The real problem is MP irrelevancy

Recently, Canada’s federal Official Opposition proposed measures for improving decorum in the House of Commons. These measures would require changes to the Standing Orders in order to increase the Speaker’s authority to discipline unruly MPs: who use harassment, threats, personal attacks, or extreme misrepresentation of facts or position in the House, particularly regarding Statements by Members and Oral Questions, including: i.  Revoking questions during Oral Questions from parties whose Members have been disruptive ii. Issuing a warning to Members for a first offense iii. Suspending Members from the service of the House for one sitting day for a second offense; five days for a third offense; and twenty days for a fourth offense iv. Suspending Members’ sessional allowance for the […]

On toeing the party line

There has been a fair bit of attention paid to the number of “rebellious” backbenchers in the current UK Parliament. By rebellious, I mean backbenchers who defy the party whip and vote against their own party. Most of the focus has been on Coalition backbenchers who have voted against the Coalition government. Since last May, there have been 110 such rebellions by Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs. Coalition MPs have rebelled on 52% of votes. However, Labour too has seen its fair share of rebellious members, with 37 rebellions by Labour MPs on 20% of all Commons votes. There is even a website dedicated to tracking MP rebellions (the source for the above statistics). Over at ConservativeHome, Jonathan Isaby has […]