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Case starts to decide whether Harper broke his own Law.

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posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 08:33 PM
Democracy Watch, a Canadian advocacy group that has as it's main goal to clean up Government in Canada, has gotten it's case against the Harper Government into Federal Court.

There claim is that Prime Minister Harper broke his own Election Law by dissolving Parliament last September to call a fall election. It gets kinda of fuzzy here because the Law doesn't clearly state that only a non-confidence vote in Parliament can trigger an election. It did how ever, state that the next Federal General Election wouldn't be till October 2009.

The Law itself only got through parliament because of assurances by the Conservatives that they would uphold the spirit of the Law and not call a snap election.

Duff Conacher, the head of Democracy Watch, is also challenging the Election call last fall on a Charter Of rights and Freedoms basis. His position is that it violates section 3 of the Charter, which guarantees the right to fair elections.

This quote is from Rob Nicholson, who is currently Canada's Attorney general and was at the time Minister for Democratic Reform.

What we have is a situation where the prime minister is able to choose the date of the election, not based necessarily on the best interests of the country but on the best interests of his or her political party. I believe Bill C-16 would address those concerns. . . . "Instead of the Prime Minister and a small group of advisers being the only ones who know when the country will move into the next general election, when this bill is passed, all Canadians will have that knowledge, which makes it fair. . . . This Prime Minister will live by the law and spirit of this particular piece of legislation. He and this government are driving this democratic reform.

It is going to be an interesting case to watch. I've personally been following it since DW tried to halt the election last fall with it's original motion. I've heard Conacher speak on several occasions and believe he has nothing but the best interests of all Canadians at heart.

The only part I have a problem with is this...

If Democracy Watch wins, Conacher said his group will consider a class-action effort to recoup the $350 million taxpayers spent on the last vote.

That I don't agree with. It'll be the taxpayers ending up paying again if the class action suit goes forward and they win. The 350 million won't be coming out of Harpers pocket.

Quotes taken from here

and here

All the information about the case, including the affidavits, can be found at the first link above.

[edit on 8-9-2009 by GAOTU789]

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 09:30 PM
I read this article this morning. I wonder how it will affect the expected election coming up.

I'm quite sure Harper knew the economic meltdown was coming last fall and wanted an election before the news got out that went against everything the PC's were saying about the coming fiscal year.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 09:51 PM
As much as I would love to see Harper get in trouble for breaking his own law, I think the first amendment is a get out of jail free card and kind of nullifies the rest of the bill.

56.1 (1) Nothing in this section affects the powers of the Governor General, including the power to dissolve Parliament at the Governor General’s discretion.

Hmmm, funny that. The GG issues a proclamation dissolving parliament every time we have an election, that's part of her job.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 10:03 PM
reply to post by Connector

Couldn't agree more. I have a hard time believing they didn't see it coming.

reply to post by Duzey

Ya I read the Bill when this first came up last year. I've just started looking at what DW is stating in their documents. The fact that the GG dissolves Parliament at the request of the PM though is what I suspect they will try to argue.

I personally don't think they'll succeed but just getting the case heard is a victory for them.

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