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MLA Simpson on an October election: 'Not until 2017'

Independent MLA Bob Simpson keyed off a post in The Tyee's Election Hook to set the record straight about the two bills he has submitted to make B.C.'s fixed elections happen in the fall -- and whether his idea might help the BC Liberals push back May's election.

"The bill I proposed last spring would have put the election to October 2013," wrote Simpson in an email to The Tyee. "My argument was that we needed an election free from the HST battle and one based on a budget that would have to stand the test of external scrutiny (i.e. not a fake balanced budget).

"However, that bill died on the order paper when the legislature prorogued at the beginning of this session. My current/new election date change bill would only impact the next election in 2017.

"I doubt the Liberals would try to change the date of this election so close to the May date. If they do, I can guarantee you I will be voting against such a move. As much as I believe we absolutely must change the fixed-date election to the fall, it should only be done for the 2017 election. This election must proceed on May 14, as the current government does not have the social license to continue in office, whether they change their leader or not."

Simpson was keying off a post summarizing the views of BC Election 2013 blogger Sacha Peters, who concluded that if Premier Clark were to resign before the May 14 election, any interim leader that followed her would likely try to push back the provincial election day. Peters wrote:

"It is running quite close to the legislated election date, so the first order of business would be to change the fixed election date from May 14, 2013 to Oct. 1, 2013," he wrote. "This is in parallel with the private members' legislation being proposed by the independent MLAs (and specifically it was Bob Simpson bringing the bill forward). The government would need to receive royal assent on this measure by April 15, 2013 (as the writ drops on April 16, 2013)."

Simpson says Peters gave the wrong impression and he wanted to clear it up. Peters has since updated his post to reflect the clarification.

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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