COLUMN: Balance of power affects minority government

Federal Liberals have advantage, despite minority position in House of Commons

In last week’s MP report I discussed the voting outcome of the recent 43rd Canadian federal election that resulted in a minority government.

What exactly does a minority government mean and how might that work to serve Canadians?

The Liberals hold 157 seats, the Conservatives 121, the Bloc with 32, and the NDP 24. There is one independent MP and the Green Party now has three.

The reason the seat count is critical is due to the fact that it illustrates that the Liberal government requires only the support of one major party to pass a budget or have legislation approved.

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Considering questions about a minority parliament

READ ALSO: Conservative Dan Albas wins Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

While the government has three parties, they have the option of working with on a bill or budget. The same is not true for the opposition.

For the opposition to defeat a Liberal government bill, no two parties combined carry enough votes to effectively block the legislation.

The only way the opposition could prevent a government bill from going forward would be if all three parties agree to work together to block it.

For these reasons the Liberal government will have the advantage and a fair bit of flexibility in advancing legislation, provided they work with at least one of the three major parties.

From my own perspective, we have some challenges with each party having more representation in certain regions of Canada than others.

Last week I asked about your concerns regarding Canadian unity and received possibly the most responses to any question I have asked in my weekly reports.

There is no question many Canadians are deeply concerned including many within our region.

What happens next?

The Prime Minister has indicated he will name his new cabinet on Nov. 20.

I expect shortly after that, the Leader of the Official Opposition will present his own shadow cabinet of critics to speak on particular files and hold the government to account.

Parliament is likely to resume sitting in December with an expected Throne Speech that will outline the priorities of the minority Liberal government.

This leads to my question for this week: What are the priorities you would like to see addressed by this 43rd Canadian Parliament?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

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