The Poor Little Guy In the Middle
- October 8, 2009 2:32 PM
- By Rosemary Barton
House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken, centre, is dragged to the Speaker's chair by then-Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, left, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper upon his re-election to the position in 2008. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)
Imagine, if you will, having the skill, know-how and mostly, the patience to deal with 308 MPs on a daily basis.
Imagine trying to keep them in line, even in a minority government situation.
Well, one man has now managed to do it longer than anyone else in Canadian history.
On Monday, Peter Milliken, the Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands, will be come Canada's longest-serving Speaker.
And it ain't it an easy job to get.
Remember, MPs must elect the Speaker. So, he's got to be someone everyone likes and respects and thinks can do a decent and fair job at keeping the peace.
It would appear Milliken has got all those qualities, since he was first elected Speaker back in 2001.
On November 18th of last year, he was elected for the fourth time, after five stressful, nail-biting ballots.
Milliken now pases Lucien Lamoureux as the longest sitting Speaker. Lamoureux also presided over the House during a tense minority government.
And today Milliken broke his fifth tie vote in the House of Commons. There have been only nine in the history of our country.
Milliken may the man stuck in the middle (of the floor, that is), but he is also the man who now marks a important political milestone, for him and our country.
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