Do the Tories have any experts on their side to defend Unfair Elections Act?

Pierre Poilievre, the minister of state for democratic reform stick handling the proposed new election law for the Conservative government, is seriously outnumbered here.

A week after Marc Mayrand, Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada, delivered a detailed and devastating critique of the act before a parliamentary hearing, 160 academics issued their own analysis on Tuesday in an open letter to the government.

We, the undersigned — professors at Canadian universities who study the principles and institutions of constitutional democracy — believe that the Fair Elections Act (Bill C-23), if passed, would damage the institution at the heart of our country’s democracy: voting in federal elections.

 

We urge the Government to heed calls for wider consultation in vetting this Bill. While we agree that our electoral system needs some reforms, this Bill contains proposals that would seriously damage the fairness and transparency of federal elections and diminish Canadians’ political participation.

 

Beyond our specific concerns about the Bill’s provisions (see below), we are alarmed at the lack of due process in drafting the Bill and in rushing it through Parliament. We see no justification for introducing legislation of such pivotal importance to our democracy without significant consultation with Elections Canada, opposition parties, and the public at large.

Surely the Conservative government won't try to dismiss all these political scientists, law profs and historians as partisan hacks or out-of-touch academics, right?

Monique Deveaux, Professor of Philosophy, University of Guelph
Melissa Williams, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
Maxwell Cameron, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Yasmin Dawood, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Toronto
Patti Tamara Lenard, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Genevieve Fuji Johnson, Associate Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Arash Abizadeh, Associate Professor of Political Science, McGill University
Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Cameron Anderson, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Western Ontario
Christopher G. Anderson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University
Lesley Andres, Professor of Education, University of British Columbia
Caroline Andrew, Professor, Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Barbara Arneil, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Yildiz Atasoy, Professor of Sociology, Simon Fraser University
Chloë G. K. Atkins, Associate Professor of Communication and Culture, University of Calgary
Michael Atkinson, Professor, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Gerald Baier, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Ryan Balot, Professor of Political Science and Classics, University of Toronto
Keith Banting, Professor of Political Studies, Queen’s University, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Sylvia Bashevkin, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Ronald Beiner, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
Davina Bhandar, Associate Professor of Canadian Studies, Trent University
Laurence Bheher, Associate Professor of Political Science, Université de Montréal
Antoine Bilodeau, Associate Professor of Political Science, Concordia University
André Blais, Professor of Political Science, Université de Montréal, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Charles Blattberg, Professor of Political Science, Université de Montréal
Pierre Bosset, Professor of Public Law, Université du Québec à Montréal
Sophie Bourgault, Assistant Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Leah Bradshaw, Professor of Political Science, Brock University
Penny Bryden, Professor of History, University of Victoria
Gillian Calder, Associate Professor of Law, University of Victoria
David Cameron, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
Joseph Carens, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
Don Carmichael, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Paul R. Carr, Associate Professor of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Lakehead University
R. Kenneth Carty, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Julián Castro-Rea, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Simone Chambers, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
Mary Chapman, Associate Professor of English, University of British Columbia
Ryoa Chung, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Université de Montréal
Colin Coates, Professor of Canadian Studies, York University
Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
John Courtney, Professor of Political Science, University of Saskatchewan, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Hugo Cyr, Professor of Political Science and Law, Université du Québec à Montréal
Rita Dhamoon, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Victoria
Alexandra Dobrowolsky, Professor of Political Science, Saint Mary’s University
Stefan Dolgert, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Brock University
Mathieu Doucet, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Waterloo
Janique Dubois, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Brock University
Pascale Dufour, Professor of Political Science, Université de Montréal
Avigail Eisenberg, Professor of Political Science, University of Victoria
Lynda Erickson, Professor Emerita of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Patrick Fafard, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Katherine Fierlbeck, Professor of Political Science, Dalhousie University
Craig Forcese, Associate Professor of Law, University of Ottawa
Cristie Ford, Associate Professor of Law, University of British Columbia
Andrea Geiger, Associate Professor of History, Simon Fraser University
Elisabeth Gidengil, Professor of Political Science, McGill University, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Pablo Gilabert, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Concordia University
Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, Associate Professor Political Studies, Queen’s University
Joyce Green, Professor of Political Science, University of Regina
Rodney Haddow, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
Blayne Haggart, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Brock University
Marc Hanvelt, Adjunct Research Professor of Political Science, Carleton University
Lois Harder, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Kathryn Harrison, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Matthew Hayday, Associate Professor of History, University of Guelph
Andrew Heard, Associate Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Joseph Heath, Professor of Philosophy and School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto
Matthew James, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Victoria
Laura Janara, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Nancy Janovicek, Associate Professor of History, University of Calgary
