MP Michael Chong's plan to "strengthen democracy"


Conservative MP Michael Chong today published the following news release:

Chong Introduces Reform Act, 2013

Bill to reform Parliament would strengthen Canadian democracy.

OTTAWA – Michael Chong, M.P. for Wellington-Halton Hills, today introduced his Private Members’ Bill, Reform Act, 2013.

The Reform Act puts forward three simple reforms to strengthen Parliament by proposing to restore local control over party nominations, strengthen caucus as a decision-making body and reinforce the accountability of party leaders to caucuses. These three reforms will empower MPs and give them the tools they need to represent their constituents in Ottawa.

Decades of changes to Parliament have weakened the role of MPs in favour of party leadership structures. As a result, there is a growing divide between Canadians, who want their MPs to have a bigger say, and Parliament, where power is concentrated in the leadership structure.

“The consistent downward trend in voter engagement tells us that there is a serious disconnect between Canadians and their elected Parliament,” said Chong. “I’m optimistic that these reforms will reconnect Canadians to their Parliament by strengthening the role of their local elected member.”

“In Canada, citizens exercise only one franchise, one vote at the federal level: A vote for their local Member of Parliament. And they rightfully expect that their local member be empowered to respond to their views and aspirations,” Chong said.

“The people of Wellington County and Halton Hills have told me they want a Parliament that is responsible and accountable to the people who elected it. The Reform Act will do exactly that,” said Chong, who added, “I want to thank the people of Wellington-Halton Hills who have encouraged me to introduce this legislation. Their support and encouragement over the years is the reason for this bill.”

James Rajotte, M.P. for Edmonton-Leduc seconded the bill in the House of Commons. Chong said, “James Rajotte is a respected parliamentarian, a veteran with years of experience. His support for this bill is important.”

Chong held a press conference this morning to discuss this proposed legislation and some Parliamentarians were present to lend him support including his fellow caucus members Rajotte, Larry Miller, and Stella Ambler. Indpendent MP Bruce Hyer and Green Party MP Elizabeth May were also there was was Conservative Senator Hugh Segal.

Chong’s Bill is already getting a great deal of attention. You can follow along with some of the discussion on Twitter around the hashtag #ReformAct. There is a Web site for more discussion and information.

And you can read the bill for yourself here.

Reaction from Twitter so far:

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