NDP Accepts Floor Crosser Without Having Run In By-Elxn

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Mr. Magoo wrote:

Well, it wouldn't be an instant by-election if some member didn't vote by the whip... unless they were expelled.  If so, I suppose it could result in a by-election if some other party opportunistically said "Hey, come join us!!".  If that member elected to sit as an independent then I would need no need for a by-election.

If that's the only rule, then the House basically plays its own version of the Liberal Senate game. "No, of course they're not a member of our caucus! There's a huge difference between an NDP MP and an Independent NDPer!"

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Fair point, I suppose.

But I do like this:

If people think floor-crossing is so much worse a betrayal of the voters than anything else a politician can do, what's wrong with a BC-style recall option? Then if enough voters agree that the MP needs to go, there could be a voter-driven process to replace him or her.

Seems to cover everything.

Sean in Ottawa

It is wrong, I think to see this as normal floor crossing.

He was expelled and that already is a floor crossing.

His constituents elected someone backed up by a party. Being a member of another party in many ways is more similar than being member of no party. You see how much harder it is to get elected as an independent. I think that most voters want their members to be in a party and part of that larger block for many reasons.

I think that the rules of loyalty to a party -- for voters and for the party -- are fair and a by-election reasonable if you want to change that as an MP. But if you are kicked out, then I think you should get to choose if you want to remain independent, form a new party or go to another existing party.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Here's my thinking.  Suppose I voted for local Liberal Dougie McDougall, but then he goes and gets himself kicked.

If I voted for him in order to be able to vote for the Liberal Party, why wouldn't I be at least inclined to support their assessment and rejection of him?  In other words, if he was not a "good Liberal" then why would I back HIM, the individual over the Party that I really support?  Particularly because turfing him would mean renouncing a seat, which parties are typically reluctant to do without reason?

And if I voted for him because he's a stand-up guy who's always there to hear the concerns of constituents and do what he can for us, then why would I care that he's now an independent?  Sure, it would be nice if he had the support and resources of a party behind him, but he's still the same ol' Dougie.

But maybe the best solution would be to automatically trigger a by-election whenever an MPP:

1.  chooses to leave their party

2.  is forced to leave their party

and regardless of whether that MP/MPP:

1.  hopes to join another party

2.  hopes to (or has to) go it alone

It's the only solution I can think of that gives control of the outcome to the electors, and not the MP/MPP or a party.