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Old 06-23-2022, 06:02 PM
9,208 posts, read 3,675,463 times
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Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
Yes, I'm sure. The reason is that the Speaker must necessarily be neutral. The Speaker, by definition, has no vote, except in the case of a tie. One cannot occupy a house seat with a vote, and the speaker's chair, which has none, at the same time. The respective roles are at odds with each other.

Beyond that, the Speaker's job is similar to that of a meeting chair. He or she keeps order, makes sure that everybody who wants to say something has the chance to say it, no matter what side they are on, and otherwise run the meeting according to the rules. It's not a job that can be done if the Speaker has any partisan allegiance.

I did note that, and yes, it is theoretically possible, though I don't think it has ever happened. Maybe I should actually say "yes and no"; see the example below:

We have a 308 seat House of Commons, so 155 seats gives a majority. The Alpha Party gets 155 seats, a majority, and forms the government. The Beta, Gamma, and Delta Parties make up the opposition, which has 153 seats. And the Betas make up most of the opposition, so they lead the opposition.

Now, the Alphas introduce a piece of legislation that some Alphas disagree with, and no matter how hard the party whip tries, three Alphas still refuse to support it. They end up "crossing the floor," and sitting with the opposition as Independents. Final score: Alphas, 152; Opposition, 156. And the opposition can now defeat the government.

I suppose it could be argued that the Alpha majority government has become an Alpha minority government after the loss of three members, but at this point, I'd suggest that we're splitting hairs. So, to answer your question: "yes and no."

The GG can, but doesn't have to; it is an option, but is not required by law or tradition. Having never been the GG, I'm only guessing here, but I wouldn't be surprised if the GG looked at the mood of the people. If they seem to want an election (see December 1979), that will happen. If they seem to be discontented with the government, but would be happy with the opposition, then that will happen. But for the most part, elections have always occurred, without consulting the opposition as to the alternative.

The key words here are "well beyond." Yes, Brian Mulroney's PCs nearly ran out the five-year mandate in 1993, asking for the dissolution of the government some weeks shy of five years. At the provincial level, Bob Rae's NDP government did the same thing in 1995.

Other governments have gone a little past four years, maybe four years and a month or two, but nobody has stretched it out the way Mulroney and Rae did.

Honestly, I cannot remember, but I'm sure that info is available somewhere.

See my remarks to badlander, above. Even if Harper had put a Conservative in the Speaker's role, it wouldn't necessarily diminish his party's strength. If the voters in the Speaker's riding had voted in a Conservative, they will likely vote in a Conservative in the resulting by-election.

Phew! That's a lot. But I hope I answered your questions.
Wikipedia disagrees with you about the speaker needing to resign their seat. Look up Anthony Rota the current speaker and Member of Parliament.

The speaker must be impartial and can only vote to break a tie but still remains a member of Parliament and a Party member.
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:40 AM
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The Speaker does NOT give up his seat. I can say that with 100% certainty.
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