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Motherboard: Canada changed its election rules so it can negotiate the TPP

ICYMI: The Harper government changed the election rules so it can continue negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Where do you stand? Speak out now at Article by Jordan Pearson for Motherboard

The Canadian government found itself in a tough spot when Prime Minister Stephen Harper called an election right in the middle of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, a hugely controversial international trade deal that’s so far been discussed in secret.

Past election rules would have made it difficult for the government to continue negotiations until a vote was held, since the “caretaker” phase of elections the government is now in prevent it from doing things like signing a deal that could result in an overhaul of the country’s copyright law.

So the government changed the rules.

For the first time, the Privy Council Office (PCO) released updated guidelines that describe how government officials should act during the caretaker period. Why now? Well, rather suspiciously, the document contains a section seemingly tailor-made to allow the government to continue trade negotiations during an election—and according to a representative from the PCO, the new guidelines were indeed crafted especially for this election, and for just the TPP.

“It has been clear for months that the TPP negotiations could overlap with Canada's fixed election date, and that questions would arise,” Raymond Rivet, director of PCO corporate and media affairs, wrote Motherboard in an email. “As such, it was decided to add some clarity in this edition of the guidelines.”


- Read more at Motherboard

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