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Fixed Election Dates on the Way


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Looks like fixed election dates are coming, about time. Now, if we can do something about the Senate :)-

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/s...66-187b735a024c

Grits relent: Fixed dates for elections on the way

Liberal senators will likely bow to the will of the House of Commons and give up their attempt to amend a government bill fixing federal election dates every four years, the party's Senate leader said yesterday.

Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette said the original version of the bill will likely pass Tuesday, without a Senate amendment that would have added provincial and municipal referendums to a list of events that could have allowed future governments to briefly delay elections to avoid conflicts.

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Looks like fixed election dates are coming, about time. Now, if we can do something about the Senate :)-

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/s...66-187b735a024c

Grits relent: Fixed dates for elections on the way

Liberal senators will likely bow to the will of the House of Commons and give up their attempt to amend a government bill fixing federal election dates every four years, the party's Senate leader said yesterday.

Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette said the original version of the bill will likely pass Tuesday, without a Senate amendment that would have added provincial and municipal referendums to a list of events that could have allowed future governments to briefly delay elections to avoid conflicts.

I simply don't see the benefit of fixed election dates. The constitution already stipulates that no parliament can sit for more than five consecutive years, and the legislation cannot bind the Governor General in her choice of whether or not to call an election if the government looses the confidence of the House, or has to be dismissed for other, more grievous reasons.

The GG is also consitutionally bound to almost always follow the advice of her PM. If this legislation is passed, does that mean a PM who advises the GG to call an election will be rebuked by the vice-regal?

I'm not particularly against the legislation - it seems to not have caused a complete breakdown of the system in Ontario and BC - but I'm not sure I see any added benefit. It seems like a bit of a red herring to me.

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I'm not particularly against the legislation - it seems to not have caused a complete breakdown of the system in Ontario and BC - but I'm not sure I see any added benefit. It seems like a bit of a red herring to me.

The bill levels the playing field.

Having the Government choose the timing of elections allows for manipulative games, i.e. calling elections 3 1/2 years into mandates to take advantage of an opposition party's new leader.

It also reduces the power of "election budgets". Sure the Government of the day can try and do the same with fall fiscal updated, but they aren't as broad in scope.

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One not-so-foreseen issue is the inability of a minority government to government using our present electoral system. The pressure is off both the government and the opposition parties to compromise. This is not such a big deal unless the government needs the mobility to act fast, and I don't see any overriding mechanism available to the government in such a case.

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One not-so-foreseen issue is the inability of a minority government to government using our present electoral system. The pressure is off both the government and the opposition parties to compromise. This is not such a big deal unless the government needs the mobility to act fast, and I don't see any overriding mechanism available to the government in such a case.

The date for the next election is set at the third Monday in October (the 19th) of 2009.

A minority government must still hold the confidence of the House. If a minority loses a non-confidence vote, or goes to the GG because they feel they do not have the confidence of the House, an election will be called as happens now. The date for the following election would be set as the the third Monday in October in the fourth calendar year after the election.

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Fixed election dates in a parlimentary system are ridiculous, why waste our time with this?

It only works if we're dealing with a majority government, and even still, I'd be worried about the opposition holding things up for years.

Silly silly silly. Gives the impression of democratic reform without actually doing anything at all.

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It only works if we're dealing with a majority government, and even still, I'd be worried about the opposition holding things up for years.

Silly silly silly. Gives the impression of democratic reform without actually doing anything at all.

What about the advantages I outlined in post 3?

Don't you see those as good outcomes from the legislation?

Basically in a majority we have the pluses I already gave and in a minority things are the same. I can't see why people would have a problem with this.

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This is a completely stupid idea. As long as there is a maximum of 5 years, letting the PM have the flexibility to choose a shorter time makes sense. Sometimes something important arises and it's appropriate to seek a new mandate. And what will this do to votes of no-confidence? Are we to be stuck with lame-duck governments now?

Fixed election dates are not appropriate for Parliamentary government.

