Thursday, May 03, 2007

Fixed election dates to become law in Canadian federal elections

From Wikinews

May 3, 2007

A bill that would set fixed election dates in Canada every four years is scheduled to receive royal assent and become law today.

Since confederation, a sitting government could choose any date for an election as long as it was less than five years after the writs were returned for the previous election; unless it was defeated by a motion of no-confidence. By convention, elections have been held every four years, often when the governing party was doing well in the polls. Bill C-16, first introduced in the House May 30, 2006, would create predictable election dates every four years.

The bill was one of the democratic reforms originally promised by the Harper conservatives during the 2006 election campaign. Under bill C-16, an election would have to be called for the third Monday of October four years after the last federal election unless opposition parties force one earlier. If the date conflicts with a provincial election or a religious occasion, the election can be moved by a few days.

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