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The Freedom of MPs

May 27, 2014

Andrew Coyne isn’t always great, but when he’s great, he’s great. Spot on here.

Andrew Coyne: Trudeau helps the cause of democratic reform (by not pursuing it)

MPs should be free to vote as they wish at least in theory. In practice they will often vote with their party, that’s why they’re in the party. But whipping votes and party lines merely insure that all issues are simplified down to two or three simple points of view. Life’s more complicated than that. There are only 308 people in parliament for the whole country, surely we can handle them each making their own decisions.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2014 8:05 pm

    I’m certain that many people who run for parliament have no interest whatever in protecting the rights of their constituents. A woman’s right to chose is indeed a Charter right. Insisting your party honour that right is the most fundamentally CORRECT thing I have heard any politician say in years.

    • May 28, 2014 8:07 am

      Of course I agree on the importance of protecting a woman’s right to choose and all Charter rights and I think any MP voting against those rights would have a hard time in their next re-election campaign, especially if they had to win a open nomination battle in their riding association for a progressive party. Even if some ridings in the country can support such an MP, they would be a small minority in parliament. So I still think that allowing MPs to vote freely is still a good foundational principle to strive for. However, it probably shouldn’t be implemented until the even bigger problem of accurate representation is dealt with. If large parts of the electorate are always omitted from parliament because of how the voters are distributed, then freely voting MPs wouldn’t represent the true opinions of the country.

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