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5/10/2005

Professor Heard on Confidence

It should not matter what procedural context a vote of confidence occurs in. The fundamental basis of a confidence vote is that the elected members of the legislature express their collective view of the government. If that view conveys a loss of confidence or states that the government should resign, then the government must either resign or call an election.

The current motion is strikingly similar, in procedural terms, to that proposed by H.H Stevens on June 26, 1926. That motion also recommended that a committee report be amended and precipitated the whole King-Byng crisis, when the Governor General refused a dissolution to King on the grounds that he should not avoid a confidence motion then before the House but not voted on; this was the Stevens' motion. For information on those motions, see: House of Commons Debates, 1926, Vol.V, p.4832 and p.4933.
andrew heard
It has been at least a decade since I paid much attention to constitutional law and Parliamentary procedure. Heard teaches the stuff for a living and knows of which he speaks.

Perhaps whistles and white scarves in front of the Revenue Canada Office here in Victoria...