Vaughn Palmer: Horgan mulls return to bad old days of B.C. politics

Politics

The arguments in favour of a fixed election date laid out by Liberal AG Geoff Plant still stand, says columnist Vaughn Palmer

VICTORIA — When B.C. became the first province to enact a fixed election date two decades ago, it was praised for curbing the power of premiers to play political games with the election cycle.

“The use of fixed election dates is to ensure that the timing of elections cannot be manipulated for political or partisan reasons,” to quote a posting on the website of the B.C. legislature.

“It is used to let British Columbians know how long a government will be in power and what timeline they have to meet their commitments. This helps to reduce uncertainty and improve a government’s accountability to the public. ”

The rationale for the change was underscored by Geoff Plant, attorney-general in the B.C. Liberal government that enacted it in 2001.

Plant noted how premiers, limited only by the seldom-exercised prerogatives of the lieutenant-governor, had the power to determine when provincial elections would be held.

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Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics

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