MP Jenica Atwin Quits Green Party To Join The Liberals

110 posts / 0 new
Last post
Mighty Middle
MP Jenica Atwin Quits Green Party To Join The Liberals

Jenica Atwin's departure comes after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exposed fault lines in the Green party ranks.

Atwin directly challenged party leader Annamie Paul's position on the conflict, saying Paul's call for de-escalation and a return to dialogue between the two was "totally inadequate."

"I stand with Palestine and condemn the unthinkable airstrikes in Gaza. End Apartheid!" Atwin tweeted on May 11.

The day before, Manly tweeted that the removal of Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah "is ethnic cleansing."

More recently, the Canadian Press reported that the Green executive committee voted not to renew the contract of one of Paul's senior advisers.

The adviser, Noah Zatzman, had expressed solidarity with Israel in a May 14 social media post that accused many politicians, including unspecified Green MPs, of discrimination and antisemitism, sparking a letter-writing campaign calling for his removal.

Separately, two party executives recently announced they would step down early. One of them was John Kidder, a vice-president on the party's governing body and husband to MP and former leader Elizabeth May.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jenica-atwin-joining-the-liberals-1.606...

robbie_dee

NorthReport

As long as right-winger Elizabeth May is involved with the Greens they are going nowhere.

Ken Burch

And if she stands down and fights a by-election in her riding as a Liberal, she'll almost certainly win going away.

Not only does the GPC need to completely cut ties with May now- Annamie Paul has to stand down.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

https://twitter.com/christoaivalis/status/1403021456116785156

Christo Aivalis wrote:

We're looking at an election where the Federal Greens could die, folks.

It's that dire

cco

Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Edzell Edzell's picture

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jenica-atwin-joining-the-liberals-1.606...

In the 2019 campaign, Atwin said left-leaning voters felt "betrayed" when Trudeau broke a promise to reform the electoral system and said they were now looking at the Greens as a more genuine progressive choice.

"We think we're that option," she said. "We think we're the ones to look to for voters looking for change, and looking to get better outcomes than what we've seen in the last four years."

And then she joins Trudeau. Something of an about face! - Just another run-of-the mill hypocritical politician, I guess. And yet another party failing to confirm the integrity of the candidates it fields. How depressing.

Ken Burch

Left Turn wrote:

https://twitter.com/christoaivalis/status/1403021456116785156

Christo Aivalis wrote:

We're looking at an election where the Federal Greens could die, folks.

It's that dire

And quite frankly, it would not surprise me if that's exactly what May wants- her refusal to stand down as federal GPC leader for years and years, even though the party had nearly no growth at all, other than her personal victories in Saanich & Gulf Islands, clearly marks her as a leader-as-abuser type- the one whose message to their party is "you're nothing without me- you owe me everything, I owe you nothing, and you have no right to expect any say in this relationship".  And it is entirely possible she could have engineered Atwin's defection to the Liberals- May's conception of the GPC's role in federal politics, after all, has always been as junior partners in an anti-left, anti-NDP coalitoin- it's the only thing that explains her bloodyminded opposition to the idea of the GPC becoming a an antimilitarist, anticapitalist party, and her insistence on endlessly repeating the discredited Liberal talking point that it was the NDP who caused the Harper victory in the 2006 election by not delaying the election everyone knew was going to happen anyway for one single month.

kropotkin1951

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Imagine being one of three MP's in a party that claims to not have a whip and having no voice because of the internal politics. As a backbench Liberal MP she likely keeps her seat. She did not reach out for the NDP.

Ken Burch

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

She wouldn't be the first person to cross over to the Liberal bench to think they could do that without cost.  Every NDP MP who ever joined them claimed the same thing- IIRC, we never herd a progressive peep out of any of them again.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

 .... it would not surprise me if that's exactly what May wants- her refusal to stand down as federal GPC leader for years and years ....

Is the Green party not able to elect a new leader if the current one would like to stay on?

Ken Burch

Edzell wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

 .... it would not surprise me if that's exactly what May wants- her refusal to stand down as federal GPC leader for years and years ....

