Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day Fourteen: Assigned Readings

The campaign in New Brunswick continues against all odds.

Women! The CBC reports that more women than ever are standing for election in New Brunswick. Women represent about 30% of the total number of candidates. Hopefully this will lead to a more balanced Legislative Assembly than the one that just dissolved, where the ratio was about 9:1.

Now for something completely different: the Liberals are proposing to add the Maliseet and Mi'kmaq languages to the school curriculum. A neat idea - not exactly a vote getter though.

Courtesy of The Telegraph-Journal: David Alward and the Progressive Conservatives want to re-open the question of early French immersion in New Brunswick's schools. I remember all the hubbub over the Liberal decision to axe it in 2008. This will certainly help the Progressive Conservatives in the northeast. The NDP say that the PCs aren't going far enough.

In an idea whose time has come, the NDP suggests a law against floor-crossing.

9 comments:

  1. I do not like the floor crossing law. It takes away from the idea that MLA's are members from their riding first, members from their party second.

    Perhaps the NDP is scared that an elected NDP MLA could cross to the Liberals or Tories in a minority situation.

    I also like the native language policy, but it will rile up all the usual antibilingualism rabble. Maybe the COR party will have a renaissance based on opposing natives instead of Acadians!

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  2. That's a fair point. But often MLAs and MPs cross the floor for self-serving reasons. If an MLA or MP thinks that going from one party to another is best for his or her constituents, then he or she should have no problem winning a by-election.

    The best example of this is the Equality Party MNA who went from that English-rights party to the Parti Quebecois in the early 1990s. That wasn't exactly what his constituents would have wanted.

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  3. Wally Stiles is a good example of that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wally_Stiles

    On April 17, 2007, he announced that he would cross the floor to join the Liberal party, along with his wife and fellow MLA Joan MacAlpine.

    On October 31, 2007, he was named to the Liberal cabinet.

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  4. And now Nanos is out in today's Globe with the CPC-Libs tied. Thus supporting last weeks Ekos poll.

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  5. What happens if an MLA doesn't cross the floor, but just starts voting for the other party? An MLA could sit as an independent, and vote as they desired, but always in favour of the opposing party. They would have effecitvely crossed the floor, but still not have to resign.

    How could legislation prevent that, unless the deputy was bound by law to always vote for the party they were originally elected for.

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  6. Any news on the NB daily tracking research for today?

    I strongly agree with anti-floor crossing legislation. Most people vote for the party not the individual. Think of the people of Vancouver-Kingsway who thought they were electing David Emerson who bragged about being Harper's biggest nightmare and then switched parties two days after the election. The people voted for him were ELECTORALLY RAPED! Never again!!!

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  7. LVeA,

    Good point, but the party could boot the MLA out of caucus, making them a powerless independent.

    DL,

    Yes, will have a post on that soon.

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  8. I know I'm beating a dead horse, but what's to stop the powerless independent from holding the balance of power in a very close legislature, as you've projected?

    Tanker Malley was a powerless independent deputy for a while, and he was rewarded with the Speaker's chair to solidify the Lord government's majority.

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  9. Granted, stuff like that can happen. There's no perfect way to do it, I suppose, but if there was a law in place at least it would set a precedent, and actions like the ones you describe would be clearly seen as exploiting a loophole. It won't help anyone get re-elected.

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