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This is a completely stupid idea. As long as there is a maximum of 5 years, letting the PM have the flexibility to choose a shorter time makes sense. Sometimes something important arises and it's appropriate to seek a new mandate. And what will this do to votes of no-confidence? Are we to be stuck with lame-duck governments now?

Fixed election dates are not appropriate for Parliamentary government.

I agree. Too American for me. Canadians are slowly losing their identity.

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I agree. Too American for me. Canadians are slowly losing their identity.

Ahhh, the old anti-Americanism.

*Nobody* has dealt with the advantages I outlined.

Why should the governing party be able to dictate the date of an election? Why should a majority give a party an automatic leg up in the next election?

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*Nobody* has dealt with the advantages I outlined.

Why should the governing party be able to dictate the date of an election? Why should a majority give a party an automatic leg up in the next election?

Well, my understanding of the benefits lies in someone dealing with the question I posed re. a PM exercising his constitutional right to advise, whenever he sees fit, the GG to use the Royal Prerogative of dissolving Parliament and issuing election writs. Unless this legislation is, in essence, the Queen restraining her advisors' abilities to tender advice to her, then nothing changes. Put more simply: does this legislation actually limit constitutional convention?

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This is a completely stupid idea. As long as there is a maximum of 5 years, letting the PM have the flexibility to choose a shorter time makes sense. Sometimes something important arises and it's appropriate to seek a new mandate. And what will this do to votes of no-confidence? Are we to be stuck with lame-duck governments now?

Fixed election dates are not appropriate for Parliamentary government.

Sure, a few months maybe - but hey 3 years in and the poll are good, lets have a snap election. Its entirely appropriate for us and level the playing field for all parties. Its my understanding that a vote of non confidence could still bring down the gov't.

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Sure, a few months maybe - but hey 3 years in and the poll are good, lets have a snap election. Its entirely appropriate for us and level the playing field for all parties. Its my understanding that a vote of non confidence could still bring down the gov't.

Exactly. The Liberals called early elections in 1997, 2000 and 2004. It was a contributing factor in their loss of majority status in 2004.

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This is a completely stupid idea. As long as there is a maximum of 5 years, letting the PM have the flexibility to choose a shorter time makes sense. Sometimes something important arises and it's appropriate to seek a new mandate. And what will this do to votes of no-confidence? Are we to be stuck with lame-duck governments now?

Fixed election dates are not appropriate for Parliamentary government.

5 year maximum in our parliamentary system is like maximum sentences in our legal system. It is a very rare occasion when either of them means anything.

The only thing important enough for a majority government to seek a new mandate is to perpetuate or increase its power. It is completely self serving. When it is elected it's mandate is to govern, period, not create the conditions for a successful election campaign whenever it is convenient to them. The only reason for having an election before its term is if it becomes impossible to govern. The only way that can happen is if a minority looses the confidence of the house. There are no other ethical reasons for calling an election, trashing all business before Parliament, bringing government to a standstill for months and blowing 100M or so of the peoples money before its term expires.

A lame duck government will never call an election voluntarily.

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Its my understanding that a vote of non confidence could still bring down the gov't.

Then how would that work? A government brought down half way through a "fixed" period, would we then have a new fixed period or the new government rules until the end of the old fixed period?

My biggest objection to fixed dates was that we would get electioneering seemingly forever like happens in the USA but Steve has not stopped electioneering since his ad campaign started who knows how long before an election is even called.

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Its my understanding that a vote of non confidence could still bring down the gov't.

Then how would that work? A government brought down half way through a "fixed" period, would we then have a new fixed period or the new government rules until the end of the old fixed period?

My biggest objection to fixed dates was that we would get electioneering seemingly forever like happens in the USA but Steve has not stopped electioneering since his ad campaign started who knows how long before an election is even called.

Thats true but so what? The important thing is that governments cannot put the country through the disruption and expense of an election on a whim or for pure political advantage, not strict adherence to an exact date.

