for a boost in the number of federal representatives from Ontario. Alberta and British Columbia are also expected to receive additional representation under the plan outlined in the bill, but Canada’s largest province will get the biggest boost.
A government source who has been briefed on the legislation said that Ontario will have 10 extra Commons seats by 2014
There will still be a disparity gap, and I'm not sure the government has any choice, but any initiative that gets us closer to fair representation is a positive.
I see the merit in the Tory proposals on political loans:
The Conservatives moved to take non-bank loans out of federal politics yesterday with a new bill that would outlaw the practice of turning to family, friends and friendly tycoons to finance political campaigns.
The legislation will allow only banks to lend to political candidates, and places stringent limits on providing guarantees or collateral for politicians
There is a slippery slope in allowing substantial loans from private individuals. Lacking a guarantee of payback, the system allows for manipulation and advantage. Making the banks the primary loan giver eliminates any chance of unfair practices and demands a equal playing field. I don't really buy the early Liberal criticisms of this initiative, it seems sound to close loopholes. Funding is still available, the rules are just better regulated.
I don't doubt for a second that much of the above is politically motivated. Having said that, it really is irrelevant to the merits of the actual legislation. If I focus soley on the ideas, and forget where they come from, or why, then it all seems good from here.