Honourable Peter Milliken elected as the Speaker of the House

Not surprising, the Honourable Peter Milliken has been elected as the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The candidates were: Diane Marleau, Peter Milliken and Marcel Proulx.

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YAY! We like Milky... his

YAY! We love Milky... his sarcastic one-liners will likely become a highlight in our podcast.

I'm curious how this will

I'm curious how this will play with the numbers. I meant to mention it during the podcast but forgot. There really isn't a precedent for tie-breaking when the Speaker is of a differing party than the incumbent. The numbers are tight and if I'm correct, the Tories and the NDP would need one more vote (either the independent or the speaker) to pass a piece of legislation, if they were to form a coalition. While that might be sketchy, accountability issues are ones they have in common. Perhaps digital rights would be as well? We shall see.


Research question...

I thought that the speaker had to vote "to keep parliament going", which would mean voting on the side of the government during a confidence vote. This says nothing about other votes, such as for legislation, which are not confidence votes.

The How'd They Vote page for Peter Milliken has only one "Y = yea", with mostly " A = absent or abstained" or "S = speaker (only votes in the event of a tie)".

When there is a tie on something that is not a confidence vote, what does "S" mean?

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

What I'm not sure about is

What I'm not sure about is whether sustaining the government is a parliamentary obligation or an interpretation of precedent.

I would imagine that an "S" means he abstained in the Speaker sense, which is different than an MP abstaining or "A". The S's don't appear to count towards the total. And the A's would refer to the days he was absent and not presiding.

There are actually two Y's. One is the famous budget bill showdown. And the other is when he voted in favour of the Opposition's mandatory sentences bill--which I believe is the first time a Speaker ever voted against the government.



My understanding is that the Speaker will vote in favour of a bill at second reading to faciliate further debate, but vote against a bill at third reading for having insufficient support. I don't believe the will to "keep parliament going" is part of the equation, precedent-wise.

...just found an informative reference:
Impartiality of the Speaker

The second reading of the

I guess this was most recently demonstrated by the second reading of the '05 Budget, (right after the big Belinda floor cross.)

"According to Parliamentary procedure, the Speaker is required to vote, whenever possible, for the continuation of debate. Thus, the Speaker voted in favour of second reading, 'to allow the House time for further debate so that it can make its own decision at some future time.'"



Thanks for the link, Cory. This clarifies things quite a bit.

I suspect that casting the vote that would force an election would go against "facilitating further debate" so I suspect my reading is valid, but just an effect of the precedent and not the precedent itself.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.