Weekly Round-Up: December 4, 2015

December 4th, 2015 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

Parliament returns

Canada’s 42nd Parliament is now underway! The first order of business was the election of the new House of Commons Speaker, and Halifax West MP Geoff Regan was chosen by his peers. MPs Yasmin Ratansi, Denis Paradis and Bruce Stanton were also in contention for the Speaker’s chair.

For the first time in decades, MPs voted for their new speaker using a single ranked preferential ballot. In the past, a run-off system was used that often saw multiple rounds of voting. In other news from Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed 35 parliamentary secretaries and Former Conservative Senator Jacques Demers will now sit as an independent.

The Speech from the Throne

The new Speaker’s first job will be to preside over this afternoon’s Throne Speech. The speech, to be delivered by Governor General David Johnston, will outline Trudeau’s agenda for the current parliamentary session.

The speech is expected to focus on the immediate priorities of the new government. The speech is expected to be “low-key” and one of the shortest in Canadian history. You can watch the speech online here.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s new premier

The Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party, led by Dwight Ball, won a “landslide victory” on Monday by winning 31 of 40 seats in the House of Assembly. The Progressive Conservatives, led by outgoing-premier Paul Davis will form the opposition with 7 seats. The NDP finished in third with two seats. Voter turnout was a “record-low” 55.2 per cent.

In the Student Vote, students across NL took on the roles of election officials and cast ballots for the candidates running in their local electoral district. Like the adults, students elected a Liberal majority government. In total, 4,047 ballots were reported from 42 schools, representing 28 out of 40 electoral districts. You can view the results here. You can read more coverage of the results in The Telegram.

Democratic reform update

The results of a new poll from Abacus Data and commissioned by the Broadbent Institute suggests that most Canadians believe the federal electoral system needs to be changed. The Liberals promised during the recent federal election campaign that the 2015 election would be the last contested using the First-Past-the-Post system.

And on Thursday, the federal government announced changes to how Senators will be named to the Red Chamber. An arm’s-length advisory board will be created to consult widely and recommend to the prime minister a short list of five merit-based nominees to fill each vacancy. Five vacancies will be filled in January, and another 17 by the end of next year.

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

Posted in English, Weekly Round-Up |

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