Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Majority-ish

Frank Klees, the runner up to Tim Hudak in the 2009 Ontario PC leadership race, has announced he will be running for speaker when the Ontario legislature resumes sitting.

If you're wondering why we should care, the answer is "math" - with Klees as speaker, the legislature would be split between 53 Liberals and 53 opposition MPPs. By convention, the speaker sides with the government on confidence motions, leading many to call this a "working majority".

The thing is, just as it was premature to panic over the Liberals being one MPP short on election night, it's foolish to call this a working majority. To start with, the speaker votes for the status quo, which means he'd have to oppose Liberal initiatives which aren't confidence matters.

More importantly, there's a certain fluidity in these numbers. MPPs miss votes, they resign, by elections are held. It's happened in every session since the beginning of parliamentary time, and it boggles my mind that no one expects it to happen again.

At some point, someone is going to get sick or call it quits, and that will tilt the scales in one direction or the other. It's great to have a "working majority", but this by no means guarantees us four years of smooth sailing.


UPDATE: Then again, a Liberal might still wind up in the speaker's chair. Which will make life for Mr. Klees in the PC caucus rather uncomfortable.

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1 Comments:

  • I live in Newmarket/Aurora where Klees has had a stranglehold on the ultra right wing 905 area for as long as I can remember. In the lead up to every provincial election, especially the last one, we have had to listen to incessant slamming of the libs and his sickly sweet support of Hudack. I don't expect any earth shaking ruling from him when placing his vote. A leopard does not change it's spots.

    By Blogger zoombats, at 6:22 PM  

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