Monday, August 13, 2007

B.C. can't get no speculative respect, and other speculative 'news'

We're kind of like Rodney Dangerfield in that regard. Yesterday I blogged about the lack of a by-election call for B.C.'s Vancouver-Quadra riding; today in the Globe we get 'speculation' on the timing of the two Ontario by-elections, Toronto-Centre and Willowdale.

Now, I should caution this is commentary the Globe has so little confidence in they haven’t even sourced it to a 'senior conservative' or even a 'junior janitor.' Rather, the only sourcing is 'there is also speculation.' So, who knows, could have been overheard at Dunn's. We report, you decide:

There is also speculation that the Prime Minister will call by-elections for Sept. 17 in the two Toronto ridings that were vacated by senior Liberal MPs Bill Graham and Jim Peterson.

Given there are already three by-elections in Quebec scheduled for that day, Mr. Harper would have an argument to make if he were to prorogue Parliament instead of allowing the House to reopen as scheduled on that day.

What’s missing here? Vancouver-Quadra. Out there west of Thunder Bay, in British Columbia. Aren’t we worth speculating about? No unsourced, unfounded random speculation for us?

Anyway, I find this latest ‘speculation’ rather dubious. While I wouldn’t put it past Harper, calling the Ontario by-elections for Sept. 17, which I’d be in favour of, would go against the consistent Con position on the issue. But, one assumes, if the Ontario ones are called for that day Quadra would be too.

What’s the timing here though? For a Sept. 17 vote wouldn’t he have to call them, like, today?

In other speculative news, the official cabinet speculation now is no backbench promotions. So, once again, no love for James Moore and Diane Ablonczy. Certainly sends a message that Harper doesn’t think much of the talent on his backbench.

I share that with him, and don’t think much of the talent on his frontbench either, but I wonder how long before some of these backbenchers start to get antsy with no clear chance of promotion, especially when they see that a train wreck like Gordon O’Connor still stays in cabinet, even if in a more junior portfolio.

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kenlister1 said...

I think Steve calls the byelection for saskatchewan at the same time as the rest, cause he figures Harrison can win back the sask byelection and cons have momentum can be the headline instead of liberal sweep with rae and findlay. once he is ready in saskatchewan, then he calls the rest.
Also, delaying them means he can make deals with the NDP for the fall as the two parties have a majority.
Also, Emerson could be looking at Quadra if there is a general election before the byelection.

S.K. said...

Well BC is in a whole other time zone! They don't have to speculate on that for three more hours. BTW isn't it a bit late to call a by-election for the 17th of Sept. Its freekin' the 14th of August tomorrow, that's 34 days. What's the lower limit on these things?

S.K. said...

Ok the Canada elections act says 36 days, so i guess the Globe didn't do its homework as its impossible to call an election for Sept 17th tomorrow. Unless a by-election can violate the minimum writ period.

Dan Grice said...

If there is a by-election called before September in Vancouver Quadra, you will effectively disenfranchise thousands on UBC students who are forced to move off campus during the school months.

The Green Party will make sure that every University Student, Professor, and Faculty members are aware that it was the Liberal Party that was pushing the Government to have a quick by-election.

I hope Liberals realize that this riding is not that loyal to the Liberals. Stephen Owen was a community figure who attracted support from across the spectrum.

Dan Grice,
Green Party Candidate, Vancouver Quadra.

Jeff said...

you will effectively disenfranchise thousands on UBC students who are forced to move off campus during the school months.

I'm not sure I follow Dan. I would think an election during the school year would be preferable for students as they would be at school, able to volunteer and, if they live in the riding, able to vote. IIRC, students can choose to vote either in their university riding or in their (family's) home riding.

Did you mean to say move off campus during the summer months, and therefore may be caught by the residency requirement? In this case yes, they would need to be resident in the riding when the writ is dropped to be elgible to vote and, where the writ dropped, say, tomorrow, that could impact many students.

Although, if they're a returning student that was just gone for the summer I think you could probably argue prior residency, so it may just be new/first year students impacted.

So yes, student voting eligibility is an issue I hadn't considered before, and thank-you for raising it. That is something to be considered, and balanced against other issues.

As has been discussed a Sept. 17 vote now appears legally impossible anyway. I still favour as early a call as possible though. Dropping it, say, the first week in September should allow for all students of voting age that live in the riding to be eligible.

Burton, Formerly Kingston said...

BCer, that is interesting, my daughters go to Univ in Kingston where we reside so it is no big deal, but what if they went to McGill, they both have places of their own with other room mates but they still use our address as there permanent residence i.e for licenses, etc. How would that effect the scenario we are discussing.

Jeff said...

Kingston, in the case of a general election, assuming they're living in Montreal when the election is called, they could vote in either their riding in Montreal or in Kingston. They could chose which one, but they could only vote in one. So they could vote in person in Montreal, or by mail-in ballot back to Kingston, for example.

burlivespipe said...

I don't know how much a part this student residency issue plays in the fact that students, by-and-large, stay home during elections (never mind a bye-election).
Pushing for a quick bye-election? How about allowing the people of a riding the opportunity to have an MP for the start of a new sitting? Sure, slag the Liberals for these sudden resignations, but I can't see the logic in claiming an unfair 'rush for representation'. What does your leader think of it, Mr Grik?
He seems interestingly willing to disenfranchise one group for a period for the benefit of another. But again, if I had about 1-in-1,000,000 chance of getting a job, maybe I'd be filling buckets with mud, too. Or maybe I'd not make wild, crack-pipe-fuelled accusations.

S.K. said...

As far as I'm aware, and I'm certainly no expert, students can vote in home town ridings or the riding in which they reside when they go to school. And first year students don't live ther now and never have so why should they be allowed to vote if an election is called now. They aren't in that riding. I really don't think that's an issue. 2/3 of them are 17 now and can't vote anyways. Should we wait until Jan for all elections so that all first year University students are elegible. That's silly.

No one has commented as to whether or not by-elections can be shorter. As I said i'm no expert. Well we'll find out tomorrow. Is Jane such a gossip whore that she wouldn't even check if that rumour were legally possible before printing it?

S.K. said...

Sorry 1/3 of them are 17, not 2/3.