Michael Chong’s Reform Act, 2013

Michael Chong, MP for Wellington-Halton Hills, introduced a Private Member’s Bill (PMB) in the House of Commons on December 3rd. The bill proposes to change the way the party leader interacts with his or her caucus essentially providing the caucus with more power and authority as a collective entity.

Whereas in the current context, ordinary MPs have only as much influence over their party’s agenda as an individual leader allows, the new bill would ensure that the party leader retains the confidence or his or her MPs. If they cannot, caucus would have the power to bring about a vote to remove the leader [1]. Britain and Australia already has something similar in place [2].

The bill has generated an usual amount of buzz given that most people pay little to no attention to PMBs.This is because such bills typically introduce or amend (change) existing legislation or deal with obscure matters, particularly those which affect the representative’s riding. Such bills usually have little chance of passing into law as they don’t typically enjoy the government sponsorship or support which would ensure passage. They also take a long time to go to second reading, never mind making it to a committee for study.

This one is different though, Continue reading