Since 2008, whenever the possibly of an election is brought up, the Conservative Party of Canada repeats the same point: elections are bad for the economy.
For example, here's an excerpt of Jim Flaherty's speech in 2010:
That is the risk of an unnecessary election, an election that would jeopardize our economic recovery, just as we enter the home stretch.
Recently, Prime Minister Harper repeated that point:
“All of these things should remind everyone, should remind everybody in Canada, should remind all the parties in Parliament, that the global economy remains extremely fragile. It does not take very much to make us all, not just in Canada and the United States but all around the world, very worried,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is this should be a wake-up call that we cannot afford to take our focus off the economy to get into a bunch of unnecessary political games or, as I said, an opportunistic or unnecessary election that nobody was asking for.”
The argument - that elections harm the economic growth or recovery - seems a bit absurd. I'm not alone to think so; it's been mocked by economists and columnists alike. Unfortunately, I have not seen any evidence supporting either side's argument.
So, is there any empirical data supporting the claim that elections are bad for the economy?