Let’s speculate for a moment. (For the benefit of certain
MLAs, please note the word is “speculate”, not “an actual report purporting to
be a record of the Legislative Assembly”).
Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin’s motion seeking a
‘lack of confidence’ vote in the current government and Premier McKeeva Bush in
particular is to be taken before the Legislative Assembly sometime next
There is heated debate over the proposal. Names are
called, insults are hurled, Madame Speaker bangs her gavel on the table (and
loses it again, perhaps?) and there are generally bad feelings all around.
A vote is taken. United Democratic Party members vote no,
opposition members and the independent member vote yes. The motion fails.
Now, while few journalists worth their salt would pass up
the opportunity and miss this bit of political theatre, a reasonable observer
might ask the following question:
What would be the point of all this, exactly?
Nothing written here is to suggest that any member of the
Legislative Assembly has done anything wrong.
Mr. McLaughlin has used the tools available to him under
the Constitution to pose what is, in a sense, the ultimate question to the
government of the day. It is part of the process that the motion, once tabled,
should be heard and debated; everything according to procedure.
But just because lawmakers can do something in accordance
with the law and proper parliamentary procedure doesn’t always mean that they
should take those steps.
It is reasonable for the public to ask what the
opposition leader plans to achieve with this motion, since members of the
ruling government have now stated that they intend to support their premier.
There are other procedures available in the country to
determine who should be elected to office and who should lead the government;
these are called elections.