01/31/2012 10:43 EST | Updated 04/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Sask. MP Worries For Free Speech


A Saskatchewan Conservative MP, Brad Trost, says he would like more freedom to speak out on issues, even when his views are not in line with government policy.

"I think MPs need to take the freedom they have and begin to express their views," Trost said when asked about toeing the party line.

Trost said sticking with official party positions may end up stifling debate on important issues.

He said one example concerns funding for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"I think you see it now with Conservative MPs talking issues with what to do with the CBC," Trost said. "The cabinet ministers are on one side and some of the backbenchers on the other."

Political science professor David McGrane said Trost may be hoping to see more free votes in the House of Commons.

"I think he feels that by talking about how MPs should be allowed to vote their conscience, this would bring about his family issues that he's interested in," McGrane said.

Trost said he is not concerned that his views on party discipline could land him out of favour with the prime minister.

"I don't think I was on the fast track to being a cabinet minister," Trost said. "Stephen's got some better choices in Saskatchewan than me."

Trost said MPs should use their freedom to speak, but noted that would require a change in the current political culture.

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