Leslie Jeffrey, Professor of History and Politics, University of New Brunswick, Saint John
Candace Johnson, Associate Professor of Political Science, Guelph University
Rebecca Johnson, Professor of Law, University of Victoria
Richard Johnston, Professor of Political Science, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Luc Juillet, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Darlene Juschka, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s Studies, University of Regina
David Kahane, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Willeen Keough, Associate Professor of History, Simon Fraser University
Loren King, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University
Rebecca Kingston, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
David Laycock, Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Patrick Leblond, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Jean Leclair, Professor of Law, Université de Montréal
Lawrence Leduc, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Toronto
Theresa Lee, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Guelph
Rémi Léger, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Hester Lessard, Professor of Law, University of Victoria
Dominique Leydet, Professor of Philosophy, Université du Québec à Montréal
James Lightbody, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Mary Liston, Assistant Professor of Law, University of British Columbia
Catherine Lu, Associate Professor of Political Science, McGill University
Audrey Macklin, Professor and Chair in Human Rights Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Colin Macleod, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Law, University of Victoria
Jocelyn Maclure, Professor of Philosophy, Université Laval
Patricia Marino, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Waterloo
John McGarry, Professor of Political Science, Queen’s University
Michael McGregor, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Studies, Bishop’s University
Loralea Michaelis, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations, Mount Allison University
Éric Montpetit, Professor of Political Science, Université de Montréal
Margaret Moore, Professor of Political Studies, Queen’s University
Suzanne Morton, Professor of History and Classical Studies, McGill University
Catherine Murray, Professor of Communication, Simon Fraser University
Christian Nadeau, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Université de Montréal
James Naylor, Associate Professor of History, Brandon University
Jennifer Nedelsky, Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Toronto
Carmen J. Nielson, Associate Professor of History, Mount Royal University
Geneviève Nootens, Professor of Social Sciences, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
Nancy Olewiler, Professor of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University
Brenda O’Neill, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
Michael Orsini, Associate Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Martin Papillon, Associate Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Steve Patten, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Omid Payrow Shabani, Professor of Philosophy, University of Guelph
Dennis Pilon, Associate Professor of Political Science, York University
Florence Piron, Professor of Information and Communication, Université Laval
Pablo Policzer, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
Philip Resnick, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Kent Roach, Professor of Law, University of Toronto
Douglas A. Ross, Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Jason Roy, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University
Claudia Ruitenberg, Associate Professor of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia
Peter Russell, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Toronto, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Paul Saurette, Associate Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Carol Schick, Associate Professor of Education, University of Regina
David Schneiderman, Professor of Law, University of Toronto
Christa Scholtz, Associate Professor of Political Science, McGill University
Richard Schultz, Professor of Political Science, McGill University
Leslie Seidle, research director, Institute for Research on Public Policy
Ozlem Sensoy, Associate Professor of Education, Simon Fraser University
Grace Skogstad, Professor of Political Science, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Harry Smalier, Associate Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, York University
David E. Smith, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Jennifer Smith, Professor Emerita of Political Science, Dalhousie University
Miriam Smith, Professor of Law and Society, York University, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Patrick Smith, Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Robert Sparling, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Université de Montréal
Mark Spooner, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina
Maxime St-Hilaire, Assistant Professor of Law, Université de Sherbrooke
Christine Straehle, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Veronica Strong-Boag, Professor Emerita, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice/Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, and Past President, Canadian Historical Association
Lisa Taylor, Professor of Education, Bishop’s University
Melanee Thomas, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
Reeta Tremblay, Professor of Political Science, University of Victoria, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
James Tully, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Law, Indigenous Governance and Philosophy, University of Victoria
Luc Turgeon, Assistant Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Patrick Turmel, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Université Laval
Ian Urquhart, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta
Robert Vipond, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
Jennifer Wallner, Assistant Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Jeremy Webber, Dean of Law, University of Victoria
Mark Warren, Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia
Lorraine E. Weinrib, Professor of Law, University of Toronto
Daniel Weinstock, Professor of Law, McGill University
Steven Weldon, Associate Professor of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
Graham White, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto at Mississauga, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association
Lisa Young, Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
Margot Young, Professor of Law, University of British Columbia
Robert Young, Professor of Political Science, University of Western Ontario, and Past President, Canadian Political Science Association

Photo: emmettgrrrlUsed under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 licence.