Meeting Summary – Annual General Meeting of the Advisory Committee of Political Parties – June 21–22, 2010
Members were given a chance to present their questions and concerns during the meeting in an open forum session.
- On the matter of receiving two dollars per vote, members expressed willingness for individual voters to be able to put their money toward the party they want to support.
- Develop the ability for a voter to officially declare that he or she does not desire to vote for any of the candidates on the ballot, as a means to address voter apathy.
- A request for notification when the House committee (PROC) will hold meetings on the recommendations report.
- The CEO explained that legislation always takes precedence over other matters and that the committee agenda for the fall is not yet complete. Elections Canada will be notified of a committee agenda in late summer and will inform ACPP members.
- The CEO continued to express his desire to streamline Elections Canada's communications with ACPP members; perhaps a newsletter could be an option.
- Members voiced concerns over the Compliance Assistance Unit doing both compliance and enforcement. Questions were raised as to what the communication is between the Commissioner of Canada Elections and Elections Canada.
- Mr. Bernier explained that the Commissioner's Office is charged with the formal enforcement and implementation of the Act. The relationship between his Political Financing office and the Commissioner's is kept separate. Mr. Bernier's unit is concerned with preparing a referral to the Commissioner when the Act is contravened with intent or in cases of repeated offences; in other cases, it is often a matter of educating the entity concerned with respect to compliance.
- ACPP members asked about Elections Canada's role in implementing referendums, as a means of giving the people the opportunity to vote on specific issues instead of a general election.
- The CEO explained that the Referendum Act only permits a referendum to be held on constitutional questions, but that if Parliament chose to expand the scope of referendums he would of course administer them.