Politics·At Issue

How effective can Wilson-Raybould and Philpott be as Independent MPs? The National's politics panel weighs in

The National's At Issue panel weighs in on how effective Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott could be as Independent MPs and whether the move by the former Liberal cabinet ministers will spark a larger political movement.

This week's announcement from ex-Liberal ministers prompted lively debate

Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould, both former Liberal cabinet ministers, announced this week that they will sit as Independents. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

When Jane Philpott and Jody Wilson-Raybould announced earlier this week they were going to run as Independents, it started a conversation about just what that means — and what an Independent might be able to do or not do for their constituents.

The former president of the Treasury Board and ex-justice minister resigned from cabinet in March and were kicked out of the Liberal Party caucus after they publicly raised concerns about political interference in the SNC-Lavalin affair.

I went on the CBC podcast Front Burner to talk about their announcement and the challenges the two now face as Independents: money, lack of party resources, an electoral system that doesn't really favour Independents, the list goes on.

It didn't go over well with all the listeners. Some of them felt I was being too dismissive of Independents.

One Twitter user explained his reasoning this way:

That got me to thinking, and we threw the question to At Issue, our weekly politics panel on The National.

WATCH: Political commentators Chantal Hébert and Andrew Coyne and Aaron Wherry of CBC's Parliament Hill bureau discuss how the inclusion of more Independents could affect Canada's political system:

How effective can two Independent MPs be? | At Issue

2 years ago
Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will be running in the next federal election, but they're stepping away from party politics. So how effective can they be as Independents? And could this spark a larger movement? The At Issue panel breaks things down. 11:45


Rosemary Barton is CBC's Chief Political Correspondent, based in Ottawa.


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