An Unlawfully Long Writ Rewards the Incumbent and Will Be Allowed to Stand

Elections Newfoundland & Labrador announced the results of the ill-begotten election on Saturday at 1030 Eastern Daylight Time. The Liberals have won a bare majority of 22 out of 40 seats in the House of Assembly, where the Furey government will face a decapitated and floundering opposition. Both the leaders of the Progressive Conservative and New Democratic Parties, Ches Crosbie and Alison Coffin, lost their seats.[1] The rumps of these parliamentary parties will have to select new leaders from their remaining MHAs.

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Posted in Crown (Powers and Office), Dissolution, Fixed-Date Elections, Reform | 2 Comments

The Over-Zealous Caretakers of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2021

The Caretaker Array in Star Trek Voyager

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Caretaker Guidelines from 2019

A few weeks ago, I received a report from one of my readers that some departments of the government of Newfoundland and Labrador have decided not to answer questions from journalists on the grounds that the Caretaker Convention prevents them from doing so. That is false. In fact, the Executive Council Office of Newfoundland and Labrador created some guidelines on the caretaker convention under the previous ministry of Dwight Ball in 2019 entitled Guidelines on the Conduct of Public Servants During An Election Period. They say the opposite of what these civil servants have claimed:

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Posted in Caretaker Convention, Caretaker Convention & Government Formation, Constitution (Conventional) | 1 Comment

Gerontocracy in the United States vs the Rise of Generation X in Canada

Since the fall of 2019, I have read a series of articles in mid-brow American news magazines lamenting that a crop of aging politicians born in the 1940s, these Soixante-Huitards and the tailend of the Silent Generation, maintain their deathgrip on American politics.[1] These include Derek Thompon’s “Why Do Such Elderly People Run America?” in The Atlantic, Ian Prasad Philbrick’s “Why Does America Have Old Leaders?” in The New York Times, and, most recently, Eve Peyser’s “Gerontocracy Is Hurting Democracy” in New York Magazine.[2]

I stumbled upon the first of these articles lamenting America’s gerontocracy in 2019 around the same time when I was researching for my post “This Election Has Not Been About Serious Issues: The Very Unserious Issue of Dual Citizenship”, in which I noted that only three prime ministers since Confederation (Kim Campbell, Stephen Harper, and Justin Trudeau) were, in fact, born as British subjects. At the time another thought occurred to me: aside from Kim Campbell’s irrelevantly short tenure as prime minister for a few months in 1993, Canada has never had a proper Soixante-Huitard Boomer, born between 1946 and 1953 or so, as prime minster; mercifully, we now never will. For whatever reason, federal Canadian politics largely skipped over this cohort who established themselves as activist generation in the United States in favour of a plethora of long-serving politicians of the Silent Generation (those born in the 1930s), with Joe Clark, John Turner, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, and Paul Martin in 24 Sussex for all but five years between 1979 and 2006.

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Posted in Comparative, Parliamentarism v Presidentialism | 2 Comments

Picking Up the Shards of the Office of Governor General: A New Advisory Committee Created

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Posted in Crown (Powers and Office), Governor General | 2 Comments

Following Up on the Office of Governor General: Documents Not Gazetted

Even without catchy buzzphrases like “deliverology” and “Open Government,” the Government of Canada published more official documents in the mid-20th century than it does today simply out of a sense of common decency and an understanding that liberal-democratic countries must preserve a proper historical record of what their governments have done. I have checked the Canada Gazette regularly for the last few weeks in the hope that they would contain copies of the executive instruments which record the dismissal of Payette the Petulant from the Office of Governor General and the appointment of the Chief Justice as Administrator; so far, the Gazette contains nothing of the kind.

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Posted in Crown (Powers and Office), Governor General | 1 Comment