Monthly Archives: April 2015

Politics of Confirmation

lorettalynchThe Senators of the US Congress finally did their job and voted to either confirm or reject the appointment of Loretta Lynch for the position of Attorney general. I remember the nomination of Judge Bork for the US Supreme court. I can remember thinking at that time the US Senate has every right to confirm, it has every right to reject, but the Senators have no right to avoid or delay making that decision to confirm or reject. They are being paid a salary to do a job. That job with any presidential appointment that requires senate confirmation is to come to a decision that the appointee is qualified or not to hold the position that they have been nominated for. Confirm it or reject it but 24 weeks of partisan Bull s**t is enough. Your job as a US Senator is to make the determination that Loretta Lynch is qualified or not to be the US Attorney general. Not to play pure partisan politics with it. Who do the Senators work for, the citizens and taxpayers of the US of A, or the vested interests and partisan donors of permanent campaign mode? God bless America caus’ I think she needs it!

I came up with this idea 28 years ago when Judge Bork was nominated to be an associate Justice of the US Supreme court. Have 5 set days for when the confirmation vote is held. A default day of the 20th sitting of the Senate after the nomination. The Senate by super majority votes can hold the vote earlier at 5 or 10 sitting days after the nomination. The Senate by minority votes can hold the confirmation vote later then the default day at either 30 or 40 sitting days of the Senate after the nomination by the President. This is summed up below.

Untitled 1

Set days are the 5 days on which the Senate will vote to confirm.

Vote for is the sitting day after the nomination when the Senate votes to hold the confirmation vote for other then the default day. One day after the nomination is the vote to hold the confirmation vote very early, two days after is the vote for an early confirmation, ten days after is the vote for a late confirmation, and twenty days after is the vote for an extra late confirmation.

Votes is the votes required to change from the default day to that set day.

Sitting days is how many days when the Senate is in session after the nomination that the Senate holds the confirmation vote.

Attorney general Lynch was nominated by President Obama on Saturday November 8, 2014. The default set day for her confirmation vote would have been Wednesday January 7, 2015, 20 sitting days of the Senate or 8 weeks after her nomination. The earliest day for the confirmation vote would have been 11 days after and the last day would have been 3 months after her nomination and not this five and a half months crap.

Advertisements

Fixed date elections

jim-prenticeAll these fixed date election laws still mean the political monarch (PM) can have early elections or in a minority situation the opposition can trigger early elections. Ditch the Westminster system and have fixed date election on a set election day just the same as our municipal governments.

Separate out the vote for the executive in a confidence ballot which asks “Which of these councils-designate has your confidence to form the Council of Ministers in the next Parliament?” The leaders of the 4 parties with the most popular vote in the last election are called upon to form these councils-designate. Two ballots, one to elect the executive and one to elect the MP. Just like our municipal elections, a ballot to elect the mayor and a ballot to elect the municipal councillor.

Without electing the government have the House of Commons or Legislative Assembly elect the government right at the start of Parliament. After the members are swore in and the election of the Speaker put the question to the members “Which of these councils-designate has your confidence to form the Council of Ministers in this Parliament?” The four most endorsed nominees for PM are called upon to form these councils-designates. Winner forms the Council of Minsters and the runner up the Council of Opposition and they serve for the duration of that Parliament. No confidence motions and only a motion of governmental dismissal can bring down a government. This motion must name a nominee to become the new PM and the motion takes an absolute 2/3 majority to pass. No member in the preceding cabinet can be in the new one. Individual minsters including the PM can still be removed from office at any time by a motion of dismissal that requires a 2/3 majority vote with quorum.

A set election day of say the last Monday in October and fixed terms for the Parliament of Canada and the Provincial Legislatures. Federal elections to be in 2015 and every 4 years after and provincially 2017 and every 4 years after. All municipal elections are to be held only in even numbered years.

Dual Electoral System for PEI

15 RiWade-MacLauchlan_0dings that elect the top two candidates in each riding giving you 30 MLAs. A preference ballot is used and is counted a second time with only the two elected candidates from the first count being tallied. They get one legislative vote for each ballot they have the lower number on. Each MLA has one vote in regular session where the work of the Legislature is done and when procedural motions are voted upon. For this last Legislature that’s 15 Liberals and 15 Conservatives. The Legislative Assembly is operated on a non partisan bases. In legislative session each MLA has one vote for every vote they received on the second count of the ballots. The Assembly goes into legislative session every Thursday afternoon at 1 PM to vote on any legislative motion to be passed. Any bills approved then go to the Lieutenant-Governor for royal assent on Friday morning.

