Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Ha ha - this is great.

Step 1: Paralyze parliament
Step 2: Create an unwritten loophole to the fixed election date law

Not that this is the first time the Tories have speculated about breaking their fixed election date law.

That said, I can't see any logic whatsoever in Harper trying to dissolve parliament himself. Either Dion will bring him down or look kind of foolish not bringing him down - that's what we call a win-win.

So, I'd put this one in "not a chance in hell it will happen" bin.


  • Actually, from a Constitutional point of view, nothing can stop Harper from asking the Governor General from dissolving Parliament. The fixed election law doesn't hold in a minority context, either for the opposition or the government. Does Dion feel bound by the law? No. Is he and the opposition bound by the law? No. If the government doesn't have the confidence of the House of Commons, it falls.

    There is absolutely no good reason why this can't happen.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:31 a.m.  

  • IF you accept that the law lets him dissolve parliament whenever he wants then why the hell did they pass it and set a date for the next election?

    Isn't that kind of like going on a diet that lets you eat whatever you want?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:28 a.m.  

  • If you look at section 56.2 of the fixed election dates legislation, you will note that there is nothing in the Act which detracts from the Governor General's right to dissolve parliament-- a right which can be exercised on the Prime Minister's advice. Just like it's been since 1867. Whenever the Prime Minister of the day wants to do so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:05 a.m.  

  • so the next election is October 2009

    whether Dion, Harper or the people don't want one.


    speculation otherwise sells newspapers............

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:26 a.m.  

  • CG,

    You can say that Harper would be breaking a promise, though that's debatable. But, if Ned Franks says he's not breaking a law then I'd take him at his word.

    By Blogger Peter Loewen, at 12:08 p.m.  

  • Harper would not be breaking the law.

    Firstly, the law does not effect the ability of the Governor General to call an election early. So, the remedy against Mr. Harper would be entirely political. Just add it to the rest of the Hypo-critical Harper file.

    On the other hand, not calling the election in 2009 may also not involve breaking the law, because there is a good argument to be made that the law is simply unconstitutional in that it tries to force the GG to make a decision which the governor general may not want to make.

    The remedy for failing to have an election would also simply be hypocritical and the remedy should be political.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12:47 p.m.  

  • Ever since they passed the fixed election date law, Harper and his cohorts have been saying it meant they couldn't call an election.

    They're changing their story on this now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:14 p.m.  

  • Who said that PMSH was smart?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 6:30 p.m.  

  • Maybe Liberals have decided to not to "look foolish" after all.

    There's some speculation that the immigration reforms may be the issue:


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:30 p.m.  

  • What has it come to that the opposition parties who dominate Parliament numerically are cowering in a corner cringing at the thought of going to the polls?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:04 p.m.  

  • Interesting. There's an open letter to Dion in the comments to that f&w post cited by "Anonymous" above. Anybody else see it?


    The Honourable Stéphane Dion
    Leader of the Official Opposition
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0A6

    Dear Sir,

    Re: The Conservative Government’s proposed changes to immigration policy in Bill C-50.

    Canadian Multicultural Alliance is an organization involving members of various ethnic groups in Canada. The primary objective of the organization is to provide a forum for its members to discuss the political policies that affect the ethnic immigrants and to encourage their active participation in the Canadian political process.

    Recently, the Conservative Government has proposed sweeping immigration changes as part of Bill C-50, which will gut our immigration system, politicize its processes, and grant the Minister broad and unaccountable new powers. We are writing to ask for your support in stopping this legislation.

    Canada is an international leader on immigration, and the Liberal Party has been an integral part of that success. And the immigrant population also has been an integral part of the Liberal Party and has been very loyal to the Liberal Party. In contrast to the Conservatives’ past attempts to cap immigration, the Liberals have worked for progress and openness, from Trudeau’s historic Immigration Act of 1976 to Chrétien’s modernizing Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of 2002. Immigration is a core Liberal and Canadian value. That is why we urge you to act on this issue.

    We do recognize there are serious problems in the system. A lack of resources and massive backlog continue to delay the acceptance of new Canadians, while businesses make do without new skilled workers, and families wait years to reunite. But the Conservative bill does more than addressing these core issues by replacing a system of transparent rules with politicized discretion. The legislation is irresponsible and fundamentally unfair.

    Most of us in our organization have supported you because we believe in your leadership, and we all Liberals believe in building upon Canada’s global reputation for openness. That is why we believe you have a responsibility to the Party, and the country, to preserve and enhance the openness and reputation of immigration system by opposing this bill and demanding a real debate on the issues. Any other position that Liberal Party takes would substantially erode the core grass root ethnic support of the Party.

    Canada’s progressive "open arms" attitude is more than just an economic machine, but a beacon unto the hopes of millions of fine people around the world, all dreaming of the country they wish to one day call their own. The Conservatives want to assume the power to dash those hopes without notice or accountability. We hope that you will support us, as we have long supported you, in stopping this bill from becoming law.

    Kind regards,

    Kris Parthiban

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:22 p.m.  

  • "There's an open letter to Dion in the comments to that f&w post"

    Thanks Matthew. My thoughts exactly. Can't see why I should support dion or the LPC?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:22 a.m.  

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