Canadian parliamentary voting records online


in Canada, Internet matters, Law, Politics

The voting records of Canadian MPs are being made available online. For instance, here is the voting record of Paul Dewar – NDP representative for Ottawa Centre. Things are still in an introductory state and the system hasn’t become as useful as it could potentially be. Nonetheless, it is a nice step forward towards a system in which constituents can easily and effectively monitor what their representatives are doing.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Padraic April 21, 2009 at 7:42 pm

While it’s a nice idea, it seems pretty irrelevant in a system of party discipline, which we are stuck with, for better or for worse. When was the last free vote you can remember?

Milan April 21, 2009 at 7:47 pm

This kind of tool could help weaken party discipline, it if made it easier for constituents to notice when their MPs are voting against their interests or preferences.

Padraic April 21, 2009 at 7:52 pm

That’s optimistic – but I don’t think there’s any evidence of party discipline resulting from an information asymmetry; I actually think voters are fine with party discipline, because they vote mainly for the party instead of the individual candidate. We see how voters react to floor-crossing; breaking from party discipline is the same idea on a lesser scale.

Milan April 21, 2009 at 7:54 pm
Mike April 22, 2009 at 3:50 am

it might be neat to see at the end of a parliament how often each opposition party voted with the government.

that being said, something like this is pretty much a novelty. there are much more pressing issues over democratic reform.

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