Ruling on group's pitch to halt election will come too late
A Canadian political watchdog group won't get its day in court in time to stop the Oct. 14 federal election.
Democracy Watch's Duff Conacher filed a suit claiming it was illegal for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to ask the governor general to dissolve Parliament, violating his own law that set a fixed-date election.
On Friday, the group announced that the Federal Court has agreed to hear its application but likely not for about six to eight months, well after the next government takes office.
Even though a decision won't come in time, Conacher says he hopes to ban future prime ministers from calling "unfair snap elections" unless there's a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons.
"The clear intent of the fixed election date was to make elections fair for all political parties and citizens wanting to participate in the election by letting everyone know well in advance when it will happen," Conacher said in a release.
Harper asked Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean to dissolve Parliament on Sept. 7, arguing it had become dysfunctional. She agreed, and the five-week election campaign began.
The activist group argues that when the fixed-date law was before the Commons, the government specified that only a non-confidence vote would trigger an election earlier than the set date.