POLITICS

Quebec government has tabled a bill that would set regular date for elections

11/07/2012 12:10 EST | Updated 01/07/2013 05:12 EST
QUEBEC - The Parti Quebecois government has tabled a bill that would set the province's election date as the last Monday in September every four years.

Bill 3 was tabled today in the legislature by Bernard Drainville, the minister for democratic institutions, and fullfills a campaign promise by the PQ in the last election.

The PQ wants to limit the discretionary power of a premier to hold general elections when it would be advantageous for a political party.

If the bill is passed, Quebec would join eight other provinces and the federal government in having some form of fixed election dates.

The Harper Conservatives introduced fixed dates in their early days in office but, in the unpredictable climate of a minority Parliament, they ignored their own law and called an election in late 2008.

With Quebec embroiled in corruption scandals, the PQ has now dedicated its first three pieces of legislation to measures related to clean, transparent government. If passed, its first bill would tighten the public tendering process and its second bill would nearly cancel political donations by setting a $100 limit.

The provincial Liberals oppose the PQ bill.