Today, Wednesday, Sept. 23, could be a big day in Canadian politics. The “speech from the throne” will be delivered later today. This is analogous to the American president’s “state-of-the-union” address, but there’s an important difference. The throne speech comes with consequences.
In the United States, members of Congress listen to the president’s speech, react and respond with praise or criticism, depending on their political allegiance. In Canada, members of parliament listen and then they vote.
The throne speech triggers a vote of confidence in the House of Commons. Should the vote fail, the government would fall, and an election would follow.
Earlier in the summer, a fall election seemed possible, if not quite likely. Today, it seems possible but unlikely. There’s room for surprises, however.