Sue's Blog

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tom Marshall - Misleading the People!

Tom Marshall has made comments recently that really call his integrity into question. It is curious that a former Attorney General, Minister of Justice, a lawyer and current Premier would place his personal professional accomplishments behind party politics - but yet it appears he has.

Yesterday in this CBC interview - Marshall said "There's a premier in place, there's a cabinet in place, there's a caucus in place with a mandate to govern until October 2015"

This is - a deceptive comment that ignores the pith and substance - the meaning and intent of an important law respecting our democracy.

Fixed term elections were put into legislation to IMPROVE the democratic process. A few of us have noted that a loophole exists within the Tory initiated law - yet that concern has been ignored and now the PC Party is taking advantage of it. Below are the relevant sections:  As you can see the intent under the "Election on change of Premier" exists to expedite the process of renewing a mandate if a Premier leaves before the end of the 3rd year of a term. This recognizes the need to go back to the electorate once the leader of the governing party exits. This is additionally important as the Premier is a public unelected office. So Marshall's comment - that there exists a mandate to govern until October 2015 - is not true.

Duration of House of Assembly
        3. (1) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the Lieutenant-Governor may, by proclamation in Her Majesty’s name, prorogue or dissolve the House of Assembly when the Lieutenant-Governor sees fit.
             (2)  A polling day at a general election shall be held on the second Tuesday in October, 2007 and afterward on the second Tuesday in October in the fourth calendar year following the polling day at the most recently held general election.

Election on change of Premier
      3.1 Where the leader of the political party that forms the government resigns his or her position as leader and as Premier of the province before the end of the third year following the most recent general election, the person who is elected by the party to replace him or her as the leader of the party and who is sworn in as the Premier of the province by the Lieutenant-Governor shall, not later than 12 months afterward, provide advice to the Lieutenant-Governor that the House of Assembly be dissolved and a general election be held.

We know in the case of Kathy Dunderdale - that her term ended 9 months before the end of the 3rd year in office and we should therefore expect - reasonably - that the PC Party would have a leader elected or selected in short order and then get to an election as soon as possible.

When this Bill was being debated in December of 2004 - the issue of leadership departure was significant.

Kelvin Parsons - at the time said after a leader leaves - it should be like a by-election and an election called within 60-90 day period. Terry French was agreeing with the concept - although felt 12 months allowed more reasonable time for a leader to be chosen and an election called.

Terry French said the following:  Mr. Speaker, I believe, like I said from the beginning, that people of this Province, certainly, have the right to elect the Premier. The party should not have the right to select a Premier for this Province. Sure, they have the right to select a leader who will carry them into an election, and, sure, the party has the right to select the person they feel who is best qualified for the job, but then it is the job of the government of the day to put that person out in front of their party and say to the people of this Province: Who do you want? Who would you prefer? This person or that person? I believe this legislation will allow for that. 

So what exactly are they up to? Why are the PC's not honouring the intent of the law? It is not our problem that they are mired in disorganization or worse - manipulation. Tom Marshall knows or should know the purpose of the law. 

Marshall is dishonouring himself and all sitting PC MHA's by continuing to put off the call of an election - by using a loophole. 

Tom Marshall must call an election immediately.

Shame on you Mr. Marshall - you have lowered yourself to protecting your party's interests instead of the people's. 

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