|Canada’s new Government Proposes fixed election dates|
OTTAWA – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform today introduced in the House of Commons a bill providing for fixed election dates every four years.
The bill also establishes Monday, October 19, 2009 as the date of the next general election. Once the general election is held, the following election would be set for the third Monday in October, four calendar years in the future.
“Fixed election dates will improve the fairness of Canada’s electoral system by eliminating the ability of governing parties to manipulate the timing of elections for partisan advantage,” stated Minister Nicholson.
Currently, the Prime Minister is able to select a date for a general election and to advise the Governor General to dissolve Parliament. This allows the governing party to set the timing of a general election to its own advantage.
Beyond providing for greater fairness, fixed election dates will improve transparency and predictability. This bill, however, will not change the practice of dissolving Parliament for elections if the government loses the confidence of the House of Commons.
“Establishing fixed election dates fulfills one of this government’s key campaign commitments,” added Minister Nicholson. “It is an important step in improving and modernizing Canada’s democratic institutions and practices,” concluded Minister Nicholson.
Office of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Genevičve Breton 6/1/2006