Please support Democracy Watch’s court cases and campaign to stop snap elections across Canada!
Whenever a snap election is called, it is unfair because voters have no time to plan and arrange their lives so they can run as a candidate, volunteer or participate in the election in other ways. The ruling party also usually calls a snap election when surveys show that it has the best chance of winning – that’s also unfair. That’s why Parliament and most provincial legislatures decided to fix the election date in election laws. It makes the election fairer for everyone.
The federal and most provincial election laws have measures that fix each election date for four years after the last election, unless the government loses an important vote in Parliament (called a “non-confidence vote” – like a vote on government’s budget or another major issue).
Snap election calls violate these measures. At the federal level, Prime Minister Trudeau’s snap election call in August also violated the constitutional convention rule that has been created by the Prime Minister and Parliament following the fixed election date law in 2011 (when the Harper Conservative government only called an election after losing a vote of confidence in Parliament), and in 2015 and 2019. This convention rule also exists in several provinces where the provincial legislature and premier have followed the provincial fixed election date law for several elections in a row.
The British Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2019 that it was illegal for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to shut down Parliament for no justifiable reason when a majority of MPs wanted Parliament to stay open and operating.
Prime Minister Trudeau and almost all MPs in the House of Commons, including all Liberals, voted in May against holding an election while COVID is still a danger, which it is. In mid-July, the PM also denied that he was going to call a snap election.
And in July and August, all federal opposition party leaders, who represent a clear majority of MPs in Parliament clearly and publicly said they were against holding an election, and called on Prime Minister Trudeau to open Parliament after the summer break. To see details, click here.
For all these reasons, Democracy Watch has filed a court case challenging Prime Minister Trudeau’s snap election call in August, just like it challenged Prime Minister Harper’s snap election call in September 2008. To see details about the case, click here.
Democracy Watch also filed court cases last fall challenging the snap election calls by B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan and by New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs, both of which violated their provincial fixed election date laws.
If Democracy Watch loses these court cases, it will continue campaigning for stronger measures to fix election dates across Canada.
Please use the links on this page to support Democracy Watch’s court cases and campaign to stop snap elections across Canada!
News Release – Democracy Watch and Wayne Crookes file court case challenging PM Trudeau’s snap election call, Wednesday, September 15, 2021
News Release – Democracy Watch files lawsuit against NB Premier’s election call, Thursday, November 26, 2020
News Release – Democracy Watch and Wayne Crookes, founder of IntegrityBC, file lawsuit against B.C. Premier’s election call, Friday, October 23, 2020