Meanwhile, in Britain... -

Meanwhile, in Britain…

A familiar noise around the mother parliament


It would seem Conservative government backbench angst transcends the Atlantic Ocean.

Yet the old way of handling backbenchers, a mixture of benign neglect and an occasional whipping, appears unsustainable. The vigour of the Tory 2010ers is no coincidence. Nor is their independent-mindedness merely a matter of indiscipline. Rather, they denote structural changes in British politics, which Parliament is lagging. The vim displayed on the backbenches reflects a move to full professionalism: until a few years ago most Tory backbenchers had second jobs, but tougher rules on disclosure have made this almost impossible. Independent-mindedness is similarly entrenched, being a response to closer ties between MPs and their constituents—partly wrought by new media—and to the ideologically-chastening reality of coalition government, which Britain is likely to see more of. “Is it a bad thing to have MPs voting for what they think is right?” asks Dr Wollaston, reflecting the view of many newcomers. “Isn’t that Parliament working well?”


Meanwhile, in Britain…

  1. I have long been curious to know if Canadian Cons are aware of behaviour of UK Cons. MPs in Britain are entirely different than the milquetoast numpties we get here in Canada. UK and Canada MPs share job title but they are entirely different when it comes to behaviour.

    Why don’t Canadian MPs pay attention to behaviour of MPs in UK and Australia, start using their power more to represent constituents, and then restore some of the dignity Parliament has lost.

    • Because in the UK and Australia, the caucus can easily dump the party leader. In Canada the MPs are completely dependent on the party leader if they hope to run in the next election.