Whipped: the secret world of party discipline

July 12, 2013    http://www.cpac.ca/

Winston Churchill once said " Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time".

Governments, in democracies such as Canada, know that their hold on power is only as strong as their hold on the sitting members of their caucus. It is not unusual for MPs to find themselves in a position where they must decide between the wishes of their constituents and those of their party and it falls upon the party’s whip to ensure that the MPs’ choice is a simple one.

For example this past spring, in Ottawa, two MPs, Brent Rathgeber and Mark Warawa gained prominence when they took positions that were at odds to those of their party’s. While their deliberations were made public, more often than not, these discussions are often held behind closed doors and remain there, ensuring that the party’s image remains untarnished.

In Sean Holman’s documentary Whipped, the Mount Royal University journalism professor takes an in-depth look at how party discipline is enforced on the benches of the legislature in Victoria, B.C. Holman talks to former and current MLA’s and cabinet ministers about how they coped or were forced to cope to the demands of their party’s whip.

http://www.cpac.ca/eng/programs/cpac-special/episodes/whipped-secret-world-party-discipline

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