Whom shuld your MP serve first?


View Poll Results: Whom should your MP serve first?
Mankind. 3 9.68%
His nation. 4 12.90%
His constituency. 20 64.52%
His party. 0 0%
Other. 4 12.90%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

Machjo
#1
Your thoughts on this?
 
Niflmir
Free Thinker
+1
#2
Well, if you believe in the importance of the senate, then the MPs should serve their constituents. The senate can serve the country outside of such tyranny of the majority considerations.

Reality paints a different picture.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
#3
MP's are elected to serve the electorate. At least in theory. In reality most of them just bring the party line to the constituency.
 
Machjo
+1
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

Well, if you believe in the importance of the senate, then the MPs should serve their constituents. The senate can serve the country outside of such tyranny of the majority considerations.

Reality paints a different picture.

I suppose.

Just for the record as more people vote in the pole, I voted 'mankind'.
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I suppose.

Just for the record as more people vote in the pole, I voted 'mankind'.

I know you did, lol. Surely you can guess which one I voted for.

Anyhow, I thought it might be more appropriate to respond to this in here:

Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I'd have to disagree, because if all candidates placed their constituents before all else, just immagin the NIMBYism and the porkbarelling of funds for any and all pet projects in their own constituency even when it might more sense to put it elsewhere.

I'd even place mankind before the country, because I've read of enough CIDA projects that benefit Canada to the detriment of the host country even though it's supposed to be an altruistic international development agency. Sickening, really.

I don't profess the Christian faith myself, but if we're going to pretend to have soo many Christian voters in this country, then let's let our votes reflect it.

Firstly I'd say that when it comes to dispensing funds, it's never just at the discretion of an individual MP. So they should be in there arguing, on behalf of their constituents, for that funding to go in their riding. Whoever makes the best argument wins and in all honesty as long as they can collectively come together and give it to the an area that would be in the top five or so of 'best for the country as a whole', then I'd be fine with that. Out in the open and above board, mind you. I want to see these arguments. If we don't expect them to do their absolute best, then they'll take the easiest road available. I think most human beings are lazy that way.

As far as CIDA or any other government run organization, I'm of the mind that governments should not be running anything. Funding sure, after projects are publicly tendered.

See to me it's all about the accountability. Right now we have pathetic accountability from any level of government and that's the part that disgusts me.
 
Machjo
+3
#6  Top Rated Post
Personally though I'd like to see the Senate scrapped or at least significantly modified.
 
Niflmir
Free Thinker
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I suppose.

Just for the record as more people vote in the pole, I voted 'mankind'.

In reality, the best form of government is a dictatorship with a wise and benevolent ruler. A dictatorship so there are no problems making timely decisions, benevolent so that they do what is best for all, and wise so that they know what is best. Good luck setting that up.

Democracy seems to work because a group of average people arguing about the best thing to do is much better than a corrupt/idiotic person doing whatever they like.

I think that MPs should ideally serve mankind, which is why I like Harper's senate reform (because we shouldn't need the phoney chamber where they are "removed from the political process"), but think we also need electoral reform to lessen the power of individual parties. The reform party and the CPC should never needed to merge, they had different ideas and expressed the plurality of views, but the liberals unfairly dominated them and their voices were not heard. Now the Conservatives have power and the other voices go unheard. Meanwhile, they all maneuver for petty political ideologies so that they will get re-elected and nobody considers the public good just the public want.
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#8
The actual duty of an MP is to serve the interest of the Nation first. He is to represent
a constituency but like the sheriff he is to represent the interests of the country first.
The reason is law makers are charged with defending the constitution as they in fact
make the laws. The second line of defence is the courts as they ensure the laws are
obeyed.
The secondary responsibility is the constituency. The MP for example cannot sign a promise
to any group be it trade unions, or churches to promise specific actions in exchange for that
constituencies vote. Most do no realize an MP is supposed to listen to all debate before he or
she votes on a position to be taken, Now we all know that in practicality that does not happen
but it is supposed to. In fact it became an issue in the 1997 federal campaign when members
of all parties were signing promises. IE, the Christian Coalition and several Women's rights
groups.
I actually agree with the idea the, MP does duty to the country first, Sometimes an MP has to
make a decision that is not in keeping with the constituency but doing the right thing is sometimes
the price that must be paid in a constitutional country.

The point about the Senate being scrapped I agree, the Senate originally was a sober
second thought but its become a special treatment group and a vindication by the
governing party and no longer functions the way its supposed to but that would then
require opening the constitution and no one wants to do that in this country.
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

In reality, the best form of government is a dictatorship with a wise and benevolent ruler. A dictatorship so there are no problems making timely decisions, benevolent so that they do what is best for all, and wise so that they know what is best. Good luck setting that up.

Completely agree.

Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

Democracy seems to work because a group of average people arguing about the best thing to do is much better than a corrupt/idiotic person doing whatever they like.

Again I completely agree.

Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

I think that MPs should ideally serve mankind, which is why I like Harper's senate reform (because we shouldn't need the phoney chamber where they are "removed from the political process"), but think we also need electoral reform to lessen the power of individual parties. The reform party and the CPC should never needed to merge, they had different ideas and expressed the plurality of views, but the liberals unfairly dominated them and their voices were not heard. Now the Conservatives have power and the other voices go unheard.

I agree in large part but I still haven't seen any plausible electoral reform proposals. Most of what I have seen is echoing of the partisan whining that the losers in our process inevitably revert to, justified or not.

Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

Meanwhile, they all maneuver for petty political ideologies so that they will get re-elected and nobody considers the public good just the public want.

A final, sad and disheartening truth.
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+3
#10
Constituency. They're the ones who hired the MP. The party should be dead last.
 
Niflmir
Free Thinker
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68View Post

Completely agree.

Again I completely agree.

I agree in large part but I still haven't seen any plausible electoral reform proposals. Most of what I have seen is echoing of the partisan whining that the losers in our process inevitably revert to, justified or not.

A final, sad and disheartening truth.

Of course nobody whines about it when the system works in their favor. I think at least getting rid of first-past-the-post or making the senate elected via proportionality would at least allow one to say the makeup of the chambers are representative (winner take all is the definition of unrepresentative). I have complained about the electoral process since before I could vote, and that has encompassed quite a few different political parties in power.

I think that the concerns voiced by the Reform party and the Progessive Conservatives was different enough to merit separate parties. It is sad that they needed to merge in order to regain power. It is sad that something like 5% of the population votes for the Green party and they only get to hold 0.3% of the seats. How is either a case of representing the views of the people? It will be sad if the NDP and the Liberal Party need to merge to regain power. Can all issues really be handled simultaneously with by a binary choice? The world is not black and white, why should the electoral process be forced to be?
Last edited by Niflmir; Feb 3rd, 2013 at 04:13 PM..Reason: Namely, 2 political parties. Not really, quite a few...
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#12
Actually it is not the constituency that hired you, you were nominated by your party, and put
forward as a choice yes, but your first responsibility is to the nation. I ran Federally in 1997
and you learn any number of things you would not other wise know. Unless they changed the
constitution the same rules likely apply today.
What if the constituents were demanding you support something that is in conflict with the
constitution of the country. Oh, that can't happen. Well if you look at some countries around
the world that had good intentions and have gone to hell in a hand basket we see it can
happen potentially.
 
Machjo
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

Of course nobody whines about it when the system works in their favor. I think at least getting rid of first-past-the-post or making the senate elected via proportionality would at least allow one to say the makeup of the chambers are representative (winner take all is the definition of unrepresentative). I have complained about the electoral process since before I could vote, and that has encompassed quite a few different political parties in power.

I think that the concerns voiced by the Reform party and the Progessive Conservatives was different enough to merit separate parties. It is sad that they needed to merge in order to regain power. It is sad that something like 5% of the population votes for the Green party and they only get to hold 0.3% of the seats. How is either a case of representing the views of the people? It will be sad if the NDP and the Liberal Party need to merge to regain power. Can all issues really be handled simultaneously with by a binary choice? The world is not black and white, why should the electoral process be forced to be?

I would oppose pro rep. It merely gives parties more power, as if Parliament is not partisan aenough as is.

I'd say adopt a non-partisan system like Nunavut has: every candidate runs as an independant.
 
Niflmir
Free Thinker
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

Actually it is not the constituency that hired you, you were nominated by your party, and put
forward as a choice yes, but your first responsibility is to the nation. I ran Federally in 1997
and you learn any number of things you would not other wise know. Unless they changed the
constitution the same rules likely apply today.
What if the constituents were demanding you support something that is in conflict with the
constitution of the country. Oh, that can't happen. Well if you look at some countries around
the world that had good intentions and have gone to hell in a hand basket we see it can
happen potentially.

Of course, any time you make a constitutional amendment, you have gone against the constitution in a sense. I'm thinking you mean "serve the country" more than "serve the constitution" maybe?
 
Machjo
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

Actually it is not the constituency that hired you, you were nominated by your party, and put
forward as a choice yes, but your first responsibility is to the nation.

Some do run as independants, and some even win... rarely.

I'd support an open ballot where a voter could write in the name of a local resident he'd like to vote for. Should that person win, of course they could decline, but then it would be like jury duty in that it would generally be expected you take your seat excepting a valid reason to decline.

Then we'd start getting fewer megalomaniacs in Parliament.
 
Niflmir
Free Thinker
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I would oppose pro rep. It merely gives parties more power, as if Parliament is not partisan aenough as is.

