Political parties over the years have promised more freedom for MPs, more free votes etc., but little comes of it. All too often deviance from the party line by an MP becomes a media story and it plays as an embarrassment of the respective leader. It is no wonder then that party leaders react so strongly when this happens.
When I recently left the NDP, the media (and many partisans) wondered aloud why anyone would give up the protection and support offered by a strong political tribe, along with the perks that go with it. I caused a firestorm in Ottawa, in my riding of Thunder Bay-Superior North, and across Canada. Why did I do this?
When Thomas Mulcair became party leader, outspoken MP Bruce Hyer was passed on the new shadow cabinet. Mulcair noted how, "Bruce simply feels that he's allowed to come up with his own decisions." But then again, one has to wonder if that is a good or bad thing, or a sign of how our political system is broken.