Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Did your MLA show up for Bill 44?

I was a little surprised to hear that a number of MLAs did not show up for the final reading of Bill 44. It seems to me, at the very least, all MLAs should be obligated to vote on key legislation like Bill 44.

The no-shows from Edmonton were:

Dave Hancock, Minister of Education (Edmonton-Whitemud)
Tony Vandermeer (Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview)
Heather Klimchuk (Edmonton-Glenora)
Hugh Macdonald (Edmonton-Gold Bar)
Peter Sandhu (Edmonton-Manning)
David Xiao (Edmonton-McClung)
Raj Sherman (Edmonton-Meadowlark)
Gene Zwozdesky (Edmonton-Mill Creek)
Kevin Taft (Edmonton-Riverview)

From Edmonton, 9 MLAs showed up; 9 MLAs did not. Of these no-shows, 7 were Progressive Conservative, 2 were Liberal. In total, only 35 PC MLAs showed up. I'm not sure what the total number of MLAs for Alberta (anyone know? 75?).

It makes me wonder why so few decided to show up. They couldn't all be ill. What other obligations can legitimately trump their primary obligation to be in the House? So that leaves two options: either it wasn't important enough to show up or they were opposed to the bill, but did not want to vote against the party. Neither thought fills me with joy. If there is another reason I've missed, I'm eager to hear it. Or if I've made an error with my list, please let me know.


Sirthinks said...

71 including the Speaker of the House

Anonymous said...

Even if they didn't show up because they didn't want to vote for Bill 44, they did nothing to stop it and are just as culpable.

Bill 44 allows children to grow up just as ignorant as the MLAs that represent them.

UN-inspiring education is more like it. I see a whole lot of seats that need to be flipped this coming election. SUE for MLA!

midge said...

There are 82 sitting MLA's right now - 9 Lib, 2 nd and 71 pc. For most days after question period, there are only 25 - 30 pc mla's attending debates and committee of the whole sessions (where they do most business). for late sessions, they take "shifts" so they all don't have to be there all the time, how boring would that be? There is enough to crush the opposition as it is, and they really don't have to pay too much attention, usually they read, write, or in Blackett's case, during Bill 19 debate, watch TV on his laptop.
Even with a "free vote", those who did not have the shift would not have bothered to be there, the bill passes anyhow. The big show was that Stelmach showed up for the vote, to "show his support" as the spin went. Voting on any of these bills is a farce, if the pc want them to pass, they will, and they will totally ignore any amendments from the opposition with as much contempt as is allowed under parliamentary rules.
None of the pc's would ever vote anything other than what they are supposed to, so-called "free vote" or not.

Chandler Kent said...

You're a school trustee (i.e., supposedly a politician)? And you don't know how many MLAs there are in the Legislature (or how to find out online)? Thank God my kid doesn't go to school in Edmonton. There are 83 MLAs in Alberta. By the way, third reading of Bill 44 took place around 1:30 in the morning. The Caucus Whips ensure that the House is covered, but they allow people to go home and sleep, or to go attend functions in their constituency. Ever missed an EPSB meeting? If you haven't, good on ya, and feel free to chirp.