Canadians have expressed great dissatisfaction with the way parliament works today.
Canadians are insulted with the behaviour of our MP's during Question Period and don't like to see the party whip used to make MP's follow party line. We understand and agree.
We would change the rules for question period-in part, limiting the number of days ministers spend in Question period.
We would make all votes in the Commons, except those clearly defined as votes of no confidence, "free votes" where MPs could vote according to their conscience and the wishes of their constituents.
We would change the rules for Question Period. The principle of Question Period is good. Ministers should be accountable for their actions. But to have them all there five days a week, like a row of sitting ducks in a shooting gallery, is an incalculable waste of time.
Instead, we would adopt some variation of the British system under which ministers are questioned in rotation. Advance notice of the questions would be given, but supplementary questions on the same subject would be allowed. Two days a week the Prime Minister would answer questions of either a general or urgent nature. Not only would a change along these lines bring improved decorum to the House, it would multiply the hours ministers have available to learn their departments and make the decisions that might otherwise be left in abeyance.
We would give Members of Parliament a real function in the legislative process. We would actually have MPs in all party committees draft legislation for submission to Parliament. This would be a sharp departure from the present practice where nearly all legislation is written by public servants, approved by cabinet and rammed through parliament with the help of the government whip. The advantage of giving MPs a greater role is that most legislation would then be nonpartisan, the product of the best minds from all the parties. It would allow MPs to more clearly express the wishes of their constituents, and it would make MPs "somebodies" instead of nobodies.
As the "first past of the post" method of electing members of parliament does not result in a House which truly reflects the views of the electorate, the Canadian Action Party is committed to the principle of proportional representation which would result in a Commons more in tune with the real wishes of voters.
One of our reform policies has already been addressed. Specifically that is with regard to drastically reducing the amount of money corporations could contribute to a party, so their money wouldn't play such a dominant role in election campaigns. We would require television and radio stations to provide limited amounts of free advertising to all parties as a public service.
One further concern is the lack of any popular control of government between elections. The party whips are so pervasive that voter's wishes are often ignored. Consequently we are committed to citizen's initiatives and referendum based on the Swiss model. We are convinced that if such a system had been placed it is likely that we would have been spared the Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA and the Goods and Services Tax.
© 2013 - Authorized by the Canadian Action Party Chief Agent, Sally Patterson Braun