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Spotted: Your comments on MPs punished for opposing party lines

Categories: Politics

hi-584-Bruce-Hyer-00884763.jpg Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Bruce Hyer is seen speaking in the House of Commons, something he can no longer do because he is one of two NDP MPs being punished for opposing party policy. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The NDP's top brass has disciplined two Ontario MPs who voted for the abolition of the long-gun registry in defiance of the party's official position.

Both Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty -- who represent Thunder Bay-Superior North and Thunder Bay-Rainy River, respectively -- have been blocked from making statements or asking questions in the Commons chamber and have also been removed from their critics' roles.

Jack Harris, the NDP's justice critic, said Rafferty and Hyer were warned they would suffer "the consequences" if they broke rank.

Members of the CBC community felt strongly about the move, and most felt that the NDP was wrong to punish its MPs.

  • "I am disgusted by political parties that force their MPs to vote against the wishes of their constituents. The first priority of an MP is to serve their constituents, not their party leader." - yellowcanoe
  • "I didn't support Harper when he punished Conservative MPs for not voting along the party line for the Atlantic Accord and I don't support this either. If memory serves most Canadians if not all were uneasy with the idea of a party enforcing party voting policy so strictly." - AlexFinck.  
  •  "It's funny because they tell us we need more MPs but what's the point if they are only allowed to tow the line?" - ArturK

Many argued that the Thunder Bay-area MPs did something worth praising, not punishing.

  • "This is exactly how a democracy should work. The elected members are respecting the wishes of their constiuents and their vote shows that. Our system is antiquated. It is one of the main reasons for low voter turnout."- PatrickMooney.
  • "Maybe, it's time we did away with the party system altogether and just let MPs represent their people instead. Wow, wouldn't that be refreshing." - JeffWilkinson
Others thought the collective views of the party should trump the individual persuasions of MPs some or even all of the time.

  • "This is to be expected and frankly I could care less about the individual members. I voted for the party just as many other people do, just look at the last election. People voted for candidates that weren't even there for most of the campaign just going to show that the person means absolutely nothing in Canadian politics." - Unruly Citizen
  •  "I get the concept about voting along party lines but it should only be reserved for issues that were promises during a campaign. Beyond that, I want my MP to vote according to the people in their costituency." - mywkopinion
  •  "These people were elected as members of the NDP, and if I had voted for them, I would expect them to follow the party line. If they want to go it alone, they need to run as Independents. In my view, failing to vote with the party on a vote like this is nothing other than fraud, taking the party's name and support in order to get elected." - Randy75.

Thank you for your comments on this story. Please feel free to continue the conversation and tell us what you think of the views expressed above.

Tags: guns, NDP

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