Last week, Alan Broadbent made the case for more MPs. Andrew Potter nodded his agreement. Today, Alison Loat dissents slightly.
I’m not convinced a larger caucus will lead to more decentralized management. Jean Chrétien, who at least one prominent Ottawa-watcher accused of running a Friendly Dictatorship, had 177 people in his caucus in 1993 compared to the 143 Harper has today. Allowing more free votes and reducing the number that are confidence motions would be more effective.
Nor, for the record, am I convinced that “governing from the centre” is as much a reality as it is a perception resulting from the fact that most academics and journalists focus only on leaders and a handful of cabinet ministers versus the work of the other 300 elected representatives.
As referenced by Mr. Potter, here is the full paper penned by Sujit Choudhry and Michael Pal on federal representation. They considered several formulas for expanding the Commons—one of which would have grown the House to 885 MPs—before recommended a 324-member model. Under presently proposed legislation, the House will eventually grow to 338 seats.