New Democrat Leader Lorraine Michael sent an interesting letter this week to House of Assembly Speaker Ross Wiseman.
Quite frankly, I don't think this will go anywhere unless the NDP wins the Cartwright L'Anse au Clair byelection, and they actually get more seats in the House of Assembly than the Liberals. But if figured I would be interesting to the Briefing Note-ites of the world out there, so I'm posting it online for your reading pleasure.
Hon. Ross Wiseman
Office of the Speaker
Main Floor, East Block
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL A1B 4J6
April 15, 2013
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I am writing concerning the current status of the Official Opposition and of the New Democratic Party in the House of Assembly and the potential impact on Question Period.
At the beginning of the current session of the House of Assembly after the October, 2011 General Election you, in consultation with both opposition parties, made the decision that question period in the House would be divided according to the percentage ratio of the seats we held in the House which was 60:40. That resulted in the Official Opposition’s getting 18 minutes of the 30-minute question period.
As you know, that ratio has now changed to 50:50 and will remain so until the by election which must be called with the resignation of the former MHA for Cartwright-Lanse au Clair.
In the light of this new situation I am writing to ask if you are giving consideration to changing the time for the two opposition parties to 15 minutes each to reflect the change in the number of seats both hold in the House.
Of course, the situation I’ve described includes the time for questions that you rightly decided to apportion to Independent Mr. Tom Osborne, MHA, St. John’s South throughout sittings.
I look forward to receiving your response to my query.
Lorraine A. Michael, MHA
CC: Dwight Ball, Leader of the Official Opposition
Andrew Parsons, Opposition House Leader
Tom Osborne, MHA St. John’s South