Category Archives: policy

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.

Same old Same old

The same old and same old story repeating again. “Some are better, some are worse, but in the end, they are all the same.” In the Federalist Party it is done differently. All Party members in good standing can run for the nomination if they can be a candidate for the House of Commons. However there is section 4.7 of the constitution that states.

4.7 The Congress in regular session by an absolute three-quarters majority vote can bar a party member from being a candidate for the Federalist nomination for the House of Commons. The Congress by an absolute two-thirds majority vote can rescind the Candidacy of a member after they have won the nomination election. This is to be done within 90 days of the nomination.

There are no protected nominations, they are all open, and you want it, then earn it. There is no secretive committee deciding behind closed doors whether you can run or not.

11.3 The Leader shall sign all nomination and Election Canada papers. Any refusal shall mean the automatic and immediate expulsion from the Party.

Clearly removes the potential for abuse by a Party leader. 


Canada's PM Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa

As I said before “Some are better, some are worse, but in the end, they are all the same” The best ones admit that they are doing a 180º from what they said in the election and explain why they are doing so. What Mr.Trudeau is doing is the usual spin we get after the election for campaign promises are used to get what you want and forgotten about afterwards. Same Old, same old. The part that bothers me the most about this is that you can be deprived of your citizenship without any hearing. Something to do with a quaint old-fashioned notion of “Your innocent until proven guilty”.


Same old, same old

TE“Some are better, and some are worst, but in the end they are all the same.”


A question I haven’t heard in the comments on Mr. Trudeau’s action is Why was he out of his chair in the first place? The complete and total hypocrisy of any comments from any member of the Conservative party is lost on them.

Just like what I recommend for dealing with confirmation of appointments should be done for legislation. There is a set period of time for debate. The Commons by super majorities can shorten that debate and by minorities lengthen that debate. Something like this.

  • Automatic vote on a bill 180 days after introduction, unless the following
  • By a vote of 90% of the full House (303) bill is voted on 30 days after introduction
  • By a vote of 75% of the full House (252) 60 days
  • By a vote of 67% of the full House (224) 90 days
  • By a vote of 60% of the full House (202) 120 days
  • By a vote of 50% of the full House (168) 360 days
  • By a vote of 33% of the full House (112) 270 days
  • By a vote of 25% of the full House (84) 240 days
  • By a vote of 10% of the full House (34) 210 days

The Liberals by themselves don’t have the votes to bring a bill to a vote faster then the set 180 days. The opposition combined could set a bill vote back to 9 months after being introduced. The conservatives alone could lengthen the debate to 8 months and the NDP by itself to 7 months. If the Liberals got the agreement of the NDP they could pass a bill 90 days after it being introduced and with the Conservatives 60 days after introduction.

The majority can’t ram through and the minority can’t block.

“The power of democracy is vested in the majority and in the minority it’s principle.” Barry Aulis

Presiding at Conventions

images.duckduckgo.comNow Mr. Ryan has to toady up to the DONALD!!! or else.

Again a different way of doing things. In the Federalist Party there would be a National by-law called the National Convention By-law that would govern the way the Party’s national conventions are held. How do you get a national by-law? By a 2/3 majority vote of the National Assembly, or a 60% vote in the Assembly and National Congress, or a majority vote in the Assembly, Congress, and National council. The Assembly is all Party members who registered for the Assembly. The Congress is the top 2 candidates for the Party’s nomination for the House of Commons. The National council is the Party leadership and appointed members.

For presiding officers there would be 4. One is elected every 4 years by the National Assembly. The term of office is 16 years and no re-elections. The most senior gets to be the President of the conventions held during their 4 year term as the most senior. The second in seniority will be the Vice-president for those same 4 years. The other two are the senior and junior assistants to the convention president. No person who holds public office can be one of these presiding officers. It should be a way of honouring those who have worked for the Party and are capable of handling such duties. Chosen by the Party membership and to serve ALL that membership in this roll within the Party.

Irish Government

EndaKennyIn a vote 70 days after the General election in February the Irish Republic has a minority government.

The above is a link to a post after that election detailing a different process on government formation. The fourth Monday after the vote the lower House of the Irish parliament meets to swear in the members and elect it’s speaker. The newly elected speaker puts the question to the House “who should the Irish President call upon to form a government?” Names comes from the floor and if they get 5% of the House (8) endorsements they get called upon to form a  government-designate of 7 to 15 members. If there are more then 4 such nominated individuals the House then votes to endorse one candidate for Prime minister with the four with the most votes getting endorsed. Tuesday the nominated PM-designates are invited by the President to form a government. All of this is worked out even before Parliament meets. On Wednesday, 27 days after the election the Question is put to the House “Who does this House have confidence in to form a government of the Republic of Ireland?” The 2 councils with the least votes form shadow councils in the House. The top two go to a second ballot and the winner becomes the Council of Ministers in that Parliament and the runner up the Council of Opposition. Thursday the shadow councils are swore in before the House and on Sunday the Council of Opposition then the Council of Ministers is sworn in to office at Government House.

