PQ accidentally votes against itself

Posted By: Angelica Montgomery · 2/12/2013 6:36:00 PM

In a day of stumbles, the Parti Quebecois accidentally took part in a unanimous motion against its own cuts to university funding.

One of its MNAs had also been spotted snoozing in full view of the cameras during question period.

Votes against itself

After question period, the CAQ presented this motion:

"That the National Assembly force the government to renounce the budget cuts being imposed on universities..."

A motion like this normally gets shot down by the ruling party before it even goes to a vote, but in an apparent moment of inattention or confusion, the PQ's deputy house leader consented to a vote without debate.

A shocked opposition clapped in pleasure, but they were in for a bigger surprise -the deputy house leader then consented to having the motion pass unanimously.

The deputy house leader only seemed to notice the fumble until some minutes later, when he asked the speaker if the vote could be re-taken. "There was some confusion in the acceptance. Can we go back on a vote that has already been called?" he said.

"No. So, you have yours answer. No," was the speaker's dry retort.


The possible impact of this vote is not yet clear. The CAQ spokesperson says while this motion does not throw Quebec into an election, it is uncertain whether it is binding.

"Legal services are probably looking at the impact of that motion right now," says Guillaume Simard-Leduc.

Motions normally have little impact on the workings of government. But, in 2011 the speaker of the House of Commons found the Harper government in contempt of parliament for ignoring a motion from the floor that ordered his government to produce documents.


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