"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The other way to square the circle

So the Premier is willing to amend the law if the October 9th, 2007 election date, that his government set down, is no longer convenient. As Rob Antle reported for The Telegram last week on the 7th:
A law passed by the Tory government in 2004 set the next election date for Oct. 9, although the lieutenant governor can choose to dissolve the legislature at any time.

Williams indicated he would recall the House to change the law if he decides an election is necessary before then.

If Danny Williams suddenly finds himself concerned about the expense and inconvenience to the electorate of having a batch of three (or more) by-elections this spring, then the regularly-scheduled general election this fall, and if he is keen to change the law to fix this "problem"...

... then why not change this section of the House of Assembly Act:
Writ of election
54. Where a vacancy occurs in the House of Assembly, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall, within 60 days after the seat becomes vacant, issue a proclamation for the holding of an election and return of a member for the district in respect of which the vacancy has occurred.
which, after all, his own government instituted in 2004 in the fixed-election bill itself?

It is passing strange that such a Great Lawyer didn't have the foresight to include in his brand-new s. 54 a provision that would obviate the need for a by-election to fill a vacancy in the final year of a government's general election mandate.

Such provisions are to be found in s. 38 (2) of the Nunavut Elections Act, s. 27(2) of the Ontario Legislative Assembly Act, s. 5.1(2) of the Prince Edward Island Elections Act, s. 46(2) of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, and s. 31(2) of the Parliament of Canada Act.

Now Danny's allergy to anything and everything federal and Canadian — other than federal transfer payments and federal government spending — is well-established:
I am sorry, Sir, I am just not going to follow what the Government of Canada does. We are going to stand on our own and (inaudible).
But surely to goodness some member of the House of Assembly could have seen this issue coming, and examined other Canadian jurisdictions for tips on how to handle it.

Perhaps if Bill 40 had spent more than six calendar days getting from the start of second to the end of third reading, and perhaps if it had been referred to a real committee instead of the Whole, one of them might have.


At 5:25 PM, January 16, 2007 , Blogger Mark said...

Legislation? That's not the job of Members of the House. That's why we call them MHAs instad of MLAs. We don't want them to legislate. That would encroach on the Emperor's will, so to speak.

At 11:32 PM, January 16, 2007 , Blogger WJM said...

Who needs a stinkin' legislature anyway?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home