I'd say adopt a non-partisan system like Nunavut has: every candidate runs as an independant.

I'd be perfectly ok with that. I'd actually like to see a government where there are multiple elected from a given area and at any given issue, they hold the votes of a certain proportion of the electorate. People are free to change who holds their vote for any given issue.

It has a number of benefits (you might not see them all as benefits). First, the situation would be expensive to implement at first, but if it was implemented as a chip based SIN card + card reader generating a one time pass, it would be more secure than the current electoral system and we wouldn't need Muslims to unveil themselves. Future elections would be cheaper, since it is a once off cost. Elections could happen continuously because I could just log onto a webpage and change my vote. There would be a reward for staying educated about the electoral process: you could immediately change your vote to support the side of the issue you believe to be best. You wouldn't have to sacrifice issues, yes I agree with the liberals on gay marriage, the conservatives on senate reform, the Bloc Quebecois on mandatory minimums, the conservatives on the gun registry, the NDP on the digital locks wording in the recent copyright bill, so on. Voting would be extremely easy, so maybe voter turnout would be higher.

We have the technology. The days when it was unfeasible for everyone to cast their vote on every issue are gone. Why do we need representative government at all when direct democracy is so easily achievable?
 
JamesBondo
#17
instead of micro managing your mp, i think it would be better to collect approval ratings on every issue then measure his level of compliance to his constuent's wishes.
 
Niflmir
Free Thinker
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by JamesBondoView Post

instead of micro managing your mp, i think it would be better to collect approval ratings on every issue then measure his level of compliance to his constuent's wishes.

Were you replying to me? Do you see direct democracy as "micromanaging your MP" or am I just confused?
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

I'd be perfectly ok with that. I'd actually like to see a government where there are multiple elected from a given area and at any given issue, they hold the votes of a certain proportion of the electorate. People are free to change who holds their vote for any given issue.
It has a number of benefits (you might not see them all as benefits). First, the situation would be expensive to implement at first, but if it was implemented as a chip based SIN card + card reader generating a one time pass, it would be more secure than the current electoral system and we wouldn't need Muslims to unveil themselves. Future elections would be cheaper, since it is a once off cost. Elections could happen continuously because I could just log onto a webpage and change my vote. There would be a reward for staying educated about the electoral process: you could immediately change your vote to support the side of the issue you believe to be best. You wouldn't have to sacrifice issues, yes I agree with the liberals on gay marriage, the conservatives on senate reform, the Bloc Quebecois on mandatory minimums, the conservatives on the gun registry, the NDP on the digital locks wording in the recent copyright bill, so on. Voting would be extremely easy, so maybe voter turnout would be higher.
We have the technology. The days when it was unfeasible for everyone to cast their vote on every issue are gone. Why do we need representative government at all when direct...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
I think that might be too open to manipulation by special interest groups.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#20
First: the Nation.

Second: His constituents.

Third: the party.....by voting with the caucus on items that were part of the election platform
 
petros
#21
Guide to the Canadian House of Commons
 
Nuggler
#22
The person seated to his right.
 
petros
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by NugglerView Post

The person seated to his right.

I thought you were supposed to pass to the left?
 
Niflmir
Free Thinker
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

I think that might be too open to manipulation by special interest groups.

In what way? The laziest people would just leave their votes with the original person they voted for, so for those votes we have the status quo. For the people who stay informed about issues, they would see that the bill was created by the special interest group and so change their vote away from the supporters, making it less prone than the current political process to manipulation by special interest lobbies.
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#25
You serve the national interest first and that means it has to be beneficial to the country
and in keeping with the constitution. If you want to change or amend something in the
constitution you have to open it for discussion. The problem is in Canada when you do
that, open the constitution for something it starts a discussion about everything. The
last time we did that we had a twenty year dialogue that has led to some of the gripes
we still have today.
Doing what is best for the country is the prime function of an MP, local constituents come
immediately there after. That is not my interpretation that is the function of and MP
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
+1
#26
You serve the constituents first and foremost, even if it goes against the national interest. What might be good for everyone west of Quebec might not be good for Sydney NS so the MP for Sydney needs to represent his riding, not the rest of the nation. If his constituents want something against the constitution then his job is to try to open discussion on an amendment.

