Fixing parliament

There is a flurry of activity this autumn around the general topic of improving procedure in Parliament so decorum will also improve. This month’s issue of Policy Options has a useful cover package on the theme; the IRPP will have a session on the same topic soon. On Thursday the Public Policy Forum has its own shindig. Mike Chong, the Conservative MP whose private members’ motion on Question Period reform is behind much of the current discussion, will figure at both events.

In June of 2009 I wrote my own proposals for fixing Question Period. Two of the ideas I presented there — increasing the length of time allotted for questions and answers, and requiring the Prime Minister to attend only once a week, with other ministers taking questions on other days — resemble parts of Chong’s motion. He’s discarded other ideas and introduced his own. I decided to post the link to that earlier piece as a sort of prelude to the conversations in the weeks ahead.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.