moved for leave to introduce Bill C-241, an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act (change of political affiliation).
Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today to introduce a bill that would address the issue of floor crossing, with thanks to the hon. member for London—Fanshawe.
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 fundamental betrayal of trust.
For example, in my riding of Vancouver Kingsway, David Emerson ran as a Liberal in the 2006 election, only to immediately cross the floor to sit in the Conservative cabinet within weeks of being elected. Kingsway citizens of all persuasions were incensed. They know the only people who should have the right to determine which party represents a riding 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 and sit with it to either obtain the consent of their constituents or sit as an independent until the next election.
I call on all members to support this fundamental democratic legislation and protect the basic 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)