Monday, May 18, 2009

Maybe the UK Speaker can "Harper" his way out of that non-confidence vote

Surely there must be some way for the British parliamentary Speaker Michael Martin to avoid the historic non-confidence vote he's facing. After all, if our PM can "Harper" his way out of a non-confidence vote via prorogation, there's hope for those facing democratic accountability everywhere. And there are signs that a Harperian stand may be in the works, as this report tells us:
A motion of no-confidence, supported by MPs from all major parties, is expected to be tabled demanding that Mr Martin stand down.

It would be the first time in more than 300 years that such a move will have been made against a Speaker. Last night, Mr Martin was forced to accept that support, even from senior Tory and Labour MPs, was ebbing away.

But he is expected to make a defiant stand when he addresses MPs.

He will give an update on discussions he held with Sir Christopher Kelly, the chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, over reforming the expenses system and say that he intends to see the changes through.

In a bid to save his job, he may indicate that he will see through the reforms and then stand down at next year’s general election. He will hope that such a statement will stop the clamour for his immediate departure.

But that is unlikely to be the case as his tenure of the Speaker’s office has been linked closely with the attempt to halt the publication of the expenses claims that have now been detailed by The Daily Telegraph. Remaining in his post for another year would be unacceptable to many MPs. (emphasis added)
Details, details...first time in more than 300 years for such a vote, evocations of the days of William of Orange, talk of a "constitutional crisis," pshaw...look to Canada for inspiration, Mr. Speaker! We are a proud beacon of hope for evasive, non-confidence trampling politicians everywhere. So get to work, look carefully at those parliamentary rules of procedure, for surely there must be a similar prorogation escape hatch for you Speaker types. One that will outrage members of parliament, horrify constitutional scholars and divide the nation...but above all else, keep you your job. We will check in later today to see if you've risen to the occasion.

Fascinating little bit of drama going on over there, a lot of that going around the Commonwealth these days it appears..:)