This whole "fixed" election date fiasco is generating just buckets of entertainment, and no one is more entertaining than official Stephen Harper fluffer Sandy Crux, who is adamant that the new rule clearly doesn't apply to Yo, Harper! because, well, something to do with having a minority or something.
In any event, Sandy reasons thusly:
(16) Fixed Election Dates — An Act to Amend the Canada Elections Act (Bill C-16), passed May 3, 2007 (Link) is an Act primarily for majority governments since minority governments can fall at almost any time when the opposition express a lack of confidence in the government. (Revised August 24, 2008)
What the fuck does that drivel even mean?
So Sandy wants to claim first that the new law applies only "primarily" to majority governments? But that obviously means that it does not apply exclusively to majority governments -- as in, it also applies (even if not "primarily") to minority governments as well. In other words, it applies (and try to follow me here) to all Canadian governments.
See how that works? Did you follow that? Please tell me you followed that because I really don't want to have to explain it a second time. In short, using Sandy's own prose, we can conclude that the vaunted Fixed Election Law applies to, well, everyone.
But wait. That can't be right.
Because, as you can see, Sandy links to the National Post, which takes the position that the legislation is, in fact, not binding at all. And why is Sandy doing this? Because, Sandy, being one of the stupidest Ph.Ds on the planet, is desperately trying to defend Dear Leader from the accusation of breaking his promise, and the only way she can do this is to contend that that legislation does not, in fact, stop Stephen Harper from calling a snap election.
Which means (and we're almost there) that Sandy, in leaping from Stephen Harper's genitals to his defense, must (and let me stress this, must) take the position that the legislation has no actual power. And yet, having now clearly staked her entire argument on the claim that the legislation is, in fact, non-binding, she continues to claim that it still represents an "accomplishment." Go figure.
Sandy Crux, boys and girls: When Ph.D.s go horribly, horribly wrong.
I was on vacation and lost to the intertubes when this controversy arose. I really don't understand the fuss. But I just clicked through to the enrolled bill and found the following: "Subject to subsection (1), * * * the first general election after this section comes into force being held on Monday, October 19, 2009."
Under this language, Subsection (1) in the only limitation on what follows. (Subsection (1) is the stuff about the Governor General.) As a general rule, when you carve out a single specific exception, you exclude all other exceptions.
Short of another Act of Parliament, which might amend the "the first general election after this section comes into force being held on Monday, October 19, 2009[,]"; language,, it seems to me the lot of you are — to put in the the kind of language which might pass the BT test — raped.
I'm not raped. I never cared about this legislation because I knew it was not enforceable.
Sandy seems to prove Peter Drucker's observation that Ph.D stands for 'Piled Higher and Deeper'. ;)
Seems to me what she meant was that the law created a *maximum* lifetime for any government (4 years), and that she felt it wouldn't usually affect minority governments because they naturally have a shorter lifespan and would probably never make it uninterrupted through the whole span. I.e., it is a way to chop down an otherwise invulnerable majority government (who would have had to call an election around the 5 year mark anyway) while not affecting the small fry in their scuffles.
Yeah, here we go, from wikinews, May 3, 2007:
Since confederation, a sitting government could choose any date for an election as long as it was less than five years after the writs were returned for the previous election; unless it was defeated by a motion of no-confidence.
The bill comes amid speculation as to how long the current minority parliament can last. When the bill becomes law, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be unable to call an election on his own. The opposition parties would still have the power to force an election with a vote of no-confidence against the government.
The more I look at this law, the more I wonder why Harper wanted it in the first place. How is 4 years that much better than 5 years?
My guess is, it was a short term (i.e. 5 years or so) ruse disguised as a long term change, and was put in place to ensure that if Harper lost his minority (a likely event) whoever succeeded him would still have to face an election in 2009.
"How is 4 years that much better than 5 years?" It's the American way.
Is there some place that an applicant can go to meet with Sandy Crux and some high-ranking academic official or perhaps panel, and following a brief assessment and comparison of Sandy's mental capacity with that of the applicant, be awarded a PhD as well, just automatically?
My calendar is wide open next week.
I will never forgive you for using the words "Stephen Harper" and "genitals" in the same sentence. Now I'm going to have to bleach my brain again.
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