Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Free Ride of Stephen Harper till May 2009

The Liberal Leadership race means that there will be at least three and as many as a dozen Liberal MPs not in Ottawa on a regular basis for the next six months.

As it stands, with the election of Peter Milliken as speaker, Stephen Harper needs 154 votes to pass anything and he has 145. He is nine short. With a number of Liberal MPs on the road with the leadership race, he gets closer and closer to having enough votes to pass legislation without partners.

If the Conservative whip pays attention, there will be numerous chances over this winter for the government to pass things without any of the opposition parties in support.

Post leadership race things should go back to 'normal' unless a number of Liberals retire. The Liberals have a lot of MPs that served numersous terms and are aging. Here is a list of MPs are are close to 60 or older and have been through at least four elections: Wayne Easter, Laurence Macaule, Hedy Fry, Ralph Goodale, Alan Tonks, Derek Lee, John Mackay, Paul Szabo, Joe Volpe, Maria Minna, Stephane Dion, Irwin Coltler, Raymondo Folco, Marecel Proulx. Odds are that almost none of them will run in the next election and many of them will resign before then.

In the 39th parliament the Liberals had 9 MPs resign, four cross the floor and 11 not run in the next election. That is a total of 24 members of a 103 member caucus.

The other party likely to see more people resign is the Bloc. Of the Bloc MPs, 13 of them are over age 60, over a quarter of their caucus. For the Liberals and Conservatives it is 1/5, and the NDP a bit less than that.

In the 39th parliament the BQ had four Mps die or resign, one cross the floor and four not run again - nine out of a caucus of 51.

As government there are not going to be a lot Conservatives resign. The NDP has a fresh caucus, so I see little change happening there.

In one year I see eight MPs resigning, six Liberal and two Bloc. I see four MPs crossing the floor. With the by-elections done and floor crossing, here is where I see the house standings on Dec 31 2009.

  • Cons - 146
  • Liberals - 71
  • Bloc - 47
  • NDP - 39
  • Ind - 4
Projecting out to summer of 2011
  • Cons - 147
  • Liberals - 65
  • Bloc 46
  • NDP - 40
  • Ind - 6
  • Vacant - 4

An interesting little factiod, in 2006 10 MPs backed Stephane Dion, only four of them are still MPs.
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