Monday, September 8, 2008

Felection - Fixing the Date

Democracy Watch outlines some of the reasons why Harper's Election call is bad for democracy:

. . . delaying the election until at least spring 2009 would give time to pass key bills, as well as complete various investigations and court cases, on key good government issues, as follows:

-a proposed law that bans loans to election candidates (except by banks and other financial institutions) is still under review by the Senate, and until it passes the loans loophole will allow anyone to buy off a candidate in violation of the spirit of donation limits that came into effect a few years ago;
-the investigation and court case concerning limits on spending on advertising by local candidates is not completed, and holding an election when limits are not clearly defined will likely lead to abuse in election spending;
-a court case filed by Democracy Watch has not been completed, and as a result it is unclear exactly what lobbyists can do to help candidates and parties during elections;
-another court case filed by Democracy Watch has not been completed, and as a result it is unclear whether Prime Minister Harper and his Cabinet violated the federal Conflict of Interest Act by making decisions concerning the Mulroney-Schreiber affair;
-the federal Ethics Commissioner has still not ruled on whether Finance Minister Jim Flaherty violated the Conflict of Interest Act when he handed out a contract to a friend, and;
-last but certainly not least, there are 90 loopholes in the federal government’s accountability and decision-making system that need to be closed, including loopholes that allow party leaders to lie to voters when making election promises, that allow secret donations to nomination race candidates, and that allow party leaders to dictate who will be the candidate in any riding.
Via Rabble.

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