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The aftermath of M312 – for Liberals that is – and the case for primaries.

Motion 312 – The motion by Conservative MP backbencher Stephen Woodsworth asking for the House to re-open the study of when life begins – was defeated this evening by a vote of 203 – 91.

Among those 91 in favor of it were 4 Liberals – well known pro-life Liberals. The Liberal Party always has had a caucus of pro-life folks with social conservative views; that’s not surprising when you get a centrist party.. nor is it surprising they would vote the way they did, when it was decided by the Liberals it would be a ‘free vote’.

That said, I wonder if those 4 Liberals’ riding associations/Liberal Party members support the stance they took. Unfortunately, at the moment, it’s probably not relevant what they think, because the Liberal Party’s official position since Dion – and continued by Ignatieff – has been to protect sitting MP’s from having to face a primary by their own riding associations. The fear being if they were knocked off, they would lose the supposed advantage of incumbency.

That didn’t help a whole lot of Liberals out last election, now did it? I think it’s about time the LPC stopped protecting those MP’s, and allow their riding associations and any members in the riding to challenge the sitting MP if there is discontent with how they voted. As another Liberal supporter/blogger said to me on Twitter (and one who admittedly I don’t agree with on everything, since he is a bit more to the right then I am on some issues), A good MP has nothing to fear from a nomination challenge. It might actually help the MP get battle tested.

If those 4 sitting MP’s who voted for M312 did not face any challengers because none stepped forth, or they did and defeated them in the primary, then obviously they had the support of the riding association to go forth with those views and defend the riding. If they didn’t though, that would show some MP accountability to the riding and give some power back to the riding.

This has long occurred in the US with sitting US Congresspersons and Senators.. it’s about time it came back up here.


2 comments to The aftermath of M312 – for Liberals that is – and the case for primaries.

  • That being said, I do agree 100% with you!

  • Not to be a thorn, but the “advantage of incumbency” did indeed help out the four MPs that voted for 312 – Karygiannis, Lamoureux, MacAulay, and McKay. We definitely wouldn’t have kept Jimmy K’s, McKay’s, and Lamoureux’s ridings without them.

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