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The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC only province to fix spring election date

Political scientist Don Desserud this week criticized New Brunswick for setting fixed election dates in early September so campaigning happens in the summer when “voters are preoccupied with holidays.”

But the Canadian Press story notes that of the eight provinces and one territory with fixed election dates, British Columbia is even further out of step.

While the rest hold their votes in October or November, B.C.'s is in May.

“I think there's a lot of criticism of the B.C. election date,” said University of Victoria political scientist Dennis Pilon. Voting day in the province competes with hockey playoffs and the end of the school year. “A lot of people agree it's not a great time. It would be better if it was in the fall.”

A budget process review panel headed by Douglas Enns last year made a similar suggestion, arguing that a fall election would allow full debate of the year's budget before the legislature was dissolved.

And in 2004 Premier Gordon Campbell said it would make sense to move the election date to the fall, after the July release of the public accounts.

B.C.'s next provincial general election is set for May 14, 2013.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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