Inside Politics

Liberal motion would stop Tories from limiting debate on election law changes

Undaunted, it seems, by the virtual certainty of defeat, the Liberals are planning to devote Thursday's opposition day debate to a motion that, if passed, would prohibit the use of time allocation or closure motions on any bill that seeks to change Canada's election laws.

Courtesy of the Notice Paper, here's the full text of the motion, which will be formally introduced in the House after routine proceedings on Thursday:

That Standing Order 78 be amended by adding the following:

"(4) No motion, pursuant to any paragraph of this Standing Order, may be used to allocate a specified number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of any bill that seeks to amend the Canada Elections Act or the Parliament of Canada Act.";

and that Standing Order 57 be amended by adding the following:

", provided that the resolution of resolutions, clause or clauses, section or sections, preamble or preambles, title or titles, being considered do not pertain to any bill that seeks to amend the Canada Elections Act or the Parliament of Canada Act.".

An earlier version of the proposal would have simply sent the question to the procedure and house affairs committee for further study. 

Apparently, the Liberals, realizing how deeply unlikely it was that they'd be able to get the government to back even that proposal, decided to go for broke with a motion to make the changes to the standing orders on the spot. 

Last month, the Conservatives raised the ire of the opposition parties by allowing the House to spend only four days debating its controversial bid to rewrite federal election rules before sending it to committee for a more extensive review.

Under the current workplan, that study is scheduled to wrap up by May 1st, at which point the bill will be reported back to the House, with or without amendments. 

At that point, the government will have to decide whether to impose a fixed deadline on the final round of debate. That is, unless the Liberal motion somehow squeaks through a vote, in which case they'll just have to let it play out in parliamentary real-time. 

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.