Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Disenfranchised Canadians abroad

Much has been made about the 5 year limit on voting in Canadian elections for citizens living overseas. However, the bolded section below seems much more insidious. It strips me of my right to vote in this election because I simply cannot know the date upon which I shall return (without invention), nor I suspect do most Canadians living overseas, which are likely to be determined more by life circumstances (available work, etc) than anything else.

Elections Canada:

On July 20, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned an earlier ruling regarding voting by Canadians abroad. As a result of this decision, electors who want to be on the International Register of Electors and vote by special mail-in ballot from abroad must demonstrate that they meet two additional criteria:
  • They must confirm that they intend to return to Canada to reside by providing the date on which they intend to resume residence in Canada, and  
  • They must confirm that they have resided abroad for less than five consecutive years, or provide proof that they fall within one of these exceptions to the five-year rule:
    • They are employed outside Canada in the federal public administration or the public service of a province – or live with someone who is;
    • They are employed outside Canada by an international organization of which Canada is a member and to which Canada contributes – or live with someone who is; or
    • They live with a member of the Canadian Forces or with a person who is employed outside Canada by the Canadian Forces as a teacher in, or as a member of the administrative support staff for, a Canadian Forces school.

1 comment:

Purple library guy said...

Well, it doesn't say "know", it just says "intend". What are they gonna do if you don't, as it turns out, come back on that date? Sue you?
It's a really stupid criterion (really, really stupid), but I don't see that it causes any real problem. Just form an "intention" to come back on some date and tell them what it is. Won't even be a lie.