"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


With the Second Session of the 47th Legislature all over but the prorogation, here's what the session's Hansard looks like in cleverly colour-coded data form. (Click to enlarge.)
Each column represents an individual MHA's attributed word-count in the House of Assembly official record. Not surprisingly, given the makeup of the respective caucuses, opposition MHAs are the most prolix, as the work of speaking to bills and motions is distributed among fewer members on the opposition side, and more members on the government side. In fact, just over 52% of all attributed words spoken in the House, not including interventions by the Speaker or Chair, the Clerk or Sergeant-at-Arms, or the Speech from the Throne delivered by the Lieutenant-Governor, were spoken by opposition MHAs, whether Liberal, NDP, or Independent.
The next tranche of members, in dark blue, are cabinet ministers. Interestingly, for the verbal assault she comes under in Question Period, the Premier's total is nowhere near the top of the pack.
Backbench PC MHAs are in pale blue, while the four current "Parliamentary Secretaries", whatever they do, are in middling blue. On the extreme left of the chart are MHAs such as Ray Hunter, whose entire output this session has consisted of one Member's statement, and Charlene Johnson, whose Ministerial duties have at times been covered off by other cabinet colleagues.
It would be idle speculation, of course, to imagine that those PC MHAs who are least enamored with the job of being backbench government room-meat, as measured by their participation in House of Assembly proceedings, might form part of the Gang of Eight for which one Paul Lane, late of the governing caucus, is the poster-member.
Notes to the chart:
(1) Yvonne Jones resigned as Liberal MHA for Cartwright–L'Anse au Clair on April 8, 2013.
(2) Tom Osborne, who had been sitting as Independent MHA for St. John's South since September 13, 2013, joined the Liberal caucus on August 29, 2013. He is colour-coded here as a Liberal.
(3) Paul Lane, MHA for Mount Pearl South, joined the Liberal caucus on January 20, 2014. As he has not yet taken his seat as a Liberal, he is colour-coded here as a PC backbencher.
(4) Lisa Dempster was elected as Liberal MHA for Cartwright–L'Anse au Clair on June 25, 2013, and has thus not been an MHA for the full period covered by the chart.
(5) Jerome Kennedy resigned as PC MHA for Carbonear–Harbour Grace on October 2, 2013. His successor, Liberal Sam Slade, has not yet taken his seat in the House of Assembly.
(6) and (7)  St. John's North MHA Dale Kirby, and Straits–White Bay North MHA Christopher Mitchelmore, both elected as New Democrats, began sitting as Independents on October 29th, 2013. They are colour-coded here as New Democrats, as they were for most of the period under consideration.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Ya missed a spot