Is the Green party not able to elect a new leader if the current one would like to stay on?

They could, in theory, remove Paul...but May set up the party's internal structures to make that all-but-impossible.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Edzell wrote:
Is the Green party not able to elect a new leader if the current one would like to stay on?

Ken Burch wrote:
They could, in theory, remove Paul...but May set up the party's internal structures to make that all-but-impossible.

I was actually referring to the possibility of removing Elizabeth May. In what way was that made all-but-impossible? (I'm not trying to be 'funny' - it's something I don't know about.)

Pondering

This is wonderful news! Lascaris could yet become leader! 

josh

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

melovesproles

Zatzman flat out attacked her and Manly. The Green party executive seems to have zero respect for not only its members but most of the party's MPs. Pretty bizarre. We'll see if another disastrous election results in them chucking the centrist BS and staking out some actual turf.

I wonder how hard Manly is considering rejoining the NDP and if the Mulclairites in the party are still in a position to block that from happening.

voice of the damned

josh wrote:

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

Reminds me of when Jack Horner, a far-right Tory MP from Alberta who hated the supposedly left-wing Joe Clark, crossed over to...the Trudeau Liberals.

He got a brief cabinet-stint out of that, but was subsequently turfed in the 1979 election.

NorthReport

Having the Green Party in such disarray should be a gift to the NDP. The question is will they be able to capitalize on it.

Ken Burch

voice of the damned wrote:
josh wrote:

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

Reminds me of when Jack Horner, a far-right Tory MP from Alberta who hated the supposedly left-wing Joe Clark, crossed over to...the Trudeau Liberals. He got a brief cabinet-stint out of that, but was subsequently turfed in the 1979 election.

The worst part of that, for Horner, was that he was induced...if not heavily pressured...to stand in his old riding AGAIN as the Liberal candidate in the 1980 election- after not only losing to the PC candidate in '79, as noted, but losing by an epic margin, 75.15% to 18.20%.  in '80, it was even worse...76.61% to 15.53%.  I had no use for Horner's politics, but you have to wonder why the Liberals would make him do that to himself TWICE.

Debater

On the "At Issue" panel last night, Chantal Hébert said that the troubles of the Green Party could be good news for the NDP.

nicky

It has often seemed to me that the raison D'être of the Greens, particularly under E, May, has been to siphon votes away from the NDP.  Paul was recently quite explicit in targeting  seats held by the NDP or those with good NDP prospects. 

It would be a good thing for progressive politics in Canada for the Greens to fade away.

That being said, Atwin's defection is one more episode in the ceaseless campaign of the endlessly cynical Liberal Party to lure away other parties' MPs and MLAs. Few of them make any impact and many are literally never hear of again.

The Greens are little better. Witness Bruce Heyer and a couple other almost anonymous NDP MPs  who succumbed to E. May's dubious blandishments. So they can hardly complain about Atwin.

nicky

And remember as well the forgotten Liberal MP Wilson who sat for one of the North Shore ridings in Vancouver.

He was booted from the Liberal Party over fraud allegations.

At the time the Greens had no elected members but May welcomed Wilson, an MP too odious for even the Liberals ( get your head around that) into her party because it gave her an argument to be included in the Leaders' debate.

So the Atwin defection looks good on the Greens.

Badriya

voice of the damned wrote:
josh wrote:

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

Reminds me of when Jack Horner, a far-right Tory MP from Alberta who hated the supposedly left-wing Joe Clark, crossed over to...the Trudeau Liberals. He got a brief cabinet-stint out of that, but was subsequently turfed in the 1979 election.

It reminded me of when Angela Vautour was elected as an NDP MP in Beauséjour, crossed the floor to the Conservatives and lost to Dominic LeBlanc in the following election. I’m afraid Atwin’s riding will revert to the Cons.

