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NDP launches petition against 'undemocratic' Elections Act overhaul

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OTTAWA - New Democrats are launching a national petition against the Harper government's proposed overhaul of federal election laws.

The NDP charges that Bill C-23 is designed to import U.S.-style voter suppression tactics and benefit the ruling Conservatives.

The party contends the bill would prevent thousands of students, seniors and aboriginal people from voting, by imposing stricter rules for identification at polling stations.

And the NDP says the bill would increase the influence of big money on politics by raising the individual donation limit and campaign spending limit for parties, as well as by creating a loophole that would allow parties to spend untold millions more during campaigns.

The party also charges that the bill would muzzle the chief elections watchdog, prohibiting him from talking about anything other than where, when and how to vote while denying him the tools needed to investigate electoral fraud.

The NDP's online petition calls on Parliament to reject the bill.

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