Okay, so it’s not quite the ITQ proposal which would have bumped opposition-chaired committees up to thirteen members, but dropping the total by one has exactly the same result, as far as preventing the dreaded de facto majority. (Best of all, this means that committees will soon be back in business, to which we can only give a heartfelt ‘Hurray!’):
OTTAWA — The New Democrats hold a balance of power on all House of Commons committees for the first time after a realignment reflecting the October election results.
The opposition parties agreed that the governing Conservatives would gain one more seat on the regular 12-member committees chaired by a government MP.
That gives the Tories five members other than the chair, with three Liberals, two Bloc and one NDP.
Godin says this means his party will be able to wrest concessions from any of the other parties in return for support because the chair votes only in case of a tie.
The panels chaired by Liberals – the ethics, government operations and public accounts committees – will be reduced to 11 members to prevent the Conservatives from indirectly obtaining a majority. […]