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A Huge Win for Democracy: Party Leaders Reigned In

ARPA note: This decision by the House of Commons Speaker is critical to the health of Canadian democracy. The NDP and Conservative parties in particular have been squashing our MP’s ability to speak on behalf of their conscience and their constituents. We thank the Lord that he turned a disappointment (the muzzling of Warawa) into a huge and lasting win.

Globe and Mail, April 24 2013: In a ruling that challenges the centralized discipline of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, the man who presides over the House of Commons is inviting MPs to slip the yoke of party discipline when it comes to who says what in the chamber. Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer, in his first major decision since being elected to the post nearly two years ago, told Members of Parliament on Tuesday they need not feel constrained by caucus lists that dictate who can deliver 60-second statements or, for that matter, who can ask questions in Question Period. The decision loosens the leash on MPs, particularly Tories, who have chafed at party control. It offers the potential to change how the Commons functions – leaving party whips to merely co-ordinate, rather than control, their backbenchers. Read the whole article here.

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