Try it before you buy it. In this next Legislature form the Assembly advisory council. The council membership is the top two candidates from each riding giving you 54 members. In the regular vote each member has one vote. The regular vote advises the Legislative Assembly on procedural motions, election of the Speaker, and Assembly rules. In the legislative vote of the council each member has votes equal to their popular vote. All candidates not on the council transfer their popular vote to one of the two members from their riding. All votes do count! The legislative vote advises the Legislative Assembly on votes to adopt legislative motions.

The Legislative Assembly elected in 2011 the council would have been 27 Liberals with about 52% – 59% of the legislative vote. The Conservatives with 27 members with 41% – 48% of the legislative vote. A few years ago I mailed all the PEI MLAs letters (the Canada post kind) detailing the dual electoral system. Got back one reply.

Government formation part 2

westminster

An alternative to the current process used in the United Kingdom and others with the Westminster system. This is using the UK as an example.

  • General election Thursday May 7, 2015
  • Parliament reconvenes on the second Monday after an election. This is 11 days after the election and for this election that is Monday May 18.
  • Monday morning swear in the new members of parliament.
  • Monday afternoon elect the Speaker.
  • Tuesday the Speaker ask the House of Commons to nominate individuals to be called upon to form a government. A nominee must have at least 5% of the membership of the House or 33 members endorsing them.
  • If there is more then four nominees then the four with the most endorsements are called upon to form a council-designate which is a government in waiting. If there are four or less all are called to form a council-designate.
  • Obviously before the UK Parliament meets there will be intensive negotiations behind the scenes to form a majority coalition if no party has the majority.
  • This is done Tuesday morning and later the Speaker of the Commons calls upon Her Majesty to invite the listed individuals to form council-designates.
  • Tuesday afternoon they are called in at 1, 2, 3, and 4 o’clock and are invited by the sovereign to form a governments-in-waiting to be called upon by Her Majesty to form the government should they have the confidence of the House of Commons.
  • Each nominee then forms a council-designate of say 16-24 members that would form the government should it have the confidence of the House.
  • Wednesday morning the Commons then votes on the question, “which of these councils-designate has the confidence of this House to form Her Majesty’s government in this Parliament ?
  • If no council gets a majority then a second vote is held with only the top two from the first vote on it. The council with the majority becomes the Council of Ministers and the runner up council becomes the Council of Opposition.
  • In 2005 the first vote would be something like Labour 411, Conservative 174, and Liberal Democrat 55. Labour forms the government, conservatives the opposition, and the Liberal Democrats an alternate council. After the last election the first and only vote would be something like Coalition (Tory/Lib-Dem) 415 and Labour 217. A coalition government and Labour as the opposition.
  • Parliament would have a fixed term and set election day. You can only have early elections by a motion of dissolution passing the Commons by 480 votes (75%).
  • There are no non-confidence motions. The government serves for the duration of that Parliament unless the Commons passes a motion of dismissal against the government and replaces it with another.
  • Any minister can be removed by a motion of dismissal passed by a 2/3 majority vote with quorum, including the PM.
  • The Council of Ministers can be replaced by a motion of government dismissal passed by an absolute 2/3 majority. This motion must have a nominee for Prime Minister who is called upon to form a new government if the motion of dismissal against the government gets the 434 votes. No member of the defeated government can be included in this new government.

Greater stability since the House of Commons establishes confidence in a government right at the start of a new Parliament and the government serves for the duration of that Parliament which has a fixed term and set election day. Only by super majorities can this be changed. An absolute 2/3 majority to replace the current government with a new one that then serves till the next election or an absolute 3/4 majority vote that actually does dissolve Parliament and triggers new elections. Note the scheduled general election still occurs so instead of having 1 full Parliament that lasts 4 years you have two short Parliaments that last a combined duration of 4 years. The second short Parliament can not be dissolved for early elections.

Acting president: Barry Aulis