Overseas voters will have to prove citizenship, residency under new rules

While I suspect that the extent of “riding shopping” is quite limited, and the Government provided no numbers to indicate that it is, the basic requirements for voting abroad to provide proof of citizenship and last place of residence in Canada are reasonable.

Interesting that both opposition parties have not condemned these measures off the bat:

A government-issued backgrounder accompanying the bill notes that in Canada, voters “cannot pick and choose their riding,” but are required to cast a ballot in the riding in which they live.”

By contrast, Canadians living abroad do not have to prove any past residence in the riding in which they vote,” it notes.

“It is unfair to allow a person who has never lived in a community to vote on who will represent that community.”

The bill was introduced by Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre Wednesday afternoon. In a written statement, he said the new rules “will help ensure that only citizens vote, that their votes only count in their home ridings and that they show ID to prove both.”

The bill also seems to be a response to a recent Federal Court ruling that upheld the right of Canadians abroad to vote in federal elections even after being out of the country for five years.

Overseas voters will have to prove citizenship, residency under new rules – Politics – CBC News.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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