Flip the Script: Reclaiming the legislature to reinvigorate representative democracy

June 11, 2018
min. read
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin
Copy Link
Flip the Script: Reclaiming the legislature to reinvigorate representative democracy
An arrow pointing left
View all of our work

Elected representatives are critical in returning our representative democracy to health. But in Canada, Members of Parliament have been drifting away for decades from the essential work citizens require of them—of legislation, representation, and scrutiny.

It’s getting worse.

In 2017, Samara interviewed 54 former MPs who sat in the 41st Parliament (2011-2015). They tell a story of overbearing party leaders and their staff, and an even further loss of agency for individual MPs.

Elected representatives are a part of the central and essential machinery of our democracy and they are meant to represent, include and engage their constituents. We cannot overlook their part in responding to the democratic malaise.

This report is the first in a series of three that makes a case for MPs who are independent, empowered, thoughtful, and engaged in three environments: Parliament, the constituency, and the party.

In Parliament, that means that MPs:

  • Directly influence policy,
  • Actively shape legislation and
  • Take the lead in the careful and sophisticated scrutiny of government.

This vision is achievable, but institutional change is necessary to empower MPs. Throughout this report in the “Tools for the Job” sidebars, we offer recommendations to effect this change. We recommend that reform should start in committees—where MPs can be insulated from party control, equipped with the time and information to develop expertise, and given alternative parliamentary career paths outside of Cabinet that do not involve kowtowing to party leaders. 

Key Findings

FTP key findings 2
Read the Full ReportRead the Full Report

Explore our work

Explore Our Work

No items found.