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Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons election, 2011

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Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons election, 2011

An election for Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons was held on June 2, 2011, at the beginning of the first session of the 41st Canadian House of Commons, following the 2011 federal election. Andrew Scheer won the election after six ballots, becoming the youngest Speaker (and first representing Saskatchewan) in Canada's history. He replaced Peter Milliken, who held office for a decade but stood down at the May 2, 2011 general election.

Process

Speakers are elected by secret ballot of all MPs. All MPs except for Cabinet ministers and party leaders are eligible to run for the Speakership and are automatically placed on the ballot unless they withdraw their name. Any MP not wishing to put his or her name forward must issue a letter withdrawing from the ballot by the day before the vote. All MPs who do not remove their name from the ballot as of 6 pm the day before the election are listed as candidates on the ballot, in this case nine MPs.[1] MPs who subsequently decide not to run or whose letters of withdrawal were, for whatever reason, not received have an additional opportunity to remove their names from consideration on the floor of the Commons. Candidates are then allowed a five minute speech to persuade their colleagues as to why they should be elected.

The election is presided over by the Dean of the House (the longest continuously serving MP who is not in Cabinet), in this case Louis Plamondon.

If after the initial ballot no candidate has a majority of votes, all candidates who received less than five percent of the vote are left off of the ballot. If no candidate received less than five percent of the vote, then the MP with the fewest votes is left off. Candidates are listed alphabetically and no indication is given of how many votes they received. This continues, with a one hour break between ballots, until one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote and is declared elected.

The winner is escorted to the Speaker's chair by the Prime Minister and Leader of the Official Opposition. The newly elected Speaker, by tradition, feigns reluctance as he or she is "dragged" to the chair in a practice dating from the days when British Speakers risked execution if the news they reported to the King was displeasing.

Candidates

Nine MPs were included on the list of candidates who had not withdrawn as of 6 pm the day before the election,[1] but one, Justin Trudeau, did not intend to stand for election.[2] The eight genuine candidates were as follows:
Candidate Riding Party Notes
Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON Conservative Chair of the Foreign Affairs and International Development and Liaison Committees
Barry Devolin Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON Conservative 2008 Speakership candidate
Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole
Ed Holder London West, ON Conservative
Lee Richardson Calgary Centre, AB Conservative Chair of the House Standing Committee on International Trade
Denise Savoie Victoria, BC New Democrat Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole
Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK Conservative Chair of Committees of the Whole
2008 Speakership candidate
Bruce Stanton Simcoe North, ON Conservative
Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB Conservative 2008 Speakership candidate.

Results

Vote tallies after each round are not disclosed. Instead, the presiding officer announces the winner if one candidate obtains a majority or lists the members eligible for the next ballot (i.e., those not eliminated in the preceding ballot).

Key Eliminated
Elected
Ballot Candidates Ballot Candidates Ballot Candidates
1st

Dean Allison
Barry Devolin
Ed Holder
Lee Richardson
Denise Savoie
Andrew Scheer
Bruce Stanton
Merv Tweed

2nd

Barry Devolin
Ed Holder
Lee Richardson
Denise Savoie
Andrew Scheer
Merv Tweed

3rd

Barry Devolin
Lee Richardson
Denise Savoie
Andrew Scheer
Merv Tweed

4th

Lee Richardson
Denise Savoie
Andrew Scheer
Merv Tweed

5th

Lee Richardson
Denise Savoie
Andrew Scheer

6th

Denise Savoie
Andrew Scheer

References

  1. ^ a b List of Candidates for Speaker
  2. ^ "MPs to vote by secret ballot for Speaker". Ottawa Citizen. June 1, 2011. 
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