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Private Members’ Bill C-306, which would have forced MPs to run in a by-election before switching party allegiance, was defeated last night by a count 181-91.

The vote broke along party lines—New Democrats voting in favour; Conservatives, Liberals, the four Bloc MPs and Elizabeth May voting against—save for three exceptions. Conservative MPs James Bezan, Blake Richards and Brad Trost voted in favour.


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  1. I see this as a very slight nod toward my ideal that we elect the MP, not the party.

    So good.

    • That was your idea? 

      • Ideal. With an “L”.

        • I don’t know that it’s an idea or an ideal.  I simply view it as a fact that we vote to elect a member a parliament.  We don’t vote for a party, and we don’t vote to elect a prime minister.

          It’s relatively recent that party names appear on the ballot – I remember a time when only the candidates’ names would be on the ballot, and as far as I know, there is no obligation that the party name appear. 

          117. (1) Ballots shall contain the names of candidates, arranged alphabetically, taken from their nomination papers.

          (2) The name, in the form referred to in paragraph 366(2)(b), of the political party that has endorsed the candidate shall be listed on the ballot under the name of the candidate if
          (a) the candidate’s nomination paper includes it;
          (b) the condition described in paragraph 67(4)(c) is met; and
          (c) no later than 48 hours after the close of nominations, the party is a registered party.

          Of course all parties would make sure that its name appears on the nomination papers but my understanding is that there is no obligation that the party name appears.

          • What we do technically as opposed to what people actually do can be different things. So anything that can push the popular consciousness away from “vote for the party member” to “vote for the MP” is a good thing, in my mind.

        • OK. That was your ideaL?

          • Yep. I don’t like how people tend to vote based on party lines without looking at their individual candidates. So anything that strengthens the idea that the party a person run for doesn’t matter is good in my mind.

  2. Good, saves money.

    If the riding doesn’t like it, they can vote for someone else in the next go-round.

    • No he still sits as an MP, independent, and still gets the same salary.

    • I don’t know.  And I hadn’t seen it in the blogs, either.  Babble fish isn’t perfect, and my French is nonexistent, but this website was available in English and French, right?  Or at least English?

      • I don’t see it on the CBC or anywhere else, just on Radio-Canada.  Briefly, Elections Canada has found that voteprayserve.ca operated in contravention of the Elections Act last spring by not disclosing that they were supporting Conservatives candidates. They called it “publicité électorale déguisée” (electoral advertising in disguise…)

        The article is very badly written – typical at RadCan, unfortunately – and I can’t find a press release at Elections Canada or an article in English.  I gather Elections Canada has asked that the government looks into this practice but the government has refused, of course !

  3. Play my way or I will take my ball and go home. Sad.

  4. Repost from Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner and former war
    correspondent for the New York Times) on Canada’s right-wing neocon Prime
    Minister Stephen Harper:

    Harper is a poster child for corporate malfeasance and
    corporate power, just sort of dismantling everything that’s good about Canada. So he’s the kind of species that rises to
    political power and is utterly subservient to corporate interests at the
    expense of the citizenry.

    Yeah, he’s a pretty venal figure.



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