moved for leave to introduce Bill C-254, An Act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (change of political affiliation).
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to address the issue of floor crossing, with great thanks to the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley for seconding this bill.
Elections are an essential opportunity for voters to express their democratic preferences, but when parliamentarians cross the floor they unilaterally negate the will of their electors. This is a betrayal of trust of the first order. For example, in my riding of Vancouver Kingsway, David Emerson ran as a Liberal in the 2006 election, only to cross the floor to sit in the Conservative cabinet within weeks of being elected. Kingsway citizens of all political persuasions were incensed. They know that the only people who have the right to determine which party represents them in the House of Commons are the voters themselves.
This legislation would not prevent MPs from leaving their caucus or changing their political affiliation, but it would require members who wish to join another party's caucus either to obtain the consent of their constituents or sit as an independent until the next election.
I urge all members to support this important measure to protect the fundamental democratic rights of Canadian voters to choose how they wish to be represented in their House of Commons.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)