An effort to reform Parliament has survived a challenge in the Senate and is only one step away from becoming law.
On Monday night, the Senate voted through the Reform Act, which is designed to limit the power of a party leader and allow MPs to vote more with their consciences than along party lines.
Conservative MP Michael Chong says the law will go into effect seven days after a new government is elected this fall.
Chong says new MPs will then meet to vote whether to empower themselves.
“The only way the party leader gets that power is if Members of Parliament deliberately give that power by voting the rules down. I expect that over the long run that Members of Parliament will democratize our House of Commons and our caucuses and vote to empower themselves. I think that will be the natural progression.”
The Reform Act also aims to allow MPs to trigger a leadership review and ban party leaders from interfering in riding nominations.
“What it means is that MPs will be able to empower themselves to represent their constituents on the floor of the House of Commons. It allows MPS to re-balance between party leaders and members of parliament. In doing so it will lead to freer votes in the House of Commons. It will allow MPs to break ranks with their party to represent their constituents and I think that is a marked change from the current system.”