The Importance Of Having Members Of Parliament

1324 Words 6 Pages
The concept of having Members of Parliament representing the people and the people’s wishes no longer remains true. More often than not, Members of Parliament are forced to follow party wishes or else deal with the disapproval of the party. When making a decision or deciding how to vote, a Member of Parliament must consider three components: the first, and most important, are the wants and concerns of the constituents; second, whether a decision made or vote cast goes against any morals or the conscience of the member; and finally, considering the party and weighing the consequences of following party wishes. There is no simple way for a Member of Parliament to make a decision. There will be many times that the Members are in uncomfortable …show more content…
This is why it is critical for a Member of Parliament to have the ability to prioritize, realizing which situations one must fight for and which situations one must concede.
When constituents elect a Member of Parliament, they are expecting that the Member will keep the promises made and work based off of their wishes. Increasingly, however, constituents are realizing that this is not always the case. According to a research study done by EKOS Research, “the proportion of Canadians who trust their government to do the right thing has decreased from nearly 60 percent in 1968 to 28 percent in 2012.” (Loat and MacMillan, 33) The results from the study display the increasing lack of trust that the people have for politicians. Constituents are witnessing how Members of Parliament are being treated “like ‘potted plants,’ ‘trained seals,’ or ‘bobbleheads’.” (Loat and MacMillan, 213) With such observations, one cannot be surprised at the declining trust the constituents have towards their Members of Parliament. It is thus the responsibility of the Members of Parliament to regain that trust. This is not about ignoring party wishes and rebelling for no apparent
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More often than not, Members of Parliament and the party disagree on certain issues. What must be stressed is that the relationship between Members of Parliament and the party is not a battle, instead it is Members of Parliament knowing what they stand for, knowing what issues they can relent on and what issues they cannot. Increasingly, however, the public is noticing the control a party has on their Members of Parliament; so much so that the Members are not able to make decisions of their own free will without fear of repercussion. Andrew Coyne from National Post describes Members of Parliament under party leadership as “a mob: mindless, frightened, without purpose or direction except what the leader decides, and unquestioning in its acceptance of whatever the leader decrees.” (Loat and MacMillan, 201) Having the public notice such behavior increases the lack of trust that the people will have for the government. According to the Parliament of Canada, “the practice of party discipline serves two purposes: it ensures that the government and oppositions sides in Parliament are clearly demarcated; and it provides a degree of ideological certainty upon which the voter can rely.”(Parliament of Canada, “Party Discipline and Free Votes”) This is a wonderful concept, however, with the control that party leaders have on their Members, it

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