Saturday, May 09, 2020

On necessary steps

Following up on the status of Saskatchewan's pending provincial election, let's note how it fits into one Scott Moe's refusal to reconvene the Legislature.

Here's what the Chief Electoral Officer has had to say about the province's options:
On Monday, Michael Boda sent Premier Scott Moe and the House leaders in government and Opposition a set of recommendations on what is needed before people cast their ballots.

"This has to be in the very near future. We are not talking weeks from now, but days from now in order to confirm that I would be getting assistance," Boda told CBC News on Tuesday.
Boda said he will need legislators to work together to give him the emergency powers to adjust the electoral process in order to "reduce risk of COVID-19 and adjust for inefficiencies that come as a result."

Section 7 of the Election Act does not afford the chief electoral officer powers during a pandemic.

Boda said if, for example, there needs to be an increase in absentee ballots, he would need to adjust the system to secure more of those ballots.
In other words, the Chief Electoral Officer has made clear that even if Scott Moe has run out the clock on any opportunity to move toward a full mail-in system, legislative changes will be needed in the very near future to allow him to do his job. And the Saskatchewan Party's response has slow-play any response even while claiming to accept the recommendation.

Even if there weren't many other compelling reasons to recall Saskatchewan's legislature immediately, it's a must if we're going to have a safe and fair election. And if Moe is once again prioritizing political games over fundamental concerns including public health and electoral integrity, then Saskatchewan's citizens will have every reason to take away his control over our government.

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