Angela Vautour - Wikipedia

Debater

MP Atwin’s departure the culmination of months of Green Party chaos

https://ipolitics.ca/2021/06/10/mp-atwins-departure-the-culmination-of-months-of-green-party-chaos/

voice of the damned

Ken Burch:

Thanks for the info on Horner's pathetic attempt at a comeback. Not sure if I knew that.

The only explanation I can think of is that 1980 was(correctly) expected to be a Liberal revival, so the party might have figured that the national wave, combined with Horner's name recognition and quasi-incumbency, might get them at least a semi-respectable showing in the riding. And Horner went along with it hoping to redeem his utter humiliation of 1979.

Badriya, thanks for the info about Angela Vatour. Another weird, counterintuitive crossover in Canadian politics.

cco

The NDP's had multiple party leaders (all of them "respectable moderates" the party elected to get the approval of the pundit class) cross the floor to other parties, including Ujjal Dosanjh, Dominic Cardy, Bob Rae, and probably soon Tom Mulcair. For me, though, the all-time winner for weirdest floor crosser is this guy who represented my riding, elected as a member of the anglo-supremacist and ironically-named Equality Party, who crossed the floor to the PQ.

jerrym

Debater wrote:

On the "At Issue" panel last night, Chantal Hébert said that the troubles of the Green Party could be good news for the NDP.

While it will likely help the Liberals image, it could also help the NDP, especially in BC, where the Greens have historically been strongest. Some of their voters may shift to the NDP, disillusioned with Green Party infighting. It seems unlikely with an election likely in the offing in late summer or the fall, that the Greens can replace the image of a fractured party in time before the election. 

kropotkin1951

However just to prove some people from the elite can do whatever they want if they are fated for the job. David Emerson was in the middle of selling out BC's softwood lumber industry when the election got in the way. He crossed before parliament even met.

At some point between election day and the day Stephen Harper was due to be sworn in as prime minister, Emerson accepted an offer from Harper to cross the floor and become Minister of International Trade in Harper's new Conservative minority government.[1] According to Emerson, British Columbia Conservative campaign coordinator John Reynolds called him the day after the election to ask if he was interested in having a conversation with Harper.[4]

Gaining regional representation in Cabinet from key metropolitan areas, such as Vancouver, according to Harper, was key to the decision in asking Emerson to cross the floor. Indeed, 2006 marked the first time in decades that a centre-right party had been completely shut out in Vancouver. However, Emerson's Conservative opponent, Kanman Wong, claimed on February 10, 2006 that Emerson was seriously considering crossing the floor during the run-up to the election. Wong added that he would have stood down in Emerson's favour had he done so.[5]

In any case, Emerson's decision was kept secret from his Liberal colleagues, the press, and even most Conservatives until February 6, 2006, when he arrived at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General, for the swearing-in of the new government. In addition to his International Trade portfolio, Emerson was given responsibility for the Pacific Gateway and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, areas of particular importance to the riding of Vancouver-Kingsway and in general, the Greater Vancouver area. He was ranked third in Cabinet in the order of precedence, behind Harper and House Leader Rob Nicholson, by virtue of his appointment to the Privy Council in 2004.[6]

Mighty Middle

In the 2013 Bloc MP Maria Mourani was expelled from the party and sat as an independent. One year later she announced she would run for the NDP. But until the writ was dropped, she continued to sit as an independent for the remaining nine months of her term.

Ken Burch

cco wrote:
The NDP's had multiple party leaders (all of them "respectable moderates" the party elected to get the approval of the pundit class) cross the floor to other parties, including Ujjal Dosanjh, Dominic Cardy, Bob Rae, and probably soon Tom Mulcair. For me, though, the all-time winner for weirdest floor crosser is this guy who represented my riding, elected as a member of the anglo-supremacist and ironically-named Equality Party, who crossed the floor to the PQ.

I've read about him.  I suppose that's what you'd have to expect when a professional "boulevardier" goes into politics.  Somebody probably told him the PQ had better hors d'oeuvres or stronger drinks or something.

