All eyes are on the B.C. legislature these days. The Liberal government is expected to lose a confidence vote Thursday. But on Tuesday, Liberal House Leader Mike de Jong made a unique request to the speaker in the form of a letter. Mary Griffin explains.
On Thursday, the Liberal government is expected to fall when it loses a confidence vote. The B.C. Green Party and NDP will form a minority government, with a one-seat advantage, if they are invited to form the government by the lieutenant-governor.
The two parties will then elect a speaker from their ranks, which means all votes will result in a 43-to-43 tie. This puts the Speaker in the position of having to break every single tie.
Liberal House Leader Mike de Jong wanted to know how it will work, so he sent a letter to the current speaker to ask what the role of the Speaker is in various circumstances, what is the Speaker’s role in breaking tie votes and what the Speaker’s role is if there are proposed changes to standing orders.
It’s unusual for an MLA to send a letter to the speaker but NDP say it’s just trouble-making.
“This is an effort by this government to grab, hold on to power, for as long as they possibly can. It’s about trying to trigger an election that they don’t want to take responsibility for,” Mike Farnworth, NDP House Leader said.
As recently as last week, the premier says she does not want an election,
“None of us want an election. All of us want stability,” Clark said.
“Instability will lead potentially to another election this summer.”
Elections BC staff are preparing to hire staff, and rent space for offices and voting places, which they are required to do in case a snap election is called this year or before the next scheduled election in 2021.