moved for leave to introduce Bill C-212, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (members who cross the floor).
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to stand in the House to introduce a bill that would deal with the issue of floor crossing, with great thanks to the hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona.
Elections are about voters expressing their democratic choice. There is an issue of democratic accountability to voters and floor crossing betrays that trust. We have a history in my riding of Vancouver Kingsway where David Emerson crossed the floor from the Liberals to the Conservatives. In the last Parliament, we saw Eve Adams cross to the Liberals and Bruce Hyer cross to the Green Party. The only people who have the right to determine who represents them in the House of Commons are the voters of those districts.
This bill would not prevent floor crossing. It would require a member who crosses the floor to sit with another caucus to obtain the consent of the electorate who ultimately put them here. It would preserve the ability of the member to leave the caucus and sit as an independent as an important check against party oppression.
I think every member in the House should have no problem supporting a bill that supports the basic democratic right of citizens of Canada to choose who represents them in the chamber.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)