Inside Politics

Independent MP calls for 'random' Commons seating plan

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NDP-turned-Independent MP Bruce Hyer told the CBC's Julie Van Dusen Thursday he's introducing a private member's motion calling for random seating in the House of Commons. The seating plan could change a few times a year, with MPs dispersed among representatives of other parties.

"We would no longer be sitting in hockey teams, with our coaches dying to send us over the boards for a brawl," Hyer said. "We'd get to know them as people."

View the current Commons seating plan

The MP, who is now free to speak and vote as he wishes, thinks the move would end the "mindless solidarity and tribalism" he sees around him and improve cooperation and decorum.

"It also would make it less obvious when members vote for the best interests of their constituents and their ridings and the good of Canada, rather than what their whip told them to do," said Hyer, whose contrary views on the gun registry saw him break ranks with the NDP earlier this year.

He says he's been testing out the idea with "the cocktail party circuit" and "everybody loves it" because they're "sick" of the lack of decorum on Parliament Hill.

"It's very hard to heckle someone or be rude to them when you're sitting next to them," Hyer suggests.
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