Here’s a challenge for all you politico-gamesters out there. How will the N-Dee-Greens deal with selecting a Speaker of the Legislative Assembly? It’s mandatory to have one; it must be a sitting MLA; and Speakers are traditionally (not legally) non-partisan. And if an N-Dee-Green MLA, reduces the comparative numbers to 43-43.
The Speaker is usually not a prominent player, but might be in this barely stable Gov’t. Just as each and every vote by each and every MLA becomes fundamentally important.
And maybe there are a few lessons here:
The Speaker has been part of the British parliamentary system since 1377. The first person to be called “the Speaker” was Sir Thomas Hungerford. In the beginning, the Speaker was responsible for carrying messages, often complaints or grievances, from the people’s representatives to the King or Queen. This explains the title of “Speaker” the one person empowered to speak to the monarch on behalf of Parliament.
At the time, the Speaker advised Parliament of the monarch’s wishes and conveyed to the monarch Parliament’s response. This was a potentially hazardous profession. The monarch was apt to express his displeasure at Parliament’s reply by putting the Speaker to death. History records at least nine such cases.
This rather bloody and dangerous past explains why a Speaker, upon election, will pretend to be reluctant to take the Speaker’s chair and must be dragged to the front of the Chamber.
So much fun. So many wheels turning within wheels.
As an aside, I wonder if MLA’s are already picking prospective “twins” from the opposite side of the Legislature, so that they can manage absences by informally arranging such absences to coincide.