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From the magazine

The meaning of the backbench revolt


 

This week’s piece on the backbench revolt.

It might feel, in many ways, that this was a long time coming. The power and purpose of the backbencher seem to have been subject to question and mockery for nearly as long as there have been backbenchers—and, in the current era of the talking point, partisan scripting and message control have made it even easier to mock those MPs who seem to be reduced to messengers for their party leaders. Three years ago, Conservative MP Michael Chong proposed changes to question period that would have, in part, made it easier for backbenchers to ask questions of their own volition. Last month, Conservative MP Brad Trost tabled a motion that would give the House the power to elect committee chairs—another small move that would empower the legislature. According to two Conservative sources, a nebulous group of 20 or so Conservative backbenchers—no cabinet ministers or parliamentary secretaries included—have been gathering periodically over the past year to discuss the power dynamic between backbenchers and party leaders and possible parliamentary reforms (Rathgeber says he has participated in some of those meetings).


 

From the magazine

  1. Wherry I thought E. Truss’ article in Daily Telegraph today was interesting – why are Canadian MPs so docile?

    ———-

    My Generation Of Tories Takes It Lead From Thatcher:

    Thanks to her audacity, those on the Left became the defenders of the status quo – and they still are. There is no comparison with the massive expansion of ideas, of debate, that has taken place on the Right. The number of Conservative backbench groups that has emerged during this parliament is huge. This is part of a welcome trend towards people considering “What do I think?” or “What do I want to achieve?” when they enter politics, rather than “Which tribe am I part of?”

    She was proof that good ideas, well argued and pursued with determination, can succeed. In this spirit, these new Tory MPs are developing policies on subjects from defence to infrastructure to mental health. The Free Enterprise Group that I helped to launch in 2011, and which is now led by my colleague Kwasi Kwarteng, is making the case for the positive benefits of free-market economics to the country. It recognises, as Thatcher did, that when a case is made, public opinion can and will shift.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/margaret-thatcher/9983096/Margaret-Thatcher-My-generation-of-Tories-takes-its-lead-from-Thatcher-the-radical.html

  2. It’s time to turn this around.

    We know why Conservatives aren’t allowed to talk about abortion…

    Why aren’t journalists?

    Canada is mostly a pro-choice country. I get that, and to an extent I agree. But you don’t have to be pro-life to be utterly horrified by the story linked above. You also don’t have to be pro life to report on it. All you need is an understanding of what is newsworthy, and the integrity to report on something that is. And yet, I doubt there are 1000 people in Canada today aware of the horror show being unveiled at Kermit Gosnell’s trial. Because not one damn one of you will write about it.

    So what’s up journalists? This story is so obviously news it’s embarrassing. Why aren’t YOU allowed to talk about it?

    • Because mainstream journalists will never ever ever cover anything that might show abortion in a negative light. I’m sure there are more than a few pro-choicers who don’t see anything wrong with what Dr. Gosnell was doing.

      The whole bloody clan refuses to even discuss abortion issues. Just look at Wherry’s coverage. The merits of Warawa’s motion was never touched by the MSM, it was immediately turned into a story about the CPC “re-opening the abortion debate”, and once political parties and MSM realized that most Canadians didn’t see it that way, and would actually support Warawa’s motion, the discussion changed to Harper suppressing MPs, which incidentally is exactly what the opposition and MSM have been telling him to do for years.

      Liberals and Dippers are absolutely terrified of having an actual discussion or debate about abortion.

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