Ken Burch

Mighty Middle wrote:

In the 2013 Bloc MP Maria Mourani was expelled from the party and sat as an independent. One year later she announced she would run for the NDP. But until the writ was dropped, she continued to sit as an independent for the remaining nine months of her term.

We're all aware of the NDP's floor-crossing policy.  Still, it would be perfectly easy to arrange for Manly to stand down and be the NDP candidate in a by-election in his current riding.  The Greens might not even dare to stand a candidate against him this time.

No decent reason for the Mulcair crowd to try and block that...or for anyone in the party to keep listening to them if Mulcair does formally go Con, as he is clearly certain to do in the next couple of years.

Mighty Middle

Conservatives are now accusing Jenica Atwin of Anti-Semitism

jerrym

Mighty Middle wrote:

Conservatives are now accusing Jenica Atwin of Anti-Semitism

This will work well with a large part of their base which is anti-Muslim,but it works against them in expanding their voters as a growing percentage of the population is viewing the Palestinians favourably in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and even more so among the young where the Cons have little support. When this is combined with their tepid approach to climate change, the Cons are going to find it increasingly hard to compete in the long run (although one should always keep in mind John Maynard Keynes saying that in the long run we are all dead).

Mighty Middle

Watching the political shows - Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is being evicerated by political pundits. Saying everything for her not being forceful, not showing leadership, being directionless

She is getting torn apart by every pundit - except one

Former NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is still giving Annamie Paul high marks, praising her leadership. That she will be a force to be reckoned with. He said this just yesterday. In fact the only two leaders Mulcair has praise for is Annamie Paul and Erin O'Toole.

melovesproles

I think Emerson was the grossest one. I get that floor-crossing is a betrayal of those who elected you but I think Atwin has more of a leg to stand on since she was being attacked by the party leadership. Also, what is the point of hanging with a bunch of losers if they are even worse than the winners. I don't think wanting to keep her job is a huge knock against her and in this case her leaders were literally attacking her character.

Also no surprise that Mulclair think Paul is handling this wonderfully, she is literally following his playbook, which pretty much destroyed the NDPs momentum for possibly a generation or more. 

josh

Mighty Middle wrote:

Watching the political shows - Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is being evicerated by political pundits. Saying everything for her not being forceful, not showing leadership, being directionless

She is getting torn apart by every pundit - except one

Former NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is still giving Annamie Paul high marks, praising her leadership. That she will be a force to be reckoned with. He said this just yesterday. In fact the only two leaders Mulcair has praise for is Annamie Paul and Erin O'Toole.

Of course.  He sucked the life out of the NDP, so he's impressed by the job she is doing.

blairz blairz's picture

This is a shitshow, irony abounds. I think it's amazing that the issue of Palestinian rights has been weaponized in every party but not actually advanced in any meaningful way for Palestinians. Listening to Annamie Paul on Power and Politics was pretty depressing. I don't really see anything particularly encouraging from either the Liberals or the NDP.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Totally agree, Blairz. As for Mulcair, he certainly has been showing his true colours since his ouster. What a damn waste of time it was to have him as the leader of the NDP.

nicky
Mighty Middle

From Tyee

Sources close to the situation told The Tyee that rookie leader Paul has rejected any analysis that concludes that she was responsible for Atwin’s decision to join the Liberals. Those sources say that Paul was convinced that Atwin was a threat to her leadership, and as the former parliamentary seatmate of former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, had been whispering to the Grits for a long time about joining them.

Sources within the Green Party told The Tyee that the grassroots of the party, especially younger voters, saw Atwin as the natural future leader of the party. As the sense grew that installing Paul as Leader was a major mistake, Atwin was seen as the right choice as interim party leader.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/06/14/Green-Implosion-Remaining-MPs-Ask-Jen...

Pondering

melovesproles wrote:

I think Emerson was the grossest one. I get that floor-crossing is a betrayal of those who elected you but I think Atwin has more of a leg to stand on since she was being attacked by the party leadership. Also, what is the point of hanging with a bunch of losers if they are even worse than the winners. I don't think wanting to keep her job is a huge knock against her and in this case her leaders were literally attacking her character.

