Anonymous Mavericks Watch


Some number of anonymous Conservative backbenchers express disenchantment to John Ivison.

There is a widespread feeling on the backbenches that they have been taken for granted. A number say they are fed up being told what to do by “kids in short pants,” young enough to receive their briefing notes in phonics … Now it sounds like a group of Conservative back-benchers are talking about flexing their own muscles by voting against government legislation, if they don’t approve of it. “We haven’t decided on any particular bill yet,” said one MP … there is a sense that the Prime Minister and the select band of courtiers around him have gone too far in concentrating power in the PMO.

This is intriguing, but to what end? David Wilks had some independent thoughts once too, but he decided the omnibus budget bill wasn’t a battle he was prepared to pick. What battle are these anonymous Conservatives willing to pick?


Anonymous Mavericks Watch

  1. That’s just adorable. I won’t be holding my breath.

  2. One possibility: The pro-life caucus get together and threaten to vote against a budget, bringing down the government, unless the abortion debate is re-opened. If they care about the issue as much as they claim, this should clearly be their next course of action

    • The Liberals and NDP dream about that every single night, I’m sure.

      • Haha, and wake up feeling damp!

  3. “(Members’ statements) were not intended to be partisan
    rants that are written by 25-year-old enthusiasts in the Prime Minister’s

    Even some Tories want Scheer to put an end to partisan
    attacks during members’ statements. Cullen said some Tory backbenchers have
    privately told him they’re embarrassed by the sophomoric scripts and have
    refused to read them.

    In a fascinating blog post last week, a former senior
    adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper described how the tactic was initially
    to use only the last statement before question period to attack and destabilize
    the Opposition leader just as he was about to rise to ask the first question of
    the day. Keith Beardsley bemoaned that it’s now become “standard
    practice” for most members’ statements.

    “In my opinion, this has been one of the contributing
    factors to the caustic atmosphere you now see on a daily basis in the House of

    Beardsley said the Speaker should formulate strict, new
    guidelines for members’ statements or “do away with them altogether.”


    • But since it’s the only time the backbenchers DO get to stand up and talk in HoC, they love it. Here in SK, the conservative government backbenchers were upset a few years ago when their speaker would not let them give their offensive, partisan member statements: I remember one fuming and saying how surprised (s)he was that the speaker had so much power. He was trying to change the tone of the Leg, not sure it worked. But he was trying, to be fair; it’s a different speaker now, but same party.

  4. Too late boys. If you don’t use them for 6 or 7 years, they just shrivel up.

  5. “But ultimately, our jobs are more important than a functioning democracy. We really only have one thing to say: Baaaaaaah. Baaaaaaaah.”

  6. Surely the time for a “brave 13” would have been the omnibus bill.

  7. UK and AUS MPs are quite lively while Canadians pols are lickspittles. Just two quick examples of MPs in Westminster system ‘freelancing’ while Canadian pols are mostly lemmings.

    Daily Telegraph Aug 2012 ~ “The Prime Minister is understood to have concluded that his own MPs cannot be persuaded to back moves to create a mainly elected second chamber of Parliament. However, 93 Tory MPs rebelled against the Lords Reform Bill last month in the Commons in the biggest backbench revolt Mr Cameron has faced since the Coalition was formed.”

    Australian Oct 3 2012~ “Divisions and constant “freelancing” from Coalition MPs is creating uncertainty for our agricultural industries, for regional communities and for investment and job security.”

    • Yes! By all means bring on proportional representation and coalition government. A great check and balance to concentration of power.

    • Our executive branch has conquered the legislative branch–it’s time for MPs to take it back.

  8. Could this be the real reason for the omnibus bills? Not merely to force the opposition to vote against things they may like, but also to ensure the backbenchers don’t revolt and vote against the things they don’t?

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