Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Contested election for speaker

It was expected by me that the intended Liberal speaker, Eugene McGinley, would be elected today by acclamation. Instead, two Tory MLAs are standing as candidates against him - Tony Huntjens and Wally Stiles.

This is very interesting, especially where Huntjens was promised the speakership by Bernard Lord last year when he broke his earlier promise to return him to the cabinet and then broke his second promise when his majority was held hostage by rogue MLA Tanker Malley.

The Liberals have an interesting decision to make. If they elect a Tory speaker it will widen the size of the functional majority which is not overly large. However they risk getting a speaker, who like Bev Harrison, speaker from 1999-2006, would be very partisan in the role and rule in favour of his party whenever possible regardless of how the rules applied.

I will update as the results come in...


McGuinley elected on the first ballot. Presumably with the unanimous consent of Liberals which would give him the majority to push him over the top. Probably a wise choice, the benefit of moving from a 2 to 3 seat majority (and potentially a 4th seat after March 5) is probably not worth the risk of having a speaker thwart your agenda.

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