In this issue we feature two articles on the
remuneration of federal and provincial parliamentarians. It is hardly
surprising that members in one jurisdiction are interested in salaries
elsewhere or that persons outside parliament are anxious to know, for whatever
reason, the salaries of their elected representatives. The study by John
McDonough, is an update of similar ones which appeared in our March 1979 and
March 1980 issues. These have been among the most requested articles published
in the Canadian Parliamentary Review.
The article by Randall Chan represents a new
departure into the highly complicated realm of pensions. The purpose of his
article is not to demonstrate that one legislature has a better pension plan
than another. Conditions of work vary so much that, as with salaries, what is
appropriate in one province may be unsuitable for another. Nevertheless we hope
our parliamentary readers will find these comparisons useful, particularly when
new proposals to amend their pension plans come before them.
An important development for those interested
in committees in Canada was the creation, a few years ago, of the Standing
Committee on Crown Corporations in British Columbia. In this issue the second
chairman of the Committee, Jack Kempf, outlines the activities of this
committee to date.
The expulsion of a duly elected legislator
by his fellow members is a rare but extremely serious matter. The article by
Gordon Mackintosh deals with a recent case in Manitoba., In ordinary times we
tend to forget that parliamentary procedure is an attempt to codify what
successive generations have found to be just. A parliamentary crisis reminds us
how hard it really is to discover this justice. Pity the presiding officers
when the path to proper procedure is strewn (as it often is) with dubious
precedents, federal-provincial tensions, ideological differences, personal
conflicts and public opinion.
A less exciting procedural matter is dealt
with by Gary O'Brien in his article on the Senate Order Paper. Order Papers are
notoriously dull documents but as Robert Stanfield wrote in our last issue:
"you cannot really function effectively as a member of the legislature
unless you understand how things are done." Understanding an Order Paper
is a necessary part of the education of every parliamentarian and staffer.
Finally we hope former Speaker James
Jerome's reflections on the introduction of television into the House of
Commons will be of as much interest to our readers as it was to delegates at
the 1981 Commonwealth Speakers' Conference where he was one of the special
guests. We are grateful to Mr. Jerome for permission to publish extracts of his