Craig Scott did not enjoy the Throne Speech -

Craig Scott did not enjoy the Throne Speech

‘Tradition is one thing, insulting farce another’


A few tweets from the NDP MP.

My 1st #ThroneSpeech since being elected MP: last time I will set foot in Red Chamber for such an undignified propaganda spectacle #cdnpoli

Tradition is one thing, insulting farce another: why is #ThroneSpeech held in Senate w/ Commoner MPs treated as cattle in a holding pen?

Idea for next #ThroneSpeech when @ThomasMulcair is PM: invite GG to deliver in House of Commons – enough with offensive Senate ritual

As part of the Speech from the Throne, MPs are invited to walk over to the Senate and watch from behind behind the railing that divides the Senate floor from the Senate lobby (MPs are not permitted on the Senate floor). The Governor General, meanwhile, is not traditionally permitted on the floor of the House of Commons, something we’ve borrowed from the British, but ignore at the provincial level.

Why in the Senate? The Canadian Parliament was modelled on that of the United Kingdom. Both have an upper Chamber, whose members are appointed, and a lower Chamber, the House of Commons, whose members are elected by the general population. In Canada, Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Since neither the Governor General nor Senators are allowed to enter the House of Commons, the Speech is given in the Senate Chamber.

An interesting side note concerning the tradition that the Crown is not allowed to enter the elected Chamber. In provincial legislatures, since there is no upper chamber, the Lieutenant Governor is allowed to enter the Chamber to read the Speech from the Throne because the House is not in session during the reading – the Mace is not on the table.

The British haven’t permitted their monarch to enter their House ever since King Charles I stormed in and tried to arrest five MPs.

You could probably make an argument that the whole thing is silly and I would probably be inclined to agree with you, but possibly it is a tradition that would be difficult to eliminate entirely and has some merit as a constitutional tradition. Maybe it would be better if the Throne Speech was a short declaration and then the actual Prime Minister was expected to deliver a speech of his own immediately afterwards. He could even do it in the House of Commons, where no reporter could possibly shout a question at him.


Craig Scott did not enjoy the Throne Speech

  1. “MPs are not permitted on the Senate floor”

    If so, why is the Prime Minister seated to the GG’s side when the speech is being delivered?

    • because he is the first minister !!!

      • That doesn’t actually answer mtl_bcer’s question.

        • No? Not enough exclamation marks?

          • Well, the PM is indeed the first minister, but he’s still an MP, so if MPs are not permitted on the Senate floor, then the question as to why the PM is allowed on the Senate floor isn’t answered by simply saying “He’s first minister”.

            It would be like saying “Mammals are not allowed in this section of the zoo” but there nonetheless being a tiger in that section of the zoo. If someone asked “If mammals aren’t allowed in this section of the zoo, why is that tiger allowed here?” the statement “because he’s a cat” would not answer the question. Yes, a tiger is indeed a cat, but that doesn’t in any way explain why the tiger is somehow allowed in the “no mammals” section.

          • because he is not a tiger!!!!!!!!

          • So if I’m hearing you correctly, you recommend allowing tigers on the floor of the Senate.

            I mean, it’s radical, but let’s not discard the idea…

          • I don’t know. Exposing a tiger to the Senate could easily be construed as animal abuse.

          • Why not? We already allow jackasses. Tigers would be an upgrade.

          • Best One Yet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – indeed

          • mammals are not allowed – unless you are king evil meanie SOB mammal then you get to be there!!!

          • So, it’s up to us then.


        • MP’s can have more than one designation re: House Leader or First Minister etc – in fact they get paid per extra classification !!! – an MP can not be there BUT a First Minister has to be there- good grief !!!

          • But…he doesn’t stop being an MP. Which you’ve still not addressed.

          • Yes, MPs can have more than one designation, of course, but the other designations don’t negate their status as an MP, and as you say, an MP cannot be there.

            Now, certainly it’s possible that the answer is simply that the Senate makes an exception for the Prime Minister, but that’s not what you’ve said in either of your comments. You’ve merely stated that he’s allowed because he’s PM, without any reference to any citation stating that he’s allowed simply because he’s PM.

            On its own, absent supporting evidence, “because he’s first minister!” or “a first minister has to be there!” is no more an answer to the original question than “because he has blue eyes!” or “someone with blue eyes has to be there!”

            Can you link to anything that states that the PM must attend a throne speech, or explaining specifically that an exception to the “No MPs on the floor of the Senate” tradition is made by the Senate for the PM? I didn’t spend hours looking or anything, but I couldn’t find either yesterday.

    • Do you suppose it could be that the PM is seated on the dais next to the throne, and that said raised platform, for this purpose, is not considered to be the “floor” of the Senate?

      Poked around, but couldn’t find an answer, and this is the best I could come up with.

      • Sounds like a job for Kady O’Malley . . .

      • I guess the puppet strings aren’t long enough for a greater distance between PM and GG Or maybe he’s there to swat the GG upside the head if the GG wanders off-script..

        • The GG`s chair is probably wired to give electric shocks. One eye roll and Harper zaps him.

    • Being PM means that you have an ego so powerful that it allows you to float above the floor to your seat.

  2. Craig if you read this forum – because most MP’s are cattle and if you don’t believe me me then try contradicting Mulcair in the media and or try voting against your party in the House and watch what happens – presto next thing you know you will be either ‘ moooooing ‘ a lot of how shall I say this deposting even more fertilizer than you already are :) – although that is very hard to imagine.

  3. The only thing this guy can criticize about the throne speech is that he feels he isn’t given a good enough seat for the show? Get off your high horse Mr Scott.

    I thought the NDP were supposed to be the party of the working stiff, and here we have an MP complaining because he’s not being treated like royalty. Hilarious!

    • Those were Craig Scott’s only tweets and criticisms of the throne speech?

      Thanks, NotRick. Applying, the NotRick Rule – that whatever NotRick posts is spectacularly false – we can conclude that this wasn’t Craig Scott’s only criticism of the throne speech.

      And the NotRick Rule comes through again!

  4. Perhaps, Mr. Wherry, you are suggesting that the Commons hold debate on an Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

  5. Why don’t our MPs know about these traditions in Parliament? They should be learned in school, but if not they should be known all this time after an election. It’s part of the job.

    It’s all part of the colour and pagentry of Parliament and people seem to like some ritual in their lives….but of course it’s not necessary.

    I should point out though that Black Rod doesn’t go to the Commons to ‘invite’ the MPs to the speech…..they are summoned by the throne.