On by-elections

A very interesting difference exists between Canada and the United Kingdom when it comes to the matter of calling by-elections. A by-election occurs when a seat in the House becomes vacant furing the course of a parliament because the MP has resigned, passed away, or the incumbent becomes ineligible to continue in office. When this happens, an election is called in that constituency only, to fill the seat. It is possible to hold more than one by-elections on the same day if there are several vacancies to fill. By-election procedure to fill a vacancy in the Canadian House of Commons Under the Parliament of Canada Act, when a seat in the House is vacant, the Speaker of the House of […]

On the West Lothian Question

Last month, Commission on the Consequences of Devolution for the House of Commons (the McKay Commission) released its report, which you can read here. The Commission had been appointed in January 2012 and was asked to consider: how the House of Commons might deal with legislation which affects only part of the United Kingdom, following the devolution of certain legislative powers to the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Assembly of Wales. In other words, the Commission was looking into the matter of the “West Lothian Question.” The Parliament.uk website explains the West Lothian Question this way: Named after Tam Dalyell, MP for West Lothian, who raised the question of the participation of MPs in Scotland, Wales […]

Comments issue resolved

Thanks to theme designer Ellen at Elmastudio, the Disqus commenting system is up and functional once again. Thank you to everyone for your patience as I continue to fine-tune this new theme. Related Posts:No Related Posts

The preferential ballot favours the party with the most first preference votes

I have written several posts looking at the growing popularity of the preferential ballot/the alternative vote (AV) here in Canada – see this recent one, for example. I even attempted a redo of the 2011 Canadian federal election using the preferential ballot rather than our current FPTP. As I explained in that post, and in others, the big problem in attempting to forecast how the election would have played out using AV was the absence of data concerning voters’ preferences. Some polling firms would (and still do) regularly ask people which party was their second choice, but no one ever looked at voters’ potential 3rd, 4th, etc. choices. However, a new poll by Abacus Data has done just that. According […]

Apologies for the lack of posting

I recently underwent laser eye surgery and using the computer is still difficult. Things are slowly improving every day, however. Also, I am looking at a new theme for this blog, one that will work better with mobile devices and tablets, etc., and so expect some experimentation in coming days as I test out new layouts. Related Posts:No Related Posts

Proposal for elected Commons committee chairs

For the past three years now, this blog has explored some of the more interesting developments in parliamentary procedure in various jurisdictions (primarily the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Regular readers know that I am a big fan of many of the reforms introduced in the UK House of Commons in 2010, as per the recommendations of the Wright report. One of those reforms involved select committee chairs being elected by the whole House, as I’ve blogged about in detail in other posts. For example, back in April 2011, I wrote one of my Fixing Ottawa posts, this one focused on Committees, wherein I explained in detail how UK select committee chairs and members are now elected. In another […]