Jay Hill, Parliament Debate
If a prime minister went against the spirit of this legislation and purely called an election because he or she felt the opportunity was ripe, that the situation for his or her particular political party was very advantageous to go to the polls, I suspect that person would quite likely be punished by the Canadian people in the subsequent election campaign.
Let's hope you're right Jay, this type of cynicism can't be rewarded.
Tom "Type A" Lukiwski Parliament Debate
We currently have a system where at the will of the government it can call an election. That obviously leads to many things along the lines of manipulating voters and manipulating dates to get the most beneficial time to the governing party to call an election. Obviously, as many speakers before me have indicated, this would bring an element of fairness to the whole equation.
That allows the governing party to have a political advantage over its opponents. Only the governing party knows the dates of the next election. If the polls happen to be favourable and it looks like the governing party might be returned in either a majority government or at least a strong minority, the governing party can call an election at its whim.
This legislation would take care of that. It would make it incumbent upon the present government and governments in the future to adhere to a fixed date for federal elections. The manipulations of governments trying to buy voters with their own money would come to an end. This is a very important step in our package of democratic reform.
Canadians do not want to think that the timing of a federal election will be held behind closed doors where a bunch of party hacks and pollsters get together and say that this would be their best chance to win the next election and that they should call the next election on a particular date. That should have no bearing on the timing of a federal election...
We want an election after four successive budgets. That would ensure that we stay in power for an awfully long time.
Party hacks, good point Tom.
Rob Nicholson, Leader of the Government in the House, during committee debate of Bill C-16:
What we have is a situation where the Prime Minister is able to choose the date of the general election--not necessarily what is in the best interests of the country, but conceivably what is in the best interests of his or her party. Bill C-16 will address this situation and produce a number of other benefits.
Rob Nicholson, Leader of the Government in the House, Parliament Debate
When the prime minister, under the current system, requests the dissolution of the House, the governor general, unless there are unusual circumstances, agrees and the country finds itself in an election. What we have is a situation where the prime minister is able to choose the date of the election, not based necessarily on the best interests of the country but on the best interests of his or her political party. I believe Bill C-16 would address those concerns.
Instead of the prime minister and a small group of advisers being the only ones who know when the country will move into the next general election, once this bill is passed, all Canadians will have that knowledge, which makes it fair.
I can't disagree Rob, who wants political advisors deciding when the country should go to an election.
Hey, have any of you guys raised these relevant points recently to your Prime Minister, or any of the political hack advisors that are manufacturing a crisis to avoid future unfavorable terrain? Oh ya, that was then...
I think the first quote would make an excellent ad ;)