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Party Less Parliament? and an elected senate?

ArmyRick

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I do a lot of thinking when I am shoveling tons of livestock manure (literally real bullshoot for those that know my occupation).

I also tend to hobnob with a lot of regenerative brothers and sisters from literally all over the world.

One BIG problem I see with OUR (Canadian) politics (however USA has similar issues) is how our parliament is structured.

What if we literally banned all political parties? What if we had a parliament where every MP is held to account to their constituents first and pretty much only?

Maybe a ballot would have a section for voting for your MP and your choice for PM? The PM in this case would NOT be an MP (has way too many responsibilities anyways).

While we are at, what if we elected our senators? For 5 year terms? Or would we want less? Or More?

My idea is an MP votes in every manner along the lines of whats in best interest of their riding and eliminate any Party Loyalty/Constituents Loyalty issues
 

SeaKingTacco

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The attempt by Alberta to hold Senate elections a few years ago was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. So there is that.
 

Brad Sallows

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Factionalism is natural.  How does one prevent factions (parties) from forming informally?
 

Infanteer

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SeaKingTacco said:
The attempt by Alberta to hold Senate elections a few years ago was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. So there is that.

Not quite accurate.  The Supreme Court deemed that unilateral efforts by the federal governments to impose elections for senators on the provinces is unconstitutional.  There is nothing forbidding a province from doing so.  Alberta did so until 2016 when the NDP let the law lapse, but the UCP has recently reinvigorated the practice.
 

Infanteer

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ArmyRick said:
What if we literally banned all political parties?

That's about as realistic as banning clouds.  Parties provide the infrastructure to run election campaigns, organize support, and coordinate policies and programmes.  Even if you were to formally ban them, they would need to informally exist. This is how parties started - see the history of how Whigs and Tories coalesced in Britain's parliament.

Perhaps where the real change has to happen is with the power balance between Parliament and the Centre.  Executive federalism in Canada has evolved to a point to where Parliament and Cabinet are secondary players to PMO/PCO.

...but then you could get a system like Australia where parties can take their leaders down, and you have a revolving door of PMs.  There was some dissatisfaction there with that set-up.

My idea is an MP votes in every manner along the lines of whats in best interest of their riding and eliminate any Party Loyalty/Constituents Loyalty issues

Of course, the counter argument was stated so well be Edmund Burke:

Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.
 

lenaitch

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What if we literally banned all political parties? What if we had a parliament where every MP is held to account to their constituents first and pretty much only?

Then you would have 338 Independents.  I'm not sure how candidates would fund their election outside of local donations, and what their various platforms would be.  How would an individual champion, for example, any significant platform item such as a new or enhanced social program, climate policy or defence spending?  Local hot button items does necessarily translate to federal responsibilities.  My guess is if such a thing came to pass, they would quickly form informal groups of 'like thinking' MPs which would coalesce into parties, either de facto or formal.   

Maybe a ballot would have a section for voting for your MP and your choice for PM? The PM in this case would NOT be an MP (has way too many responsibilities anyways).
You are pretty much describing a republican system, either with a combined head of state & government (like the US) or separate. Without a fundamental change in governance structure (which would require an entirely new Constitution), I'm not sure how a parliamentary system, that is premised on the PM enjoying the confidence of a majority of MPs to govern, would work when he/she has no affiliation to, or enjoys no loyalty from them.

While we are at, what if we elected our senators? For 5 year terms? Or would we want less? Or More?
If we are going to keep the Upper House - and I'm not fully convinced we need to - it should have a more meaningful role in governance; otherwise it will just continue its current role as a very expensive debating club.  Any move to eliminate it or how its members are selected, would require a constitutional amendment, and we all know how well that's worked out for us.

The Senate is appointed by the G-G on the advice of the PM.  Provinces can pass all the legislation they want, but they are simply putting forward names of candidates.

My idea is an MP votes in every manner along the lines of whats in best interest of their riding and eliminate any Party Loyalty/Constituents Loyalty issues.
So what does the member from Upper Rubber Boot Saskatchewan do when he is called to vote on an amendment to the Fisheries Act impacting on the Atlantic lobster fishery?
 

DeweyDecimal

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ArmyRick said:
Maybe a ballot would have a section for voting for your MP and your choice for PM? The PM in this case would NOT be an MP (has way too many responsibilities anyways).

How would a candidate for PM run a national campaign in your system ? 
 

PCSP1958

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What you propose is similar to the way they do things in NU and NWT.  All the MLA's are elected as independents, they then vote one of them to be Premier.  The Premier selects a cabinet, which can not be a majority.  There is a good description at this link: https://www.gov.nu.ca/consensus-government   
 

ArmyRick

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I believe in shaking paradigms. So yes, 300+ independent MPs is a good idea.

Certain issues that are regional would require the MPs from those affected areas to pitch to parliament what way they should consider voting. I get it, Saskatchewan MPs would not be all over fishery issues.

As far a PM running, I am personally believe every MP and PM should get a fixed budget to work with and not allowed to use any contributions. Yup, I said it. A few tax payers dollars assigned but keep our government non-biased. Having X corporation contribute 10/20/50/whatever million dollars (even if using several dummy corporations) leads me to suspect that said MP or PM is kind of "obligated" to re-pay the loyalty.

Cough, cough, SNC-Lavlin, Cough....

So yes, I am very unrealistic. This idea or line of thinking most likely will go nowhere. Especially if my fellow Canadians think I am an idiot

I also remember so many people telling me in 2011 how crazy I was to think I could be a farmer. 2020, I am a farmer of excellent cattle, sheep and Pigs based on biological processes and ecosystem mimicry.
 

Remius

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You’re not an idiot.

But the idea does not really work with the size of our population and our HofC.

It might work in Nunavut and smaller jurisdictions.  Think of some city politics.  No parties per se but left and right, and where I am from rural vs urban councillors. 

Our federal gvt would likely never get anything done.

For some background on what you propose.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-partisan_democracy
 

blacktriangle

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ArmyRick said:
I believe in shaking paradigms. So yes, 300+ independent MPs is a good idea.

Certain issues that are regional would require the MPs from those affected areas to pitch to parliament what way they should consider voting. I get it, Saskatchewan MPs would not be all over fishery issues.

As far a PM running, I am personally believe every MP and PM should get a fixed budget to work with and not allowed to use any contributions. Yup, I said it. A few tax payers dollars assigned but keep our government non-biased. Having X corporation contribute 10/20/50/whatever million dollars (even if using several dummy corporations) leads me to suspect that said MP or PM is kind of "obligated" to re-pay the loyalty.

Cough, cough, SNC-Lavlin, Cough....

So yes, I am very unrealistic. This idea or line of thinking most likely will go nowhere. Especially if my fellow Canadians think I am an idiot

I also remember so many people telling me in 2011 how crazy I was to think I could be a farmer. 2020, I am a farmer of excellent cattle, sheep and Pigs based on biological processes and ecosystem mimicry.

How does it feel to be more qualified in basically every way than our current PM?
 
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