Politicians are always electioneering whether there is an election impending or not. The only reason the CPCs are doing more right now is because they have more money and can afford to do so.

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Thats true but so what? The important thing is that governments cannot put the country through the disruption and expense of an election on a whim or for pure political advantage, not strict adherence to an exact date.

Politicians are always electioneering whether there is an election impending or not. The only reason the CPCs are doing more right now is because they have more money and can afford to do so.

I agree with you on the part about elections on polls and/or whims.

I don't agree with you about Steve doing the attack ads before we are in an actual election. Electioneering does go on always but not full-blown like this government has been doing. I hate attack ads by anybody, I just wish they would so backfire no party would use them. I'd like to hear what they would do not what the other guys won't or whatever. Promises, you know, like income trust and the GST.

Do you (or does anyone) know the answer to my question about how the dates would work in a non-confidence situation?

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Do you (or does anyone) know the answer to my question about how the dates would work in a non-confidence situation?

As posted earlier in this thread....

The date for the next election is set at the third Monday in October (the 19th) of 2009.

A minority government must still hold the confidence of the House. If a minority loses a non-confidence vote, or goes to the GG because they feel they do not have the confidence of the House, an election will be called as happens now. The date for the following election would be set as the the third Monday in October in the fourth calendar year after the election.

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Its my understanding that a vote of non confidence could still bring down the gov't.

Then how would that work? A government brought down half way through a "fixed" period, would we then have a new fixed period or the new government rules until the end of the old fixed period?

My biggest objection to fixed dates was that we would get electioneering seemingly forever like happens in the USA but Steve has not stopped electioneering since his ad campaign started who knows how long before an election is even called.

It appears that if an election is called part way through the "fixed" four year period the next election will take place on the third Monday in October in the fourth year after Parliament is again summoned.

Where a government loses the confidence of the House of Commons, a general election would be held in accordance with existing practices. The general election following this would then be set for the third Monday in October in the fourth calendar year.
Queen's Privy Council office

As the bill also explicitly states that "nothing... affects the powers of the Governor General, including the power to dissolve Parliament at the Governor General's discretion," it does seem that this legislation is indeed the Crown limiting the PM's ability to tender advice pertaining to the dissolution of Parliament, meaning this bill appears to actually strengthen the Crown's power to curb a PM. That's rather ironic, given that most arguments I've heard about improving democratic process in this country centered on taking away the Queen's powers, not enhancing and further entrenching them in written statute.

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Do you (or does anyone) know the answer to my question about how the dates would work in a non-confidence situation?

In BC the next election is four years from the last election. In a non confidence situation an election would be called and the following election would be four years from that date unless there was another non confidence situation before that.

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I agree. Too American for me. Canadians are slowly losing their identity.

Ahhh, the old anti-Americanism.

*Nobody* has dealt with the advantages I outlined.

Why should the governing party be able to dictate the date of an election? Why should a majority give a party an automatic leg up in the next election?

"too american" is a cop out translated into "i watch joe canadian beer commercials because it makes me feel like i have an identity and my opposition to fixed election dates is another weak effort at defining my nationality"

this is great legislation and might help put an end to decades of liberal rule briefly interrupted by short conservative stints.

in the interest of fairness - i say great job.

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"too american" is a cop out translated into "i watch joe canadian beer commercials because it makes me feel like i have an identity and my opposition to fixed election dates is another weak effort at defining my nationality"

this is great legislation and might help put an end to decades of liberal rule briefly interrupted by short conservative stints.

in the interest of fairness - i say great job.

Agreed for the most part.

Even if the Liberals end up winning a few majorities, at least they didn't do it because they were able to f*ck with the election dates.

That is *if* we ever see a Liberal majority Government again.

Not under Stephané :lol:

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Looks like fixed election dates are coming, about time. Now, if we can do something about the Senate :)-

Senate? You mean you're opposed to the Prime Minister appointing his unelected friend and former campaign manager to the Senate then making him a cabinet minister? Garth Turner was opposed and his punishment was being thrown out of the party.

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