5

The power imbalance


 

Peter Milliken repeats his concerns about the state of Parliament.

“And if your views aren’t in accordance with the leader’s position on an issue, you will not be speaking on that issue in the House and you won’t be asking questions on that issue in the House,” Milliken said, in the interview broadcast Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House.

He proposed giving party caucuses more say in such matters and more say in choosing party leaders. He also said that parties should not be so fixated on unity, and that it’s OK if differing opinions are made public.


 

The power imbalance

  1. It is odd reading liberal views about these issues because they seem to think our MPs are powerless to fight ‘system’. The poor diddums all suffer from learned helplessness apparently.

    If MPs formed caucuses within caucuses like they do in UK, MPs would be more powerful and safe from punishment. If there were Reform, Red Tory, Social Con caucuses and people acted as group, they would have power to control Cabinet and PM because leader can’t fire 30 or 40 MPs at a time. We have very socialist parties in Canada, all about Party, no individuals allowed.

    “In British politics, the 1922 Committee is a committee of Conservative Members of Parliament. Voting membership is limited to backbench MPs although frontbench Conservative MPs have an open invitation to attend meetings. While the party was in opposition, frontbench MPs other than the party leader could also attend its meetings. The Committee meets every week while Parliament is in session, and provides a way for Conservative backbenchers to determine their views independently of frontbenchers, as well as playing an important role in the choosing of the party leader.” Wiki, 1922 Committee

  2. And the first party that has caucus members openly disagreeing with the party leader will be featured in all kinds of wonderful attack ads and attack media articles/segments about how ineffective the leader is, presiding over a disorganized party which is far too reckless to vote for.

    “Would you vote for X when not even his/her own party agrees with his/her reckless, irresponsible ideas?”We just need to admit that most Canadians are comfortable with a control freak in power, rather than a consensus builder. We don’t want a Prime Minister navigating interests striving for consensus; most want a president who will not tolerate insubordination in the business that is federal politics.

    We have to force such change on party politics. I don’t think ‘we’ have enough interest to do it.

  3. Isn’t the media in part to blame for this state of affairs? The second that even one MP deviates from the party line it’s front page news for the next week.

    A lot of Canadians like to trash the U.S. system. But their legislators are far more independent than ours — to the point where they most definitely have an impact on the outcome of huge legislative initiatives like ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and on and on it goes. 

    •  We don’t really have legislators. We have an electoral college.

      I’m not sure many Canadians have a problem with the structure of the US political system. The fact that it is rife with monied interests and corruption–that’s another story.

      • We don’t have legislators? The U.S. has an electoral college, and it has nothing to do with what legislators do once elected. And if it’s another story, then why even bring it up?

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