Cromwell, Disraeli, Churchill, Macmillan would not have allowed that. They believed in the power and supremacy not of Government, but of Parliament. It is our inheritance and our duty to take radical steps to preserve and enhance that primacy.
James Gray, MP
There is much speculation and — dare I say it — hope among Canadian political observers that we might see a sort of reboot of Parliament — which wouldn’t be that difficult to achieve, given how bad things got during the 41st Parliament. Over the past few days, two articles and one report dealing with ways to make Ottawa better came to my attention, and I would like to briefly touch on each. The Public Policy Forum released a report entitled Time for a Reboot: Nine Ways to Restore Trust in Canada’s Public Institutions, which you can download from this page (PDF). Most of it does not deal with proceedings in the House of Commons, but larger governance issues, and […]
In our proceedings every Member should be heard courteously, whatever views he or she is expressing. Members of this House have a duty to behave with civility and fairness in all their dealings.
The UK House of Commons directs the Speaker to make a statement at the beginning of each Session about the duties and responsibilities of honourable Members. This is what Speaker Bercow said: I begin by reminding Members of their duty to observe the code of conduct agreed by the House and to uphold the seven principles of public life that underpin it: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. The House asserts its privilege of freedom of speech. It is there to ensure that our constituents can be represented by us without fear or favour. It is an obligation on us all to exercise that privilege responsibly. It is enjoyed by Members of Parliament only in their work in […]
The question we should all be asking is why? Why should it matter at all how many MPs get elected under a particular banner, and why are parliamentary proceedings organized around parties rather than MPs?
Maclean’s Aaron Wherry’s recent post touches on the question of the rights and privileges of “independent” MPs in the Canadian House of Commons. The issue is that almost all proceedings in the Canadian House of Commons are organized around political parties rather than Members. While this in itself is troubling, to compound matters is the very odd concept of an “officially recognized party” in the House of Commons. To be “officially” recognized as a party in the House of Commons, the party must have a minimum of 12 MPs. Consequently, if only 11 MPs (or fewer) get elected under one party banner in a general election, those MPs will be considered “independents”. The consequences of that non-recognition of their party […]