Changes to Loosen Political Party Control

Changes to Loosen Political Party Control

MPs are supposed to be the representative that links citizens to Parliament. But often MPs are pressured to represent someone else- their party. Many contributors expressed concern about this double loyalty and suggested that redesigning the relationship with political parties is at the root of Redesigning Parliament.

Blog Posts on Loosening Political Party Control

  • February 23, 2013

    Restoring Parliamentary Supremacy

    Maxwell Cameron argues that over time "the tail has come to wag the dog" in Canadian Parliament. To restore the supremacy of Parliament we need to take back decision-making powers from the Prime Minister's Office and put them into the hands of MPs.
  • February 21, 2013

    Reaching our Parliamentary Potential

    Professor and author Kelly Blidook suggests small changes we can make to party policies and the Elections Act that would shift the balance of power from total party control towards the individual MPs.
  • February 16, 2013

    Decentralize power, refocus on citizens

    Many MPs and academics reponded to our "Redesigning Parliament" question: What's the biggest challenge facing Parliament in the 21st century? by expressing their concern about centralization of power in the Prime Minister's Office. Samara volunteer Steven Lee writes that this process began with PM Trudeau, and has been undermining Parliamentarians' ability to represent their constituents ever since.
  • February 13, 2013

    Constituency Parliaments: Connecting MPs to the constituency

    Latest suggestion for Redesigning Parliament to make it more relevant to Canadians: create a citizen-engaging deliberative body to advise and direct individual MPs. Vaughan Lyon, Professor Emeritus at Trent University outlines his idea for Constituency Parliaments to formalize the connection between MP and constituents, allow the MP to be truly representative and reduce the power of the party.
  • February 06, 2013

    Loosening the control of the political party: Part of the Redesigning Parliament series

    A new Redesigning Parliament post on limiting the influence of the political parties through allowing Free Votes in the House, alllowing riding associations--rather than party leaders--to sign the nomination ballots and allowing unscripted questions during Question Period. What would you do to Redesign Parliament?

Responses from Samarans


"Significant parliamentary reform can only result from going to the heart of parliament’s problem(s): MPs cannot represent their constituents in the Commons because they are, primarily, responsible to the parties that facilitated their election. - Vaughan Lyon

"[Get] rid of the Leader's veto over parliamentary candidates, making members of parliament elect their leaders while simultaneously giving members more power over policy through committees." - Leon

"Have caucus (or even the whole parliament) elect the Prime Minister - this would restore real power to MPs and counter the 'centralized dictatorship' model that has evolved over the past few decades."
-Antony Hodgson

"1. Free MP votes. ZERO control of MP votes by Party Leaders. Disassociate the need for the party to certify membership of election candidates from the exercise of party (leader) absolute control over the MP.
2. MPs free to criticize any party policies without censure.
3. Create capability for constituents to recall their MP by a specified % of constituency voters in the last election."
- Brian Boyd



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