Thursday, February 16, 2006

Alberta Alliance Will Deliver On Free Votes

Do you know what a party whip is? If you aren't sure, here is the definition:

In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires.

The term originated in the Parliament of the United Kingdom and derives from the "whipper-in" at a fox hunt. Whip is also used to mean the voting instructions issued to members by the Whip.

So now that you know what a whip is, you begin to understand why your local representative votes the position of the party leader 100% of the time, or risk working out of the bathroom without even a window for some fresh air.

But as a citizen, is the position of your rep the same as yours? What if they are diametrically opposed (SSM for example). Would you really be getting true representation? Probably not.

As Canadians, we don't have much chance for change as long as whips are around. However, for Albertans, we have a choice.

The Alberta Alliance will ensure free votes for MLA's because we have placed a No Party Whip rule into our policies. This ensures that the grassroots ideology of serving the public, by voting based on the will of the people they serve - namely, their constituents, is not just lip service, but realized.

So while the Liberals and CPC boast about free votes, both parties possess party whips. And we all know what Party Whips are for!


At Thu. Feb. 16, 08:32:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Gayle said...

I have to admit ignorance as to what a "party whip" is. Well, now I know, but only because you just told me. I don't know what a "whipper-in" at a Fox Hunt is either. Neither one of them - political party or "whipper-in" at a Fox Hunt, sounds very good! :)

At Fri. Feb. 17, 09:13:00 a.m. MST, Blogger Aizlynne said...

They aren't unless you plan on towing the party line, or being punted from the party altogether.
What's interesting to note is that the CP parties professes to allow free votes yet turns immediately around and gets a party whip.

At Fri. Feb. 17, 10:32:00 a.m. MST, Blogger Roger said...

Don't underestimate the importance of the whip...while yes, free votes are important, you need to show a team when you are getting hammered from all sides. There is enough dissention in the right wing to have it shown on the have to view these politically. I'm not against free votes, I'm against poor politics.

At Fri. Feb. 17, 01:17:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Lex Luthor said...

Hey Aiz,

This is where I get to get in a Green Party plug... we have no whips either. In fact, Green MPs only have to consider two things when voting. The first is whether the issue goes again the 6 core values of the party. The second is what the people in the riding want.

Our system is set up that the MP would have to contact their district association in order to get a consensus from the voters of what would be best for the district. You could have a situation where Greens vote against each other because they are responding to what the voters want.

What a change! Listening to the voters instead of dictating to them.



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