“The Government’s position is clear: we brought in legislation modeled on those of the provinces to set elections every four years to set the next election for October 19, 2009." […] "The Government is clear it will not be seeking an early election. Of course, at any time, Parliament can defeat the Government and provoke an early election if that’s what the Opposition irresponsibly chooses to do.”
In Question Period, May 30, 2006, while speaking on Bill C-16 amending the Canada Elections Act
Hansard entries for first and second statements
Harper’s Government set an election for October 14, 2008, at its sole discretion. This is despite the preamble of his Government’s amendment to the Canada Elections Act pointing out that
“fixed election dates would remove an unfair advantage that the government possesses in being able to decide on the date for an election. It would create a level playing field for all participants in the electoral process, by removing the uncertainty and perceived bias in favour of the governing party. This would facilitate planning for election officials, as well as political parties and candidates. It is also argued that, indirectly, fixed election dates would help relax party discipline and allow freer votes, as the Prime Minister and cabinet would no longer be able to use the threat of an election to keep their caucus in line. At the same time, by ensuring that an election could be held earlier in the event that the government clearly did not have the support of the majority of the House of Commons, the concept of confidence that underlies the parliamentary system of government would be preserved.”As with his position on the elected senate, Harper professes a commitment to democratic mechanisms that he later circumvents.
The text of Bill C-16
Democracy Watch to get their day in court
Stephen Harper speaks at a campaign rally in Quebec during his illegal October, 2008 campaign