Idea alert - Macleans.ca

Idea alert

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The NDP’s Peter Stoffer is going to try again to ban floor crossing.

“If I pick up the phone right now and call Mr. Harper’s office and if they’re in agreement, within an hour I can become a Conservative member of Parliament,” Stoffer said Monday. “I don’t have to go to my constituents, I don’t have to tell my party, I could just sit tomorrow as a Conservative MP. That’s wrong on every count.”

His bill, if passed, would prohibit MPs from crossing the floor. Instead, if an MP wanted to change parties, they’d have to quit and run for the new party in a by-election, assuming they won the nomination. They could still sit as an independent, but someone elected as an independent couldn’t join a political party after the election.

Mr. Stoffer’s previous attempt, in 2006, was defeated with New Democrats voting in favour, Bloc and Liberal MPs voting against and the Conservatives almost evenly split. If those splits occurred again, the bill would pass.