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Premier Christy Clark in Victoria,BC Sunday January 15,2012. (Chad Hipolito For The Globe and Mail)
Premier Christy Clark in Victoria,BC Sunday January 15,2012. (Chad Hipolito For The Globe and Mail)

Globe Editorial

The speech from the mike: not a good idea Add to ...

A prime minister or premier is not the same entity as the government in which she or he holds a leading office. That is why Christy Clark, the Premier of British Columbia, adopted a dubious idea when she decided to replace the Speech from the Throne for the B.C. Legislature’s spring session with a statement on Monday during her 90-minute appearance on a radio phone-in program, The Bill Good Show, at the station where she herself was a talk-show host.

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The Liberals and the New Democrats had agreed – mistakenly – to dispense with a Throne Speech. Nonetheless, the NDP was taken aback by the change of venue.

This irregular course is somewhat like that of Ernie Eves, a former premier of Ontario, who in 2003 presented the province’s budget, not in the Legislature, but at the training centre of Magna International Inc., an auto-parts manufacturer. The Speaker ruled that there was a prima facie case for contempt of the Legislature; there had been violation of a convention of the constitution.

Ms. Clark will not suffer that ignominy. The fall session had not ended in a prorogation; strictly speaking, that session is not over. If, however, a fresh statement of the government’s program was required, a new session, with the customary reading of the Speech from the Throne, by the Lieutenant-Governor, Steven Point, would have been a symbolic reassertion of the fact the government is more than this or that political personality.

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