Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Federal Election must wait until 2008

The thrown speech is set to be passed tomorrow. There are many people who believe Stephan Dion should vote against the speech he disagrees with and topple the government. Others agree with his decision to wait until the Liberals are ready for an election before forcing one to be called.

With the Conservatives making legislation matters of confidence there is another factor to consider before anyone decides to topple the government. Canadians are tired of the instability and petty partisanship of the current government. It is likely they will try to give a majority mandate to either the Liberals or the Conservatives at the expense of the NDP, Green, BQ. Dion and Harper will make sure that this is the most likely outcome before pulling the plug and going to the polls.

If a federal election were to be held before December 31st of this year the next federal election would be scheduled for October 18, 2011. The next Ontario election is scheduled to take place on October 6, 2011. Holding the election 12 days apart in vote rich Ontario will cause problems for all parties. There are less resources in terms of people, finances and a captive audience. In Ontario the faith based funding issue which affected less than 1% of eligible voters completely overshadowed every other election issue. The risk of this happening is even greater when two election campaigns are being run at the same time.

The most likely scenario is that the current government will be toppled on the Spring budget. It gives the Liberals time to prepare and a clear platform for the Liberals and Conservatives to carve out their election platforms.

Canada Elections Act

56.1 (1) Nothing in this section affects the powers of the Governor General, including the power to dissolve Parliament at the Governor General’s discretion.

Election dates

(2) Subject to subsection (1), each general election must be held on the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following polling day for the last general election, with the first general election after this section comes into force being held on Monday, October 19, 2009.

S.C. 2007, c. 10, s. 1.

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