Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Canada's Chief Electoral Officer Resigns..

Jean Pierre Kingsley, Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer (head of Election Canada) announced his resignation effective February 17,2006 (should be February 17, 2007), after Seventeen Years of Service. Now speculations abound of why he resigned and the oppositions alleged that the government pressured the Chief to resign, and the Government of PM Harper countered that the Chief has the Security of Tenure up to age 65 and can only be removed by the votes of Commons and the Senate. And JP Kingsley himself, can only say that he submitted his resignation in good faith and was accepted in good faith.

Before I go any further, quite a few Canadians of even a lot of us never ever heard of have known the Man behind Election Canada. Just one single thing that JP Kingsley among the many modernizations and reforms he had introduced and implemented is the Permanent Voters List. As voters, each one might have noticed that whenever we moved from one address to another, house to another house, or from one province to another province, we will be quite surprised that we don’t necessarily have to re-register again as our names were updated automatically in the voters list as we move.

Another modernization was the simplification of registration of voters. That Canada, taking in as many as 200,000 plus citizens every year ( assuming most of the 300,000 immigrants decided to become citizens), that as soon as they are sworn in, they are at the same time registered and added in the Permanent Voters List, and also registration forms are included upon applying for drivers license and other government forms. And also the automation of election votes counting that in a matter of an hour or few hours after the official polls closing the contest results are already available to the public and the press, thereby making our process one of the most transparent and the cleanest among the democracies. The Most notable are the limitations of contributions, election expenses and the strict enforcement of all election rules and laws to make election of public office accessible to most citizens, regardless of one's financial status.

Whatever the reasons behind Mr. Kingsley resignation, as many would like to see him pursue his professional interest in International sphere, it will be quite hard to replicate his accomplishments during his 17 years of tenure of unquestionable honesty and integrity and during those years was able to help the U.N. and other International Organization in Electoral Reforms and Monitoring Election in other countries.

We can only wish that he still would be the Chief and continue with his works, especially on the Senate Reforms as proposed now and the appointment of Election Return Officer for every Riding or District which under the New Accountability Act was given under the Authority of the Chief Electoral Officer as had been requested by Mr. Kingsley and granted.

The person who will succeed JP Kingsley will have Big shoes to fill, but as always, we all will be surprised how our expectations are always exceeded by our men and women who are our public servants.. We wish JP Kingsley success in his private career and we thank him for a Job-Well-Done..