Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quick Facts - Dean of the House of Commons

Many of you will already know there exists a position called Dean of the House of Commons. The most important job of the Dean is to take to the Speaker's chair after an election and oversee the election of a new Speaker. So, how does one become Dean? Simple; be an MP longer than anyone else. Beyond that, you must have the longest unbroken streak, so no losing elections here and there. You also can not hold a party position in the commons, such as Leader or Whip.

The current Dean is Louis Plamondon of the Bloc Quebecois. Plamondon was first elected in 1988 as a Tory. Prior to this it was Bill Blaikie of the NDP.

So, why is Plamondon the Dean and not Lawrence MacAully, who was elected on the same day? Turns out they decide seniority by the order in which they were sworn in. In this case, by riding name, alphabetically, by province, by the order the provinces joined Confederation. As seen here. This means our list of MPs by Seniority is lead by the following people in the following order:

First elected in 1988
Louis Plamondon - BQ
Lawrence MacAulay - Lib
And in 1993
John Duncan - CPC
Dick Harris - CPC
Hedy Fry - Lib
Wayne Easter - Lib
Gerry Breitkreuz - CPC *
Diane Ablonczy - CPC *
Leon Benoit - CPC
And in subsequent By-Elections
Mauril Belanger - Lib
Gerry Byrne - Lib
Stephane Dion - Lib

* = Announce will not run for re-election


  1. Umm, Plamondon was clearly first elected in 1984, not 1988. And Duncan was defeated in 2006, so his service is hardly unbroken.

  2. Also, I think after MacAulay the next in line would be Ralph Goodale, as he was also elected in 1993, but had previously served in the House for 5 years in the 1970s.