Also no surprise that Mulclair think Paul is handling this wonderfully, she is literally following his playbook, which pretty much destroyed the NDPs momentum for possibly a generation or more. 

I think saying floor crossers betrayed voters is inaccurate. We elect MPs, not parties even though our personal motive might be due to party affliation or the leader of said party.  Floor-crossers remind leaders that they were only elected by the people as MPs not as Prime Minister.

I was shocked when I found out that not even cabinet ministers have access to the Prime Minister. I thought cabinet meetings were meetings in which ministers actually spoke with one another.

Bad enough that an MP can't speak to the leader of the party when it is the Liberals. In a party as tiny as the Greens one of the three only elected MPs can't even speak to the leader of the party. 

Elected MPs are the voice of the people. 

melovesproles

Pondering wrote:

melovesproles wrote:

I think Emerson was the grossest one. I get that floor-crossing is a betrayal of those who elected you but I think Atwin has more of a leg to stand on since she was being attacked by the party leadership. Also, what is the point of hanging with a bunch of losers if they are even worse than the winners. I don't think wanting to keep her job is a huge knock against her and in this case her leaders were literally attacking her character.

Also no surprise that Mulclair think Paul is handling this wonderfully, she is literally following his playbook, which pretty much destroyed the NDPs momentum for possibly a generation or more. 

I think saying floor crossers betrayed voters is inaccurate. We elect MPs, not parties even though our personal motive might be due to party affliation or the leader of said party.  Floor-crossers remind leaders that they were only elected by the people as MPs not as Prime Minister.

That's how things should work in theory and I do think that some situations are more justified than others. However, when it comes down to it, it's still a pretty major misrepresentation of who you are and what you will work for. I think voters have a right to be pissed.

I worked with someone in Emerson's riding who was an immigrant and voting in his first election and he went from being quite excited about poltiics (chirping the Conservatives in the warehouse pre-election much like Emerson who was hyperbolic about the threat of Harper days before joining his cabinet) to just completely silent on the topic. Personally, I would never be surprised that Liberals and Conservatives are interchangeable but I think the sheer deception and unaccountability of it, hit him pretty hard.

You could easily just sit as an independent until the next election.

cco

Is that less deceptive? Look at the scam the Liberals have pulled with the Senate. There's a Liberal majority that we're all pretending aren't Liberals.

melovesproles

cco wrote:
Is that less deceptive? Look at the scam the Liberals have pulled with the Senate. There's a Liberal majority that we're all pretending aren't Liberals.

The Senate is just a scam full stop.

I see what you're saying but I think it is less deceptive in that you are acknowledging that the people who voted for you and volunteered for you were not doing so for the party you are crossing to.

Obviously MPs should be able to resign from their parties and they should collaborate with whomever they think serves their constituency best but why do they need to formally join a party they campaigned against before running in another election?

To be honest, I don't care that much but I do think it shows more respect for your voters and supporters. I've never had a representative floorcross but I'd probably be choked if it was someone I supported.

jerrym

Jenica Atwin has already undergone "adjustment" to being a Liberal with regard to Palestinian issues. "Atwin had said she stood with Palestine and maintained there were “no two sides to this conflict, only human rights abuses” by Israel, which she accused of pursuing a policy of apartheid. ...“Palestinians are suffering. Israelis are also suffering as well. ...  I regret if my choice of words caused harm to those who are suffering.” (https://www.cp24.com/news/former-green-mp-jenica-atwin-adjusts-position-...)

How long before she undergoes "adjustment" to fit in with the Liberals on the two other major issues she is known for, a shift from fossil fuels to green energy and First Nations issues?

