Weakening Canadian Party Discipline

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In our Canadian parliamentary system there are many ideologies and practices which aid in the successful running of our country. One of the more important ideologies and practices in our political system is the notion of strict party discipline. Party discipline refers to the notion of members of a political party “voting together, according to the goals and doctrines of the party, on issues that are pertinent to the government” or opposition in the House of Commons. In this paper, I will be discussing the practice of party discipline in the Canadian parliamentary system as well as the ways in which a change in the practice of strict party discipline to weaker party discipline would result in more positive effects on the practice of Canadian politics rather than more negative ones. I will start by explaining a little bit more about the practice of party discipline in the Canadian parliamentary system. As stated earlier party discipline is an important practice in Canadian politics, this is due to its ability to allow for bills to be passed in the House of Commons by the government and as well can help to solidify a strongly cohesive opposition for the parties who are not the main government in power. For the most part party discipline in the House of Commons is very strict in making sure that the members of the political parties vote on issues according to the ideologies and doctrines of their respected parties no matter what they believe individually. This is not the case in every aspect of the House of Commons, however; with things such as “the speech from the throne, the budget, the Estimates, and explicit nonconfidence motions” as well as private members’ bills, there seems to be a little bit more fle... ... middle of paper ... ...would change the practice in more good ways than bad ones. Works Cited Sean Kuzniak (2010), “Is Strict Party Discipline a Necessary part of the Canadian Parliamentary System?” retrieved February 21, 2011 from http://imagi-nations.ca/?p=202. David Kilgour and John Kirsner (1988), “Party Discipline and Canadian Democracy”, retrieved February 22nd, 2011 from http://www2.parl.gc.ca/sites/lop/infoparl/english/issue.asp?param=126&art=777. William Cross, PSCI2003B Lecture, March 1st, 2011. Tom Cornwall (2004), “Party Discipline: Can’t live with it, can’t live without it” retrieved February 27th, 2011 from http://www.citizensassembly.bc.ca/resources/submissions/csharman-10_0408181103-732.pdf David Doherty, “Legislatures”. In William Cross, eds., Auditing Canadian Democracy, 10th ed. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010)

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