Tuesday, January 04, 2011

On alternative avenues

I don't remember hearing this particular theory from Peter Russell (cited in Lawrence Martin's Harperland at p. 158) before Stephen Harper pulled the plug on Parliament to precipitate the 2008 federal election. But it seems to be worth noting in light of the possibility of the Cons breaking their fixed election date law once again:
A heap of criticism was visited upon the PM (for calling the election), especially from those who knew the details of the legislation. Others, however, concluded that because his was a minority government, the fixed-election law couldn't really apply. Some constitutional experts believed the governor general could have refused to grant Harper the election call. That would have been especially true, observed Peter Russell of the University of Toronto, if the opposition parties had been prepared to offer a coalition alternative. They weren't, however, and so Michaelle Jean acquiesced to the PM's wishes.

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