The party should be less than last. I think all candidates should run as independents.
 
petros
#27
The Role of a Member of Parliament

AMember's job is as varied as the many regions of Canada and the people who live here. To understand their role, it helps to look at the different places where Members work.
In the Chamber

Television and the Internet bring the Commons Chamber into homes and schools across the country. This is where Members help to make Canada's laws by debating and voting on bills. The Chamber is also a place where MPs can put local, regional or national issues in the spotlight. They represent their constituents' views by presenting petitions, making statements and asking questions in the House.
With such a high profile, it is easy to think that Members do most of their work in the Chamber. Actually, Members spend a great deal of the working day — and many evenings — in committee rooms, at meetings and at constituency gatherings.
In Committee

Committee work is an important part of a Member's job and the law-making process. Members can look at bills in greater depth than is possible in the Chamber, where there is a large group of people involved and a full timetable. In committee, Members also study important issues such as finance and health, and the spending plans of federal departments. With the range of committees and sub-committees that operate, Members may sit on more than one. Committees meet regularly and often sit for long hours. They frequently consult with the public, and sometimes travel across the country to do so.
In Caucus

Activities in the Chamber do not start until 2 p.m. on Wednesdays so that Members can attend party caucus meetings. At these meetings, Senators and Members of Parliament from the same party determine policies and parliamentary strategy. They ask questions of their leaders and explain the views of their constituents. MPs from the same area also discuss common issues at regional caucus meetings.
In the Office

To meet their constituents' needs, MPs have an office in Ottawa and one or more in their riding. Their offices are often the first stop for people who need help. Members act as "ombudsmen," helping constituents with questions about visas, pension benefits, income tax — anything that is the business of the federal government. Members and their staff are good resources because they understand how federal departments are organized and where to find answers.

Aside from time in the Chamber and committee meetings, a typical day in the life of a Member of Parliament is filled with meetings, activities and other duties. Journalists call for an interview on a bill being studied by the Member's committee. A visiting constituent wants to talk about a federal program. A meeting is scheduled with parliamentarians from another country. A constituent is in Ottawa to accept an award and extends an invitation to attend the ceremony. Time has to be set aside to prepare a speech to give in the House. Plus there are letters, phone messages and e-mails to answer. Fortunately, Members have dedicated staff to help them in their work.

They return to their ridings as often as possible. For many Members, the trip home covers several thousand kilometres. But being in the riding lets Members talk to constituents face to face and attend local activities. Opening a new business, speaking to a civic group, laying a wreath on Remembrance Day, attending a high school graduation — these are many of the events that Canadians invite their Members of Parliament to attend. The work of a Member of Parliament is demanding and varied, often a balancing act between public and private life.

Guide to the Canadian House of Commons
 
TeddyBallgame
+1
#28
- MPs are hired/elected directly by their constituents and they are also fired/defeated directly by their constituents. Accordingly, their first loyalty should be to their constituents not to the world, the country, their party or some other abstraction.

- Cabinet members in their cabinet roles have a broader constuency and the PM in his role has the broadest constuency of all which is the country as a whole.

- The closer we get back to and adhere to these basic principles, the more democratic and probably the more effective our government will be.

- Interestingly, the backbench MPs currently who are most inclined to buck the party line and to vote in what they see are the interests of their constituents are the Conservative MPs who have by a significant margin the highest percentage of votes against the official positions of their party.

- A question related to the excellent one posed by the initiator of this thread would be whether backbenchers best represent their constituents by faithfully supporting the majority view in their riding (as determined by meetings and polls and mail and other means of finding out what their community wants) or whether backbenchers also owe their constituents their consciences and the benfits of their accumulated experience, information, wisdom and judgement and may sometimes vote in what they honestly believe are the best interests of their constituents even though such votes sometimes go against the local consensus?

- I tend to favour the latter approach but I'm interested in the arguments on both sides of this question.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#29
I see constituents as Number one simply because they voted the MP in and defining what is in the national interest in a country this big is not always easy. As Nick said what might be defined as being in the national interest might be really bad for a specific area.
For sure party line is last. Our MP is more interested in bringing the party line to us than represent our interests in Ottawa. This one happens to be a conservative but I don't see it as being specific to any party as I have had the misfortune to live in a riding that had a dipper and she most certainly did nothing to represent our interests but was quick to give us her party drivel.

Quote: Originally Posted by NiflmirView Post

In what way? The laziest people would just leave their votes with the original person they voted for, so for those votes we have the status quo. For the people who stay informed about issues, they would see that the bill was created by the special interest group and so change their vote away from the supporters, making it less prone than the current political process to manipulation by special interest lobbies.

You're putting too much faith in people paying attention to what's going on.
 
Machjo
+2
#30
My MP sends stuff to us by mail sometimes about the great stuff the NDP have done. What he doesn't understand is I couldn't care less what his party has done. I want to know what HE has done.
 

Similar Threads

25
Does Constitution still serve us?
by Locutus | Jul 10th, 2012
64
Self serve check outs
by VanIsle | Feb 18th, 2009
21
serve man for dinner.
by quandary121 | Jul 9th, 2008
5
Prince Harry may serve in Afghanistan
by Blackleaf | May 29th, 2007
0
Ex-Mountie to serve time in prison
by CBC News | Sep 26th, 2006
no new posts