Rick Mercer says Canadians can be forgiven for thinking they are in some kind of parallel universe.
"I guarantee you, you get any member of the Conservative caucus alone in a room and you ask them who is the last man on Earth who should be put in charge of reforming democracy and they will tell you Pierre Poilievre," Mercer said in a scathing rant Tuesday.
Mercer took direct aim at the controversial Fair Elections Act, which critics argue will actually make it harder for certain Canadians to vote.
"When this bill passes it will be illegal for Elections Canada to encourage young people to vote," he said. "Because, well, there's the problem right there, isn't it? I mean, you get young people voting, next thing you know you have an entire generation of informed citizens running around taking part in democracy and feeling a real ownership in Canada."
Mercer says the Harper government will argue voter turnout is at a historic low and that's proof encouraging people to cast a ballot doesn't work. But the comedian believes many Canadians aren't voting because they are disgusted with the state of our politics.
"They feel like they've been given a feed of bad oysters," he said. "After that, they just avoid the buffet altogether."
Mercer ended his rant by saying Canadians, who love to boast about being one of the world’s greatest democracies, will forfeit that bragging right if they lose the ideal that voting must be encouraged.
The Fair Elections Act has faced criticism from New Democrats, Liberals, and even Canada's Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand, who has called it an affront to democracy.
But Jean-Pierre Kingsley, the former head of Elections Canada, gave the act a grade of "A minus."
An NDP motion to have a Commons committee hold two months of cross-country hearings, where citizens could express their opinions on electoral reform, was defeated by the Tory majority on Tuesday by a vote of 145-131.
Liberals, two Green Party MPs, Bloc MPs, and former Tory Brent Rathgeber all voted with the New Democrats. The Conservatives voted unanimously to reject the idea.
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