Need to know: Michael Chong wants to reform Parliament

Bill to give MPs more power to be tabled today


Sean Kilpatrick/CP

The story
Michael Chong wants MPs to have more power. Today, he unleashes his latest proposed reforms to that end. The Conservative MP for Wellington-Halton Hills has stuck his neck out for MP independence in the past. When the Conservatives first came to power, Chong was made Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. He resigned that post, on principle, when the government introduced a motion that recognized the Quebecois as a nation within a united Canada. He didn’t make a huge fuss. He just quit cabinet. Later, Chong proposed reforms to Question Period that were never implemented. People who tune into QP seemed to broadly like the ideas.

Now, Chong’s suggesting that MPs should wield more power in the House. He’s tabling a bill that would remove the requirement that party leaders sign candidates’ nomination papers, and also allow party caucuses to remove their leaders. Today, Chong tables the bill, which has received plenty more public discussion than does most private members’ legislation. Andrew Coyne supports it. Jonathan Kay said some nice things. Chantal Hebert seems skeptical, but cautiously acknowledges the bill’s merit. Aaron Wherry has more on what exactly Chong is proposing, and you can bet Wherry will follow this to the end.

The stat
4: The number of MPs who currently support the bill, according to a website that unofficially promotes the legislation.

The quote
“I look forward to a vigorous debate on the merits of these proposed reforms to Canada’s Parliament and hope the bill will receive multi-party support.” —Chong’s statement of Dec. 1, written very diplomatically


What’s above the fold

The Globe and Mail Canada dropped to 13th in global math proficiency in an OECD report.
National Post
Stephen Harper’s trip to Israel is all about securing the Jewish vote.
Toronto Star Ontario’s government will move to close daycare licencing loopholes.
Ottawa Citizen Ontarians’ hydro bills will rise 42 per cent over five years.
CBC News There are more runaway trains in Canada than previously reported.
CTV News A Senate committee might call a senior Deloitte partner to testify.
National Newswatch Ben Perrin’s emails give new life to the Wright-Duffy affair.


What you might have missed

THE NATIONAL Terror. When RCMP officers found books about bomb-making and torture in a British Columbia teenager’s home, they classified the unidentified 17-year-old boy as a terror threat. Judge Chris Cleaveley stripped the teen of internet access and sentenced him to 20 days in custody.
THE GLOBAL Tripoli. The Lebanese army will take control of Tripoli, the country’s second-largest city, after two days of street fighting over the weekend killed 10 and wounded 49. The clashes are seen as spillover from the ongoing Syrian civil war, in which Tripoli’s Sunni and Shi’ite factions have taken sides.

Filed under:

Need to know: Michael Chong wants to reform Parliament

  1. 4: The number of MPs who currently support the bill, according to a website that unofficially promotes the legislation.

    It’s perhaps worth noting that the VAST majority of MPs are listed as “undecided”. So, while only 5 MPs currently support the bill (with 5 additional “maybes”) NO ONE is listed as having come out AGAINST the bill, nor is anyone even listed as “leaning no”.

    • Coming out against the bill is bad optics. They’d be hard pressed to say ‘why’ they don’t support a bill that wants to reform Parliament and make the leaders more accountable.
      They’ll just vote against it in the hopes that nobody notices them amongst all the others who will do the same.
      I highly doubt this will pass.

    • That might have something to do with the fact that nobody had actually read the bill at the time of this being printed. I know that the Liberal commenters here don’t need to actually read bills to be for or against them, because they’re telepathic. Thankfully MPs actually take the time to know what’s in a bill before making grand declarations of support.

      • The swipe at “liberals” is a bit over the top in this context, is it not?

        If I’m not mistaken, the (now) 11 MPs to have jumped quickly on the bandwagon include 9 Conservatives, 1 Green Party MP and one independent MP.

        • Maybe. But do remember that Justin Trudeau came out against the Quebec Values Charter or wtf it’s called a month before anybody had even read it. I know that these guys like to be the first to denounce an unpopular law, but they should at least read the thing before “commenting” on it.

          • Perhaps to some people the ban on religious attire doesn’t hit this threshold, but surely there are issues that people can take a stand on before seeing the specifics of a particular piece of legislation.

            Surely, if a party was discussing legalizing slavery, for instance, one wouldn’t necessarily expect political leaders to wait to see the specifics of the slavery bill before declaring that we shouldn’t bring back slavery.

          • Meanwhile CPCers are falling all over themselves to praise a trade deal that isn’t even agreed to yet.

  2. Here are a couple more articles that put a different spin on the #reformact. Perhaps Chong is giving MPs too much power.

Sign in to comment.