Today in the Senate: Let’s undo what we never did in the first place


Lowell Murray wants to repeal the fixed election date law:

Therefore, honourable senators, I conclude — and some of us concluded in advance, when Bill C-16 was before us — that the law supposedly establishing fixed election dates in this country is literally “non sense;” it is a nullity. To borrow the memorable words of Mr. Bumble from Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist: “The law” — that law — “is an ass.”

The bill that we passed into law is a facade. It is misleading; I would almost say it was intended to mislead. In any case, it is of no force or effect.


Some of us made this point at the time:

In the end, what this bill amounts to is a promise by a majority government not to engineer an election for four years, unless circumstances make it necessary to do so. As far as I can tell, this is not a departure from current practice, but an endorsement of it. In which case, all Harper is proposing to do is shorten the standard term from five years to four.

(Thanks to Stephen MacLean for the heads up)


Today in the Senate: Let’s undo what we never did in the first place

  1. Gee. His good old buddy Brian must really be pithed.

    • Stop taking the pith, mate.

      • Just borrowing … I’ll give it back …. honest.

  2. How about we just add penalties to the law? Like 10 years in prison for asking the GG for an election before 4 years are up? Look at me, I’m all about law and order, just like a conservative!

    • “Like 10 years in prison for asking the GG for an election before 4 years are up?”

      I’m absolutely against the death penalty, but if you suggested it for this crime, I might change my mind…

      • Reminds me of the old Athenian practice of not only passing a law but passing another, subsequent law stating that anybody who proposed amending the first law would be put to death. This resulted in some epic circumlocutions. In one case, Solon (later deemed the wisest of Athenian statesmen) had to put on a funny little hat and pretend to be crazy in order to make a speech against the first law. Good times.

        • I think I saw that on CPAC years ago …… Darrel Stinson maybe ….

        • They didn’t have sweaters back then?

          • Didn’t need them. They stayed warm making silly threatening gestures.

  3. two notes:

    1) good for Sen. Murray, demonstrating clearly the virtually of the traditionally appointed senate; and,

    2) SH how much less do ou think SH likes the Senate today.

    • Once again, we are of like minds. I like this Senator Murray who realizes anything involving elections needs a particularly fine toothed comb for the Senate to wield. And I also appreciate the concept of removing “silly laws” from the books as soon as they become silly.

  4. This law was always a solution for which there was no problem; its just an easy balm to create image of democratic reform that does really nothing. The only real use is to allow political hacks to plan their vacations around serving on election campaigns. Scrap it.