1. From the National Post, via ABCer:
Government officials beg to differ. Conservative House leader Peter Van Loan has said the fixed-election law doesn't prevent the prime minister from asking the Governor General to dissolve Parliament.
"There is nothing in the law that takes away the Crown's traditional and usual prerogatives on this matter," he told reporters at a news conference to announce the motion last week.
Say what? So, the law calls for fixed elections...except when the PM wants an early one? I know Steve hates the Senate but, after this, you have to wonder if his Senate reform plan calls for an elected Senate...except when the PM wants to appoint a Senator.
2. Meanwhile, back in Alberta:
It came after the Alberta Liberals noted that four returning officers appointed by the government have extremely strong Tory connections – including one officer who has openly criticized the Liberal candidate in her riding on a blog.
Now, it's no secret that these positions have a certain patronagy aspect to them but...you at least usually try to pretend that the individuals are unbiased. In Calgary North-Hill, the returning officer is a member of the Tory riding executive and in Calgary Currie the returning officer ran, and lost, for the Tory nomination. In one case, the returning officer trashed both the outgoing Liberal MLA and current Liberal candidate on her blog.
Then again, don't listen to me. I might just be angling for the Vegreville returning officer job under a Liberal government...
UPDATE: Oops - Vegreville's already been filled by an individual who donated money to Ed Stelmach's leadership campaign. Can't say I did that, although in retrospect, I probably should have...