Category Archives: Founder

Government Formation

On the fourth Monday after the election (Nov 18th) Parliament reconvenes. The members are sworn in and the election of the Speaker of the House is held. After the Speaker is sworn into office they put the question to the House “who does the House nominate to form a government for the 43rd Parliament of Canada”?. Any Member may nominate someone but by custom and precedence only those who know that 5% of the full House of Commons (17 of the 338) will endorse their nominee actually stand up to nominate. For a Party that has 17 members or get that number to back them their most senior member is the one to stand up and nominate their Party Leader for Prime Minister.

In this Parliament the most senior members of the Liberal, Conservative, Bloc, and NDP parties stand up and in order of their seniority in the House nominate their respective Party Leaders. All of whom will get the 17 or more members to endorse their Leader as PM. The 4 Leaders go to Rideau Hall the next day where they are formally asked to form a council-designate for consideration to form the government for the 43rd Parliament. Those councils are put to a government formation vote in the House where the Speaker asks the MPs “which of these council-designates have the confidence of this House to be the government of Canada”?

First vote Liberal 158 / Conservative 121 / Bloc 32 / NDP 27. The NDP is removed from the second ballot and the Bloc withdraws from it as well. Last vote Liberals 158 / Conservative 153. Green and NDP abstain and Bloc backs the Tories. And done.

Thursday the Speaker swears in the Bloc and NDP as shadow councils. Saturday the Governor-General at Rideau Hall swears in the Conservative council-designate as the Council of Opposition. Sunday the GG does the same for the Liberals as the Council of Ministers.

And done and works even if the Commons was all independents.

Canada Votes! 2019

hungHere we go again, another federal election and no one to vote for. Voted first thing on Friday the first day for the advance poll. By the time I got in 5 people came after me and when I left shortly afterwards another half dozen lined up. We may very well have a hung Parliament and this post is to show you a set procedure for dealing with the process of government formation.

The fourth Monday after the election (November 18th) the House of Commons reconvenes. In the morning you have the swearing in of the members and in the afternoon the election of the Speaker of the House. After the Speaker is sworn in the Speaker then asks the Members of Parliament who has the confidence of the House to form a government?

For the last Parliament the most senior Members for the Liberal, Conservative, and NDP parties would stand up and the Speaker would ask each in order of seniority who the Governor-General should call upon to form a Government. Each would give the name of their Party Leader. Actually any MP could stand up and nominate someone but by custom and precedent only those who know they will have 17 members to stand up and second that nomination do so. After the nominating is done the Speaker asks is there 17 members to endorse each nominee (5% of the House or 17 of 338)? Which is a formality and the Speaker advises the Governor-General to call upon the three nominees to form a Government.

The Governor-General on Tuesday morning calls them all in and asks them to submit a membership for a cabinet and to give that list tomorrow. On Wednesday morning the all go back and give the list for a Council of Minsters to serve in the 42nd Parliament. Wednesday afternoon the Speaker asks the Members of Parliament which of these council-designates have their confidence to form the Government of Canada.

There would be only one vote for the Liberals would have a majority with the Conservatives in second and the NDP third. Thursday in the House of Commons the NDP council-designate would be sworn in as a shadow council by the Speaker. On Saturday at Rideau Hall the Conservative council-designate would be sworn in as the Council of Opposition by the Governor-General. Sunday the Liberals sworn in as the Council of Ministers.

And your done! Even works if all members are independents.

Brexit

If Parliament itself can modify or repeal legislation passed by a previous Parliament why can’t the citizens undo a direct vote?

For Canada I propose every year there is a Citizen’s Initiative ballot held on the set Election day (say fourth Monday in October). There would be 6 questions on the ballot proposed directly by the citizens of Canada. Two would be federal, two provincial, and two local. If there is a regional local entity then one question is regional and the other is municipal and if there isn’t then both local questions are municipal. An example would be Toronto where one question is for metropolitan Toronto and the other is for a municipality like North York.

The process for Federal initiatives is as follows.

Every November during that month any citizen on the voter’s list can register an initiative with Elections Canada. Each initiative has a title, introduction, main body, and summary and is registered with Elections Canada by paying a registration fee. Any registered political federal party can do the same.

