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EDITORIAL: Let’s put an end to opportunistic snap elections

Justin Trudeau calls election. (Image: Facebook)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

FOR A COUNTRY so committed to democracy, we aren’t real crazy about federal elections.

It’s not that we don’t like voting — though low turnouts sometimes make you wonder — but we don’t like voting any more than we have to.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might be the only person in Canada who’s happy about his decision to call an election for Sept. 20.

Certainly, here in B.C., the timing couldn’t be worse. The province is on fire and we’re choking in smoke. There are two kinds of British Columbians right now — those who have lost their homes and those who are worried they might.

But Trudeau is focused on other things, namely an opportunity to parlay the COVID-19 pandemic into a majority government.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (8485 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL: Let’s put an end to opportunistic snap elections

  1. Amazing that here in BC, the otherwise capable government of John Horgan was not able to predict (about a year after he got the majority he wanted) the wildest forest fire season we ever had. Call it a major failure in his part I guess? Sarcasm apart, Trudeau hopefully gets the majority he needs to implement more positive changes. The failure of the conservative to modernize their platform and to marginalized the white, pudgy, balding noise faction within is not Trudeau’s fault. The NDP do not have the pragmatism needed to govern and the Greens are gone. Let’s vote, but for most people quit complaining, mind your footprint and be happy.

  2. Ian MacKenzie // August 16, 2021 at 10:54 AM // Reply

    I’d love to get rid of snap elections almost as much as I’d like to get of first-past-the-post. Complete electoral
    reform through a Citizens’ Assembly is my choice.

  3. Sean McGuinness // August 16, 2021 at 10:13 AM // Reply

    Sorry, I missed that. However, the “rare exceptions” clause may not be enough. In a minority gov’t, the opposition could effectively shut down parliament without forcing an election.
    This is what we’ve seen south of the border. You might end up with years of political quagmire.

  4. Sean McGuinness // August 16, 2021 at 9:02 AM // Reply

    I agree that nobody wants an election now. But having fixed election dates won’t work with the system we have. If for example, the budget fails to pass, then what does one do? In the American system, gov’t shuts down in such situations, and people don’t get paid.

    Calling an election carries risks as well, even if the polls look good. My guess is that Trudeau is not going to do as well as he thinks he will.

    • Mel Rothenburger // August 16, 2021 at 9:08 AM // Reply

      As the editorial notes, there would have to be rare exceptions such as if a minority government is defeated on a confidence vote, such as the budget.

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