Caucus Democracy

 

Erin O’Toole’s Plan to Empower Our Conservative MPs

Our Conservative MPs and Senators play a vital role in our caucus and at the centre of our conservative movement. They put their names on the ballot, they stand up for their communities and the issues that their constituents care about. They bring their passions, convictions and experiences to Canada’s Parliament and our democracy is strong because of it.  Our caucus members represent us – the party members – day in and day out.  To me, our caucus are the eyes and ears of our party across the country and this makes their advice and participation in our democracy invaluable.

Unfortunately, there are some leaders who believe that MPs are just there to read speeches handed to them by staff. Justin Trudeau is one such leader. Members of his caucus have no freedom to support their communities or to vote or speak according to their conscience.  Whether it is standing up for the aerospace industry in Winnipeg or raising concerns about free speech in Motion 103, the Trudeau PMO has silenced divergent views and controls every move.

This is not how our democracy is supposed to work.  The party leader is one voice in the caucus and a true leader respects the views of all members of the team.  The team will be stronger as a result.  On a personal level, I volunteered for almost a decade on improving both the level of debate and education about our parliamentary democracy before I was elected.  I have deep respect for the institution of Parliament and the men and women who serve within it.

As Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and as Prime Minister, respect for all views and for the role of the individual member of caucus will be my touchstone.  When the leader has respect for the team, the team will work better together.  Accordingly, I will ensure that:

  • Members of Caucus are free to advocate for and vote according to the unique needs that face their community or their constituents;
  • Members of Caucus are free to speak and vote freely on matters of conscience;
  • Members of Caucus are free to introduce Private Members Bills or Motions on matters of conscience; and,
  • Members of Caucus work together to discuss divergent views on issues respectfully, both inside our caucus and within Parliament itself.

 

Canada is a great country and our parliamentary democracies remains one of the strongest and most vibrant in the world.  We should not fear differences of opinions in our Parliament. Rather, we should fear the complete absence of differences as that would indicate that our House of Commons is not truly fulfilling its mandate to reflect the will of the people.

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