How does a government form in proportional representation? How is the speaker selected if there is a tie?

In countries that have proportional representation, the most common form of government is a majority coalition government: an alliance of different parties, none of which could hold a majority on their own, agreeing to cooperate to form a stable government with a clear majority of the seats. The cabinet is then formed to include representatives from all coalition parties, which encourages transparency, openness and true debate.

Under the current system, single-party majority governments form easily - whether a party has earned a clear majority of votes or not. The cabinet then consists of the representatives of just one party, meaning powerholders make decisions behind closed doors, with no need to be transparent.

In Proportional Representation, usually, the party who has won the most seats in the legislature (or, the most votes in the event of a tie in the number of seats) will lead the formation of a coalition.

The speaker of the house is chosen by a vote of all MLAs. Any MLA, from any party, can put their name forward for the position.

In a coalition government, or in the event of a tie between the two largest parties, it is common for the speaker of the house - who does not vote except to break a tie - to be chosen from a the opposition or minor-party benches. This gives a one-vote advantage to the governing party or coalition. This has happened three times in Canadian federal parliament.

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