The NDP Leader says we should not rush to pass new legislation concerning the Elections Act, and adequate time must be taken to ensure past mistakes are not repeated. In the House of Assembly today, Lorraine Michael (MHA, St. John’s East - Quidi Vidi) asked questions about the process of making changes to the Elections Act to ensure the best possible legislation is passed.
Michael asked the Government House Leader Andrew Parsons if he would be open to changes to Bill 14 that Opposition parties believe will improve the bill.
Michael has expressed concerns about the process of amending the legislation during the last few days. She says MHAs need time to understand and consult on the proposed changes.
“I raised questions during the briefing. We need time to conduct research, do jurisdictional scans, and ensure necessary amendments have a chance of passing, rather than just being voted down by government members in the House of Assembly,” she said.
On September 6, 2017, the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court ruled that sections of the current Elections Act concerning special ballots are unconstitutional. The legislation allowed a person to cast their vote by special ballot before an election has been called, and before the candidates are officially announced.
“Bill 14 is needed but we cannot rush as we did with the legislation in 2007. This time we need to get it right.”