Monday, May 15, 2017

If British Columbians want impartiality in the Legislature, a GREEN should be the SPEAKER

We've all seen the bickering during Question Period whereby the Opposition asks a direct question and the Government responds by evading answers but proceeds to offer the benefits on a totally different topic which results in much yelling on both sides of the House.

If the MLAs were to elect a Speaker from the GREEN Party, with the Deputy Speaker coming from the Opposition, then one could only hope that Question Period would lead voters to see, and hear, questions being asked on behalf of voters, resulting in direct Answers to direct questions instead of the constant political spin doctoring that has taken place for the past 16 years.

eg.  Premier Gordon Campbell promised that BC Rail was not for sale but upon forming his Government he immediately, along with Deputy Premier Christy Clark, sold/leased our railway to CNR for 990 years without a single toll being collected on every bridge that rail cars rolled across.

The Speaker as Presiding Officer

Balancing the right of the majority to conduct business with the right of the minority to be heard is one of the Speaker's most important responsibilities.

The primary role of the opposition is to question government actions and present alternatives to government positions. While this kind of adversarial system is a cornerstone of democracy, debates can, like a hockey game, sometimes get heated. The Speaker serves as a very necessary referee, ensuring fair play by all MLAs.

It is the Speaker's job to enforce the Standing Orders — the rules of parliamentary procedure adopted by the Legislative Assembly, which are designed to make sure that debates in the Chamber are properly carried out and that all MLAs have the opportunity to participate.

These rules require all MLAs to show respect for the Speaker and for each other. For example, members must not speak unless "recognized" (allowed to speak) by the Speaker and must not interrupt when the Speaker is speaking.

In addition, to discourage personal attacks, MLAs must address the Legislative Assembly through the Speaker at all times, rather than addressing each other directly. When referring to one another, they must use the name of an MLA's constituency (e.g., "the honourable member for Victoria–Beacon Hill") rather than the MLA's actual name.

This helps maintain order and decorum in the Legislative Assembly. In a spirited debate, the Speaker can act as a buffer between members, and heated words may be less inflammatory when directed through the Speaker. The Legislative Assembly is a forum for robust debate, not merely a polite debating society.

If an MLA does not obey the rules and makes inappropriate or discourteous remarks, the Speaker will ask the member to withdraw those remarks. If the member does not comply with the Speaker's instructions, the Speaker has the power to order the MLA to withdraw from the Chamber for the day. For more serious offences, the Speaker "names" the MLA, which means the MLA may be suspended from the Legislative Assembly without pay for anywhere from one to 15 days.

If the MLA refuses to leave the Chamber as requested, the Speaker may ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove the member. In such a case, the offending member may be suspended for the balance of the session.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

e.a.f. said...

that won't give any one impartiality, it gives the Lieberals a majority. Not going to work. Perhaps Weaver would like the job in his quest for fame and fortune, but the other 2 MLAs I'd love to see them on the floor of the house doing their jobs, representing the people who put them in office, not taking them out of the fray.

Christy likes having Linda Reid in the jobs, in my opinion she is incompetent and sides with the B.C. Lieberals. that really won't change if Weaver is the Speaker and like I've said I'd rather see the two new Green MLAs up on their feet in the Leg. Could be interesting. Don't advocate taking them out of circulation.

if Christy has a majority it won't matter who is the speaker, she still won't call the leg. to sit for more than a couple of months a year and when she does, a speaker is still not going to force the B.C. Lieberals to answer questions if they don't want to.

Anonymous said...

if BCLibs promote greeens.. should ndp promote cons?

Anonymous said...