Member of Parliament fights for more freedom for MPs

EDMONTON – Members of Parliament should be able to vote against their party occasionally without fear of being evicted from caucus, says Conservative MP Michael Chong who is pushing for reform of parliamentary rules.

Under reforms proposed in Chong’s private member’s bill, MPs in a caucus would also have the power to call for a vote on leadership, pick an interim leader after a resignation and would have a say over whether to evict an MP from caucus.

The bill, which goes for second reading this spring, would also remove the party leader’s power to approve local candidates in an election and restore that decision to local party members solely.

The goal is to restore the independence that MPs used to have and to make party leadership more accountable to caucus, Chong, a Toronto area MP told the Journal editorial board.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/look+Parliament+under+private+member+bill+would+restore+independence/9537655/story.html

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