Every MP is told how to vote

Imagine you’re a Member of Parliament. You have just been elected, and you are eager to represent your constituents. You’re on your first day on the job, and you find out that you are not allowed to vote as your constituents would have you vote. Instead, your party leader or caucus strongly “suggests” you vote along party lines on nearly every vote. For the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the NDP, many with first-hand experience report this to be the case. [1][2][3][4]

What I have described above is called whipped voting. The idea behind a whipped vote is that as an MP, you are forbidden from voting on behalf of your constituents — which, incidentally, is the traditional role of an MP — and must instead vote as your party or party leader wishes. This leaves MPs unable to represent their constituents … unless, of course, their constituents’ wishes line up with the party’s on the federal level.

Whipped voting is being mandated increasingly often around hot button issues, such as Bill C-51. The majority of Canadians, including voters here in Vancouver Quadra, are against C-51. Yet, the entirety of the Liberal party voted in favour of this bill, along with the entirety of the Conservative party.

“These days, every vote is a whipped vote.” – Elizabeth May

The Green Party, on the other hand, has done the opposite. Elizabeth May believes an MP should fulfill their obligations as per the constitution first and foremost, which means that Green MPs will have no whipped votes, ever. That’s our established ‘free vote’ policy.

Not only will we ensure an end to whipped votes in our party, Green Party democratic reform will:

End whipped votes, the system which allows party leaders to dictate to MPs how they have to vote in the House of Commons — our commitment is to eliminate any system that restricts an MP’s ability to represent their constituents.

You can read more about our Democratic Renewal and Proportional Representation plans here.

No whipped votes

Who will represent Vancouver Quadra for the next 4 years?