Will she realize that is politically best to adjust to the Liberal approach to climate change or will she be required to adjust by the party or will she risk being at odds with the Liberal party and Trudeau? Will she support Trudeau's meaningless zero net emissions when some scientists see "net zero as a trap set by industrialists and governments to hoodwink the world and lambasted climate researchers for showing “cowardice” in not calling them out." (https://e360.yale.edu/features/net-zero-emissions-winning-strategy-or-de...) Trudeau himself now says his goal is net zero emissions by 2050 at the same time he has been supporting Keystone until Biden ended it, doubling Line 3 from Alberta to Manitoba and on to the US where it is facing growing indigenous and environmentalist protests, supporting continuing Line 5 through Michigan against local opposition, pushing the Energy East pipeline until it threatened its Quebec MPs winning their ridings, proposing building another pipeline to run from Ontario to the Saguenay for export to Europe and the rest of the world until the finances collapsed, allowing exploration wells that have already tested positive twice for a new oilfield off the Newfoundland coast, providing the money to finish a oil processing plant that the company saw as unviable in Newfoundland and providing another $300 million for further exploration off Newfoundland, and being in the process of redefining greenhouse gas emissions to make them appear lower than they actually are.

Atwin has significant connections to First Nations. "Her stepfather is Ron Tremblay, the Wolastoq Grand Chief. .... In 2016, Atwin co-organized a spin-off of We Day focused on introducing First Nations youth to one another and helping those who have recently moved off of reserves. This took place during Atwin's four years as a cultural transition coordinator and researcher with First Nation Education Initiative Incorporated (FNEII). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenica_Atwin)

The Trudeau Liberal government knows how to talk about indigneous issues for electoral purposes but has failed to act on key indigenous demands, including running pipelines through First Nations without their consent, failing to solve the boil water advisories on many First Nations communities after six years in power, and opposing First Nations court cases decisions awarding money even after they win at the Supreme Court. These court cases include (1) the Liberal government 19 appeals and 19 million dollars spent on lawyers to opppose a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling and court of Canada ordering Ottawa to pay $40,000 each to some 50,000 First Nations children separated from their families by a chronically underfunded child-welfare system (https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/24451/canada-s-shell-game-on-c-9...) This went to the Federal Court again on Monday even though Trudeau promised he would settle it in the last election (https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-trying-to-save-money-at-the-expense...)  ; (2) spending $3.2 million in court, fighting the St. Anne's residential school survivors seeking redress for their suffering (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Anne%27s_Indian_Residential_School); and (3) another lawsuit involving First Nations children who attended Kamloops Residential School seek reparations from the federal government for the impact residential schools had on Indigenous nations — fracturing communities, suppressing cultures and erasing languages.  105 First Nations have signed onto the lawsuit. The Trudeau Liberals are denying any legal responsibility for damage to First Nations cultures from removing indigenous children from their families and culture. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/reparations-residential-school-1.6050501) Closer to home, will Atwin say anything challenging the Liberal government on Mi'kmaq fishing rights, especially when 72% of Canadians "say the best path forward in the Mi’kmaq fishing dispute is to make sure that Indigenous fishing rights are respected" (https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/72-per-cent-of-canadians-say-mi-kmaq-fishi...)

What are the odds of her speaking out against the Trudeau Liberals on any of these issues and what happens to her if she does? Is she now just another 'good' Liberal MP?

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

I think saying floor crossers betrayed voters is inaccurate. We elect MPs, not parties even though our personal motive might be due to party affliation or the leader of said party. 

...

Elected MPs are the voice of the people. 

I can't think of one MP who puts the interests of their constituents ahead of their party. Our Canadian parliamentary system demands party discipline of MP's not loyalty to their constituents.

voice of the damned

melovesproles wrote:

cco wrote:
Is that less deceptive? Look at the scam the Liberals have pulled with the Senate. There's a Liberal majority that we're all pretending aren't Liberals.

The Senate is just a scam full stop.

I see what you're saying but I think it is less deceptive in that you are acknowledging that the people who voted for you and volunteered for you were not doing so for the party you are crossing to.

Obviously MPs should be able to resign from their parties and they should collaborate with whomever they think serves their constituency best but why do they need to formally join a party they campaigned against before running in another election?

