- Our Town
The right to represent constituents freely
As the House of Commons resumes, I wanted to address the fact that many people have expressed interest in MP Michael Chong’s Private Members’ Bill, Reform Act 2013. This is an important issue, deserving of careful consideration.
A quick review of the Bill shows that its principles reflect a sincere desire to improve the way Parliament works making the party’s leader accountable to his caucus, remove his veto for a nomination, and allow the caucus to handle who can be in the party. The Bill would be giving a stronger voice to all MPs, yet the Bill also supports our Government and expresses loyalty to the Prime Minister. These are principles with which I agree.
Every day, I realize the privilege I have in serving one of the great democracies in the world. Democracy, though, is a process, and there are always steps we can take to improve it.
Consistently, I was among a group of 11 Conservative MPs who stood in the House of Commons in 2013 to support the right of all Members to represent their constituents on any topic. As you may know, it lead to a sensitive situation in which The Speaker of the House ruled in favour of my position, favoring democracy, deciding that the Speaker has the power to allocate statements in the House, regardless of the positions of the Whips. This ruling has potentially broad consequences - allowing legislators to more freely represent their constituents.
In each of my MP offices, I have posted our “Mission Statement”, which reminds my staff and me that we serve all the people of my riding “passionately and effectively, without fear or favour, in accordance with our values: Freedom, Responsibility, Equality, Compassion and Integrity.” As constituents approach us for help in dealing with our Federal Government, we aim to do our best, regardless of the background or political stripe of the constituent.
In line with continuous improvement to our democracy, the principles of Michael Chong’s bill accord with my mission and values.
West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country