The Current

Politicians and pundits not convinced of an October fixed election date

The politicians and the pundits who track them can't get enough of election speculation these days. Despite a fixed election law that has the word October in it. Despite a Prime Minister who has said he's planning on the fixed date. But how binding is that law anyway?...
The politicians and the pundits who track them can't get enough of election speculation these days. Despite a fixed election law that has the word October in it. Despite a Prime Minister who has said he's planning on the fixed date. But how binding is that law anyway?

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Are fixed election dates essential to democracy or fixing something that isn't broken? (Chris Young/CP)


When Prime Minister Stephen Harper sat down for his year-end interview with the CBC's Peter Mansbridge, he was unambiguous about the next federal election date. He says Canadians will go to the polls on October 19th, exactly nine months from today -- No ifs, ands, or buts...

But the ifs and the ands have been plentiful in Ottawa, where speculation about a spring election is keeping political watchers warm this winter. And where the opposition parties are getting ready for a fight like it could arrive any day -- almost as if there is no fixed date at all.

  • Chris Hall is the National Affairs Editor for CBC News in Ottawa.

The fixed election date is a fairly recent addition to our federal politics. It was the Conservative government that first brought it in with Bill C-16, in 2007.

But is the fixed date something essential to our democracy, or an attempt to fix a system that was never broken?


What do you think? Should we stick to the fixed election date... or are you okay with 6 weeks notice of an election?

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