Opposition parties have big problems with proposed changes to the Elections Act regarding special ballots.
The Surpreme Court has ruled that the special ballots, as they are conducted in Newfoundland and Labrador, are unconstitutional. One of the reasons was that the ballots could be submitted before all candidates had been named.
The House of Assembly opened yesterday to discuss the proposed changes as government had hoped that all parties would agree and allow for quick passage. That didn’t happen, so the legislature will be back at it this afternoon.
One of the changes proposed is extending the length of an election campaign to 26 days from 21, but the one which really frightens opposition parties is that all candidates would have to be in place in the first five days of an election campaign.
PC Leader Paul Davis told VOCM Open Line with Paddy Daly that it would be impossible to have all their candidates in place in such a short time whereas the governing party would likely be better prepared.
Opposition parties would have to call nominations in 40 districts, allow time for nomination elections, and then for candidates to have all the necessary documentation in place.