Starting in December any citizen on the voter’s list can endorse one of these initiatives. This endorsement is public. Endorsement is determined nationally and provincially. The national endorsement is simply one person one endorsement and provincially it is the percentage of endorsements for each question in that province. This gives you a score out of 1000.

On January first only the top 50 initiatives in the national or provincial endorsements are kept and all others failed to get enough endorsements to get on the Citizen’s Initiative ballot in October. This will give you 50 to 100 questions depending on how many are on both lists. If you endorsed a question that gets dropped you then can endorse a different initiative that is still on one of the lists.

On February first only the top 25 questions on each list is kept for 25 to 50 initiatives.

On March first it is the top 15 question, April first the top 10, May the top 5, June the top 3, July the top 2, and on August first the top question on the national list and the top question on the provincial list that is not the former are on the Citizen’s Initiative ballot in October.

In order for an initiative to pass it needs 1/3 of the eligible voters to vote yes and a majority of those voting to vote in favour. The Brexit vote of 2016 was 37.5% yes of the eligible voters (51.9% yes out of a 72.2% voter turnout). It then becomes Law and of course can be modified or repealed by Parliament or a subsequent vote on the Citizen’s Initiative ballot.

Under the bus

jwrjpA letter I’ve sent to the ladies, the Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould and the Hon. Jane Philpott.

Here we go again with the PM (Political Monarch) just waving his hand and under the bus you go. Remember the Harper years? Complaining about something changes nothing. I came up with my answer to this in 2009 when I left the NDP. Doesn’t seem it could be 10 years now. It was that year I founded the Federalist party of Canada (www.federalistparty.ca). Please take a look you might find ideas that are interesting. This isn’t the first letter like this I have written and I’m sure not the last. And as always, thank you for your time.

By-elections

singhThe NDP Leader is running in a by-election in Burnaby south on February 25. There are two issues here, the one of Party Leaders running in by-elections in order to have a seat in the House of Commons, and the second of the calling of by-elections. I’ve suggested solutions to both in previous posts.

For seats in the House have a class of non-voting members of the Commons. Many legislatures have this around the world. Any Leader of a Party that has members in the House would become a non-voting member of the Commons when they become Leader, if not already a member of the House of Commons. Immediate access to the House and no need to ask a Party MP to step aside as so often happens.

The second issue of the timing of by-elections is to take it out of the hands of the political monarch (PM) of the day. Have 4 set by-election dates set 3 months apart. Example being the first Monday of the months of November, February, May, and August. When a seat goes vacant then a by-election to fill the seat is held on the second set date after the seat goes vacant. Example if a seat went vacant now, January 15, then a by-election would be held for the first Monday in May. A by-election is held 3 to 6 months after a seat goes vacant. Simple for the voters, but beyond the comprehension of politicians, and not even thinkable for Party Leaders. Especially for those who think they will be the political monarch after the next election.

Still here and belonging to a Federal political Party where I as a rank & file member directly vote on all resolutions, policies, by-laws, and Party constitution amendments. This done by being a registered member of the National Assembly of the Federalist Party of Canada.

Fragmentation

QCpartiesThe Quebec General Election this last Monday has confirmed a trend of fragmentation in our politics. The winning party (CAQ) only took 37% of the vote and this vote represents only 25% of all Quebecois eligible to vote. The 2 largest parties (CAQ + PLQ) just clear 60% of the vote and together not even half of all voters at only 40% of the electorate. There are 4 parties in the new National Assembly with the two minor parties (PQ / QS) having a respectable number of seats but more importantly each got a significant share of the vote at 17% and 16%. Also, perhaps unnoticed, is the Green party and Conservative party who each broke past the 1% mark.

I strongly recommend to separate the executive vote and legislative vote so our provincial elections would be like the municipal where you vote for the mayor and separately vote for your councillor. In the provincial it would be for a Council of Ministers and your MNA. A maximum of 4 Councils for the executive and a maximum of 6 candidates for the National Assembly. Both elections to be by majority vote achieved by a preference ballot or by a run-off election.

John McCain

mccainAnother old lion of the Senate who’s roar is now silenced. A measure of a true statesman is someone you will listen too respectfully even though you strongly oppose their position on the issue. RIP John McCain 1936 – 2018. Wait and see if it’s Arlington he’s buried in. No, it is to be the US Naval Academy cemetery and he’ll be buried there next to a close friend, the late Admiral Charles (Chuck) Larson.