The trouble in Ottawa - Macleans.ca
 

The trouble in Ottawa


 

Speaker Peter Milliken offers a few parting words.

Canada’s longest-serving Speaker of the House of Commons says federal politics have become more partisan and less democratic than they were when he first arrived in Ottawa as a rookie MP. This erosion is due mainly to the increase in the power of party leaders, Peter Milliken told Postmedia News in an exclusive interview at his rural home in the Kingston area.

“The leader says you vote this way or else you’re out, and bango, you have to do it, or else. I don’t think that’s the way our democracy was intended to function,” said Milliken, who was first elected to the Ontario riding of Kingston and the Islands in 1988.


 

The trouble in Ottawa

  1. I think the 15 second sound bite is the reason for the dysfunctional parliment. The "rat pack' started it all.

  2. Pity he didn't think of this when he had the job all those years.

  3. Given that the level of his pension is based upon his best number of earning years (while as speaker), a position that necessitated courting favour from all party members to get re-elected, and a certain bonhommie, please pass the salt.

  4. Party leaders only have as much power as the caucuses they lead give them. Remember Stockwell Day? He was revoved as leader because his caucus stood up to him and demonstrated the limits of his power. If MPs want more power, all they have to do is realize they have enormous power, and exercise it.<i/>

    • At least until the election, when the leader doesn't sign your nomination papers. Wouldn't be the first time.