POL214-Issue 8.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL214Y5
Professor
Erin Tolley
Semester
Winter

Description
POL214­Issue 8 Should Party Discipline be relaxed? Yes – David Kilgour, John Kirshner and Kenneth McConnel • The major defect in Canadian parliamentary democracy is that most MPs are  essentially brute voters who submit to any demand from their respective party  whips. • Write in our constitution, as the west Germans did in their basic law, that MPs and  senator shall “not [be] bound by orders and instructions and shall be subject only  to their consciences” • Each new federal or provincial cabinet to specify at the start of its mandate which  matters at the heart of its program will be confidence issues • Unlike in Canada, where a government falls if it loses the support of a majority in  the House of Commons on a confidence vote, united states presidents and  congress are elected for fixed terms. neither resigns if a particular measure is  voted down in either the senate or the house of representatives.  • Territorial bloc voting – regional representatives can influence the geographic  location of federal government procurement, which affects the geographic  distribution of the manufacturing sector o Unlike the American congress, Canadian bloc voting makes bipartisan or  tripartisan agreement on anything in our legislatures exceedingly rare o If a government or opposition MPs loyalty to his or her province clashes  with the instruction of the party whip, putting constitutional or regional  consideration in his or her of voting subjects the MPs prospects for party  advancement to considerable risk • Overall representation of Canada would be improved. It would be easier for, say,  western or Atlantic MPs to defy their part
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