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

Monday, February 21, 2011

Comparative legislation

This map shows how various jurisdictions in Canada deal with vacancies in the provincial or territorial legislatures late in their term:

The green territories (and PEI) have statutory provisions which obviate the need for a by-election in the final six months before the anticipated dissolution of the legislature. There is a similar six-month cutoff at the federal level in the Parliament of Canada Act.

The blue provinces have similar provisions which apply in the final year of the life of a legislative assembly.

Quebec and Saskatchewan, shown in yellow, have similar, but idiosyncratic provisions. In Quebec, the need to hold a by-election does not apply once four years have passed since the previous general election results are certified, while in Saskatchewan, a by-election is only to be held within the first 40 months after a general election.

In the grey provinces of New Brunswick, Manitoba, and B.C., there is no special provision governing vacancies in the late months of a legislative assembly's life. However, the more-generous time-limits on holding by-elections after a vacancy occurs (six months, one year, and six months respectively) amount to much the same thing: the provincial governments can simply hold off on holding a by-election until the general election. (There is one possible exception in the case of recall in British Columbia.)

In Dannystan, thanks to the lack of foresight of the PC government, and the lack of backbone or commons sense on the part of anyone else in the House of Assembly or provincial government, who rubber-stamped Our Dear Electoral Reforms in six calendar days, every vacancy in the House of Assembly must result in a by-election call within 60 days, and a by-election general polling date within 30 days after that.

Thus, a seat that becomes vacant 90 days before the expected dissolution of the House of Assembly will result in a by-election, even though that by-election will then take place on the day before the general election campaign officially begins.

A by-election must still be called if it occurs 60 days or more before dissolution; the by-election writ will be superseded by the dissolution and general election.

Danny Williams was a Great Lawyer.™



At 7:35 AM, February 21, 2011 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...

In 2007, as you will recall, they even went through the motions of calling a by-election that never actually occurred and the date for which was never public disclosed.

They quietly disappeared it in the hullabaloo over the first fixed-date election in October, which would have, after all, obliterated the by-election anyway.

this is one of many examples of such fundamental incompetence after 2003.

At 1:24 PM, February 21, 2011 , Blogger WJM said...

Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth.

The by-election was set for October 9th - you just really had to beg and plead for that answer, or wait for the Gazette to come out.

What was really incompetent was that they mis-counted the days and actually breached the "sixty-day" rule by one day.

At 2:00 PM, February 23, 2011 , Blogger Wm. Murphy said...

don't you just love the references of "they"

...they even went through the motions

...They quietly disappeared...

I guess the source can be called "us"


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