A government is in office for the duration of Parliament with no confidence motions. A minister may be dismissed at any time by  a 60% majority vote with quorum. The Prime minister can be dismissed at any time by an absolute 60% majority (95). The House can trigger another government formation vote like the one at the start of each Parliament this takes an absolute two thirds majority vote (105). A new election happens ONLY by a motion of dissolution passed by an absolute three quarters majority vote (118).

Senate letter

senateSent the following letter the Canada post kind to all the newly appointed Senators.

Reform of Senate membership (by custom and precedence)

Province / Territory

% of voters



# of Senators

British Columbia




7 (6)*





7 (6)*





















New Brunswick





Nova Scotia

































66 (64)*

*BC & Alberta limited to a maximum of 6 seats

House advisory council






















% Council







The House advisory council consists of the top two candidates in the last election for each riding. The Liberals are brought down to near their percent of the popular vote as a percentage on the council. The Conservatives and NDP are right on their percent popular vote. The Bloc is 3% to 6% and the Greens are just 0.3% on council to a 3% popular vote.

A reform of the Senate membership changed to 66 senators. Each province is granted 3 seats in the Senate with the three northern territories having one each for a total territorial representation equal to a province. This gives you 33 seats with a further 33 seats awarded to the 11 regions on the bases of population. Half the Senate membership of 66 is based on equal representation and the other half on population. When a seat goes vacant the top two candidates in a riding in that province or territory nominate someone for appointment. All the nominees go to a yes or no secret ballot vote of the House Advisory Council. It takes an absolute 2/3 majority (451) to get confirmed. If more then one gets the required vote then the one with the most is appointed. Membership is for 25 years or age 75 after which a senator becomes a senator emeritus. These senators can attend and speak in chamber but can’t sit on any subsidiary body and have no vote. When a senator retires to this position their seat as a voting senator is vacated. To start the membership all current senators stay as long as it doesn’t exceed the number of senators for that province or territory. Any in excess then the most junior senators voluntary resign their seats. Also any who have been there 25 years become a senator emeritus.

The Speaker of the Senate is appointed not on the advice of the PM of the day but a 2/3-majority vote of the Senate by secret ballot. By custom and precedence the Speaker doesn’t speak or vote in the chamber and by Senate rules a tie vote is a no vote. The Speaker also doesn’t serve on any committee. The Speaker serves until retirement, death, or removal. The most senior senator who accepts becomes Deputy speaker of the Senate. This person must be confirmed by a 2/3-majority vote by secret ballot.

The membership of the 18 standing committees is determined as follows. At the start of each Parliament the Senate elects by secret ballot the chairman and deputy chairman of the standing committees who will serve for the duration of that Parliament. The Committees are done in order of precedence set by the Senate. On the last vote for a committee the ballot has the final two candidates on it with the winner being elected as chairman and the runner up as the deputy chairman. These senators serve only on the one committee. All other senators serve on three committees. The senators in order of seniority are asked to choose one committee to serve on. Once all senators have chosen one committee membership the list is done a second time and then finally a last time for their third committee membership.

The current Senate of 88 would be 87 for membership on the committees with the Speaker being ineligible to serve. 36 senators serve as the chairman or deputy chairman on one of the 18 committees. This leaves 51 senators serving on 3 committees giving you (51 X 3 divided by 18) 8.5 members per committee. Nine committees will have 9 members plus the chairman and deputy for a total membership of 11 on the committee. The other 9 committees would have 8 members plus the chairman and deputy for 10 on those committees.

The Senate of Canada is solely a chamber of sober second thought. It is non-partisan and appointment is through a process independent from the Political Monarch (PM) of the day. All appointees can’t be members of political parties or association. They cannot donate to such organizations or attend any of their meetings. The House of Commons establishes a legislative session where any bills to be passed is voted on each week. This is to be Wednesday at 1 PM. The Senate’s legislative session would be Thursday at 1 PM where any bill that passed the House on Wednesday is voted on. If passed by the Senate the bill goes to the Governor General on Friday for royal assent. There would be no Government or Opposition leaders in the Senate. Its relationship to the executive would as the US Congress. It could summon Ministers and Opposition critics to testify and give information to the committees. The Speaker the day after a bill is introduced into the House summits it to the Senate. The bill then goes to the appropriate committee. When the bill is voted on is determined by when the House votes on it.

The Senate by a majority vote may send a bill back to the House with or without recommendations. The next week in the Commons the bill can be withdrawn, voted on, or tabled for revision. If the sponsor withdraws the bill, it kills it. The sponsor can have the bill voted on “as is” for a second time on Wednesday’s legislative session. The bill can be tabled for revision in which case the sponsor has 90 days to introduce a revised bill or the bill is deemed withdrawn from consideration by the House. The second time the Senate gets a bill by a 2/3 majority it can send it back to the House with objections. If the bill passes the Commons for the third time the Senate passes the bill and sends it to the Governor General. Thus the Senate at most can delay any bill by 2 weeks.

As long as the Senate is partisan-appointed and partisan in operation it cannot be a sober chamber of second thought. As long as it is not elected it has no right to block legislation passed by the House of Commons. A New Year and maybe Senate reform for 2016. I have sent an earlier version of this letter to all the “Liberal” Senators over the last 5 months and to any new Independent Senators, so now to you. Congratulations on your appointment to the Senate of Canada.

Sincerely yours,