Canadian Parliamentary Review

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Since 1969 the Speakers and Presiding officers of Commonwealth Parliaments have met biennially to discuss common problems. These conferences provide an opportunity for members of a very special profession to meet, get acquainted and consider such questions as the influence of the Speaker on procedural reform, the use of the casting vote, the role of the Speaker in one party states, the continuity of the Speaker's office and many related subjects. A Canadian Speaker, Lucien Lamoureux, was influential in establishing Speakers' Conferences on a regular basis. The first such meeting was held in Ottawa and now, twelve years later, Commonwealth Speakers are once again meeting in Canada.

To mark this occasion the Canadian Parliamentary Review is publishing two articles relating to the Speakership. One was written by the present Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. It sheds light on some traditional concerns facing presiding officers, particularly the problem of maintaining relations with constituents. The other looks at the Speakership in a Canadian province, British Columbia, and particularly the role of the British Columbia Speaker in procedural reform.

In this issue we are publishing a revised version of a speech given by a delegate to a recent Commonwealth Parliamentary Association seminar. It is hoped in this way the review can give wider distribution to some of the interventions made at CPA meetings. The full proceedings are usually available only, to participant., and to legislative libraries. There is also an article and some comments relating to questions of procedure. privilege and parliamentary reform.

Articles appearing in the Canadian Parliamentary Review are necessarily non-partisan but that does not mean they may not be critical. Parliament and the provincial legislatures have evolved considerably in the past decade. A publication such as the Canadian Parliamentary Review could not have existed ten years ago. Its growth reflects the existence of an increasing number of persons across Canada who take seriously their work as parliamentarians, parliamentary, staff or students of parliament. Constructive criticism by such persons can only help legislative institutions to flourish and that is the primary objective of the review.

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 4 no 1

Last Updated: 2020-09-14