The problem with our MPs is that we need more of them

Alan Broadbent throws out some ideas for improving our House of Commons.

One of the problems our MPs have with being braver is the fact that their careers aren’t very long anyway. Canadian MPs spend less than five years in the House on average, either being defeated or deciding not to run again. This is far less than in other parliaments around the world. Canada has a relatively large number of ridings that swing between parties, perhaps 25 per cent, so many members are just getting their feet under them when it is time to leave. This doesn’t allow them to master either the parliamentary process or the substance of a key public issue before they go back to private life.

One solution that has been suggested over the years is to increase the size of the House of Commons, perhaps even doubling it. This would allow a riding like Toronto Centre, which is likely NDP in the south end and Conservative in the north end, but elects either Liberals or left-leaning Progressive Conservatives (in the old days), to return one NDP and perhaps one Conservative member who might have considerable longevity.

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