It is a great honour to be in a position to resume writing my weekly MP reports to you after our recent federal election.
Before I go any further I would like to sincerely thank the over 63,000 citizens who came out to polls and advance polls to make your vote count.
I would also like to thank the many volunteers who worked tirelessly on the many different campaigns.
These volunteers play a key role in furthering the interests of our Canadian democracy.
And finally I would like to recognize and thank the other candidates who put their names forward to serve.
These individuals put their lives on hold for many months covering the vast expanse of our Central Okanagan- Similkameen- Nicola riding. All the candidates of this recent election care about their communities and our great country.
As you have likely heard, we have a minority Liberal Government that will be returning to Ottawa.
I have been asked questions what that might look like.
Our House of Commons has 338 seats, however one Member of Parliament will be elected to serve as the Speaker effectively leaving 337 seats, although the Speaker does have a vote in the event of a tie.
The Liberals lost 20 seats in this recent election reducing their total seat count to 157.
That is short of having a majority in the House of Commons.
The NDP also lost seats going from 44 down to 24.
However because the Liberal and NDP seats combined add up to 181, if the two parties were to agree to support a budget or government bill, the Liberals could stay in power.
Another scenario discussed is if the Liberals invited other parties to join them in their cabinet, which is referred to as a coalition government.
Either way the two or more parties could carry a majority vote.
The Prime Minister has stated that he will not, formerly or informally, pursue such a coalition but to govern from a minority position.
Although the Conservative Party did gain 28 seats, and won the popular vote over the Liberal Party, it remains as the Official Opposition.
The Bloc party in Quebec increased their seat count winning 32 seats in Quebec and the Green Party added one more seat and now has 3 in total, with two in B.C. and one in Atlantic Canada.
From a historical perspective there have only been three times in Canadian history where an elected Government did not also win the popular vote. 1979,1967 and 1926.
Although only once before in Canadian history has a first term majority government been defeated and only three times in history has a first time majority government been held to minority status upon re-election.
Because of the loss of the popular vote, minority government status, and the fact that the Liberal Party was completely shut out of Alberta and Saskatchewan while there was a significant re-emergence of the Bloc in Quebec, many have stated concerns that Canada is facing a potential unity crises.
That leads to my question for this week.
Are you concerned about Canadian unity as a result of the October 21, 2019 election?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.