Power to the backbencher

Michael Chong explains some of the historical precedent that informs his proposed QP reforms.

Until the 1980s, members had the right to rise in the House, catch the eye of the Speaker and ask questions of the government, questions that were driven by the concerns they heard from their constituents the previous weekend when they returned home to their ridings.

The changes that stripped members of the right to spontaneously rise, catch the eye of the Speaker to ask a question were introduced by Jeanne Sauvé. Every day, each party submits their list of approved questioners to the Speaker. The Speaker recognizes only those on the list.

Looking for more?

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