Shake up the House

Bruce Hyer is resurrecting his October 2010 proposal to randomize seating in the House of Commons.

“We would no longer be sitting in hockey teams, with our coaches dying to send us over the boards for a brawl,” Hyer said. “We’d get to know them as people.” The MP, who is now free to speak and vote as he wishes, thinks the move would end the “mindless solidarity and tribalism” he sees around him and improve cooperation and decorum.

I am legitimately intrigued by this idea, even if I think there’s nothing particularly bad about the traditional setup. I think I’d just like to see what Mr. Hyer’s House would be like.




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Shake up the House

  1. Hah…probably MPs throttling one another. The aisle is 2 swordlengths wide for a reason.

  2. One thing from the CBC story that intrigued me was that he hoped it would make it less evident when MPs were not voting with their party.
    My question is: Why not?

    • Because it’s a logistical pain in the arse, primarily. If the members are interspersed, votes will need to be done more often by roll-call rather than just all at once. Which will mean it’ll be just as evident, if not more. They also will find it harder to pass information to one another. Remember, some of the documents are for the privy council only, and if you have non-members sitting over your shoulder as you try to skim through a briefing, it can be difficult to do with appropriate privacy.

      Also, because it means people will often be in the position of standing up and addressing a question to a person who might be sitting behind them. Not game-breaking, but definitely a bit awkward.

      And if he really thinks it’ll make any difference, he’s being stupid. David Wilks is proof, he was in a different province from most of them when he had to pull his about-face.. so does anybody think sitting on the other side of the room actually facing the boss will make any sort of change?

      • Re-reading my post, I realize I was not clear at all (not sure what I was thinking).

        What I meant to ask was: why would he want to make it less evident that an MP had not voted according to party policy?

        • Well, considering he was turfed from the NDP for wanting to vote against party policy…

  3. I like too. Might even get the odd brawl to relieve the tedium. Justin cold conks Baird or Kenny; might be fun. Seriously, why not?

    • I’m not sure that would work out very well: Hearing about Pierre Poilievre getting a wedgie yet again would get old after a while.

      • Maybe, but the first few times would be worth it.

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