Christy Clark and fixed election dates

I am prepared to make a bet. Not on the outcome of the referendum but on what happens as a result of the referendum.

The federal government and the BC government have fixed election dates. This was brought in because Prime Ministers and Premiers had too much control over when an election could take place. If the time was right an election could be called after three years; if not, the government could drag out their mandate for five years. So we now have fixed election dates every four years so there is some stability. Minority governments can still be defeated early (as we saw federally), but for the most part we will always know when an election will occur. Prime Ministers and Premiers lose some control which is a good thing.

Christy Clark is mulling a fall election which would break the intent of the fixed election dates. She says she needs a mandate which isn’t quite true. We do not vote for the premier. We voted the Liberals in with whatever mandate they had promised. The premier is just the leader of that party. She should continue to promote those promises.

Now here is my prediction. If the no side wins and we retain the HST, Christy Clark will call an election. There will be absolutely no reason for her to do so. The referendum can be seen as a confidence vote on the part of the government. They won the confidence vote. They can continue ruling. Nothing changes.

However, seeing that they have support, they will call an election going against their own fixed election law.

Now, if the yes side wins, she will not call an election. She will see that the party does not have support and calling an election at this time would not be a good idea. However, if she is truly honest she would see that this was a confidence issue. The people (not the legislature of course) had spoken and the government should resign. In fact, with the HST defeated, it could be seen as a defeat of a budget, and the Liberals must now seek a mandate on how to go forward without the HST as part of the taxing process.

I think Christy Clark is avoiding a whole lot of involvement in the HST debate because she wants to see how things look for her in the fall.

I don’t subscribe to fixed election dates in a parliamentary system, with the obvious example of the recent Federal minority government, the lifespan of a government can be impacted by the decision of the opposition to bring down the government.

Thus, the artificial deadline for an election, which can then be tossed aside due to the circumstance of the flow of parliament or a legislature, would seem kind of a pointless guideline.

Obviously, if a government has a majority then we have at least four years of governance, with the window to call the election expanded to the final months of that term, sometimes to five years if memory serves correct.

Governments that hang on to that fifth year, usually find that they have more than overstayed the welcome.

Unless we move to the system made famous in the south, (which I don’t particularly wish to see, where a President is elected for a fixed term, which short of impeachment can’t be shortened), the system as it was before the fake nod to convention seemed to work just fine.

So why pretend that the deadline of election has any real relevance.

In the end, the voters do get the choice to pass judgment on its elected officials, though it would be nice if more of them would take advantage of that particular aspect of democracy.

Elections should be held every 2 years. The cost of the election is offset by the fact that they have less time to piss away money on stupid shit like the g20/g8. After all we would be less likely to ‘forget’ in 2 years as opposed to 4.