Liberals and New Democrats vote to Delay decisions related to the Reform Act

Supporters of Conservative MP Michael Chong’s Reform Act were disappointed with the NDP and Liberal parties after their first caucus meetings after the general election. Both parties have deferred decisions to implement the provisions of the Reform Act to future meetings. Liberal MPs voted to send the issue to the party’s biannual convention in Winnipeg next year. NDP MPs didn’t feel they had enough information to vote on the provisions, which is why they pushed the matter back to a future caucus meeting.

Earlier this year, Parliament passed the Reform Act, which set specific rules for party caucuses on how to pick an interim leader, choose a caucus chair, expel one of their own MPs from caucus, and strike a leadership review. The Reform Act created hopes for a new era in which ordinary members of Parliament would have more power and independence.

Conservative MPs were the only ones to actually vote on the Reform Act. They gave themselves the power Thursday to elect an interim leader. They also agreed to elect a caucus chair and give themselves the ability to expel a fellow MP from caucus, both by secret ballot.

However, Conservative MPs rejected the provision that would have let them dump a permanent leader. That has proven to be the most contentious provision for all three parties, and the one that could have had the most impact given the tendency toward centralized control in Parliament.

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