To be honest, I don't care that much but I do think it shows more respect for your voters and supporters. I've never had a representative floorcross but I'd probably be choked if it was someone I supported.

Presumably, the reason we include party affiliation on the ballot(but not marital status or favorite movie) is because voters consider that a relevant aspect of the candidate's identity.

And let's be honest here: if the voters of Trinity Spadina had elected a New Democrat as their MP, and then the next day he announced that he'd had a religious conversion and would now be sitting as an MP for the Christian Heritage Party, I don't think we'd expect his supporters to be mollified by "Well, you vote for the person, not the party."

cco

But if he sat as an independent and voted for the Christian Heritage Party's policies, would that somehow be superior? Because that's all the ban on floor-crossing would do – force MPs to pretend they're not in a caucus, like Maria Mourani did. It's constitutionally impossible in a Westminster system to force MPs to obey the leader of the party whose banner they were elected under, and if it were possible, it'd make the current "trained seals for the leader" situation even worse.

Pondering

cco wrote:
But if he sat as an independent and voted for the Christian Heritage Party's policies, would that somehow be superior? Because that's all the ban on floor-crossing would do – force MPs to pretend they're not in a caucus, like Maria Mourani did. It's constitutionally impossible in a Westminster system to force MPs to obey the leader of the party whose banner they were elected under, and if it were possible, it'd make the current "trained seals for the leader" situation even worse.

Exactly. MPs are pointless at the moment. Might as well save the salaries and just give points to the parties to decide who will be king for four years. MPs don't even get to talk to the Prime Minister. The House of Commons is a scam. 

Edzell Edzell's picture

Pondering wrote:
......

We elect MPs, not parties even though our personal motive might be due to party affliation or the leader of said party ......

That is not true, although it's often claimed to be the working theory. In my observation the vast majority of the population votes based on either; party ideology, perception of party performance (past/anticipated) or preference for the party leader. And of course the parties encourage this for all they're worth.

JKR wrote:

I can't think of one MP who puts the interests of their constituents ahead of their party. Our Canadian parliamentary system demands party discipline of MP's not loyalty to their constituents.

That is correct with perhaps occasional exceptions. It's extremely difficult to run successfully as an independent. Unless you have a huge amount of disposable wealth together with great charisma and powers of persuasion, you'd better join a party and toe its line. And there's still another hurdle; you have to compete within the party, to get nominated. At no point in this process are the wishes of your proposed constituents of any relevance.

melovesproles wrote:

You could easily just sit as an independent until the next election.

Sadly, being elected as a party MP then defecting is the most practical way of becoming an independent. And your chances of being re-elected are painfully slim. The party political system almost guarantees there will be no real democracy. (edit: But sadly most of the people just love it. They eat it up.)

I'd love to be able to vote for someone who just seemed honest and intelligent, with good common sense and a handle on the concept of fairness.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Edzell wrote:

Sadly, being elected as a party MP then defecting is the most practical way of becoming an independent. And your chances of being re-elected are painfully slim. The party political system almost guarantees there will be no real democracy. (edit: But sadly most of the people just love it. They eat it up.)

I'd love to be able to vote for someone who just seemed honest and intelligent, with good common sense and a handle on the concept of fairness.

Unfortunately, elections in our system have always been controlled by the already powerful. In Ontario it was the Family Compact in the mid-1800s, followed by imperialist demagogues like J. A. MacDonald, followed by the robber barons who have controlled the Liberal Party from its founding to the present.

It is an interesting question whether it would be easier for these interests to control a parliament of non-partisan MPs, or a duopoly of well-behaved parties. I certainly would expect that such interests could easily derail any bill which they found problematic in such a parliament of individuals.

Whatever the answer may be, I believe that capitalism and democracy are fundamentally incompatible, thus we will never see anything resembling real democracy until the economic system has changed to something that doesn't include immensely powerful individuals and cliques. I suspect that at least one anti-capitalist party is necessary for the overthow of the current system, but perhaps non-partisan MPs could accomplish this task in some way that I cannot imagine.

Pages