All the experts agree: if you eliminate the practice of vouching, hundreds of thousands of people will be disenfranchised.
But not just anybody. It will disproportionately affect low-income Canadians, students and aboriginals. On Thursday, parliamentarians heard directly from First Nations leaders about why the voter suppression provisions in the Unfair Elections Act will disenfranchise aboriginal voters.
Their testimony at a House of Commons committee studying the bill was bolstered by Sheila Fraser, Canada's former Auditor General, who joined a string of former and current senior bureaucrats to criticize the bill as an attack on democracy.
But all of this was overshadowed by the performance at the parliamentary committee of Conservative MP Blake Richards. The Alberta MP took great pains to explain to two aboriginal women leaders how easy it is for people to get a proper piece of identification to vote, so the government is right to ban vouching and focus on educating people about where and how to vote.
Watch Richards get schooled about his privilege by Teresa Edwards, legal counsel at the Native Women's Association of Canada, and Gladys Christiansen, director of human resources at the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.