NDP tables bill to stem party-switching - Macleans.ca

NDP tables bill to stem party-switching

Bill calls for by-elections when MPs jump ships


The NDP is backing a private member’s bill to prevent politicians from switching parties in the House of Commons. MPs who wish to register under a different party than the one under whose banner they were elected, would have to run in a by-election. The requirement would not apply to members who decide to sit as independents. It’s not the first time similar bills bubble up in Parliament, but CBC’s Kady O’Malley speculates that this time New Democrats in particular may be concerned about flip-flops from within their own ranks. “Imagine this scenario,” she writes, “a post-leadership split within the party results in a good chunk of its Quebec caucus–to pick one at random–setting up shop under a new name and leader, much like the MPs who would become founding members of the Bloc Quebecois did in 1990.”



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NDP tables bill to stem party-switching

  1. This makes sense, it is implemented in other countries. No one should be allowed to ‘switch’ to a different affiliation when they were voted into office under under the premise they represented a specific party.
    This is why the conservatives will vote down this bill … it makes sense.

    • Harper was an ardent advocate of just this approach when Stronach switched; his zeal lasted exactly long enough to win his first minority (when he then flipped a Liberal in exchange for a cabinet post).

      It will be interesting to see how the Cons vote on this one.

  2. No politician should be able to switch parties – – unless of course they experienced an epiphany, realized the errors of their ways, and switch to my particular party of choice. LOL

    What about the cost of bi-elections? Perhaps if a politician want to switch they should put up some money (or the parties money) to cover that cost to the tax payer.

    • This is a good point, actually.  In the normal course of events, the cost of a by-election or two over the course of four years is not prohibitive.  But if it is a case of an issue splitting a party and some members wishing to create a new party, all those by-elections will add up.

      I still say make “independent” a party subject to the same rules on committee seats, research assistance etc. as populated parties.  That way, sitting as an independent doesn’t automatically make you irrelevant and unable to do a good job.  The more independents, the more services and clout so it doesn’t punish a group of party members for a fundamental disagreement with their party.