The House of Commons will hold a rare mid-session election for a new Speaker Tuesday morning, after the position was vacated by MP Anthony Rota last week.
The Constitution states that electing a Speaker should be the first order of business when Parliament returns after an election. Technically, the House cannot sit until a Speaker is chosen.
Rota officially left the role last Wednesday, but MPs agreed that the House can continue sitting with Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon acting as interim Speaker.
Plamondon is what’s known as the “Dean of the House” — the MP with the longest unbroken sitting record who isn’t a minister or party leader.
As the Dean, Plamondon — who was first elected in 1984 — will oversee Tuesday’s election.
The Speaker is elected by a secret ranked ballot, meaning MPs list the candidates in order of preference. If nobody wins on the first ballot, the last-place candidate is dropped and their votes are redistributed until someone claims a majority.
MPs seeking the role will be allowed to rise in the House and speak for five minutes ahead of the election. Following the speeches, the House will suspend for 30 minutes and then voting will begin.
All MPs who are not a leader of a recognized party or a minister are automatically considered unless they notified the House clerk in writing before 6 p.m. last night.
Here are the eight MPs letting their name stand for election:
- P.E.I. Liberal MP Sean Casey.
- Nova Scotia Conservative MP Chris d’Entremont.
- Quebec Liberal MP Greg Fergus.
- Ontario NDP MP Carol Hughes.
- Quebec Liberal MP Stéphane Lauzon.
- B.C. Green MP Elizabeth May.
- Quebec Liberal MP Alexandra Mendès.
- Quebec Liberal MP Peter Schiefke.