Do you know the present make up of the House of Commons? Of the 308 available seats, the Conservative government holds 163 seats. They hold the majority by just 9 seats. There are currently 6 political parties in the House of Commons, although only 3 of them are recognized.* There are also 7 independent members sitting in the House of Commons. This is a pretty interesting make up. With 30 more seats being added in the next federal election, a party will have to win 170 seats to form a majority government. This is very unlikely to happen in the next federal election! Instead, we will probably have a minority government. This could be bad or good, depending on how you look at it.

I believe a minority government is good for Canadians. Its never a good thing to give one person or one group too much power for too long. Some people think nothing gets done with a minority government, but in fact our public health care, our flag, and the Canada Pension Plan were all brought in during a minority government. Because the ruling party is forced to work with the other parties to maintain power, they are more open to co-operation with other parties and MPs. I really believe the best thing any riding could do going into the next federal election is to elect a non-affiliated or independent candidate. Without partisan politics to interfere, an independent would be able to work more openly with parties from all sides of the political spectrum without party control or interfence. With all parties vying for the independent MP vote, it would be a great opportunity to attract more federal attention and national investment to the riding. Partisan politics divide and separate communities. What we need to do is collaborate, build and grow our communities together. We shouldnt give up our power to a party, we should empower OUR community!

-W

*A political party must have at least 12 members of parliament elected to the House of Commons to be a “recognized party” for the purposes of parliamentary proceedings. Why does this matter? MPs who are not part of a recognized party are generally not appointed to standing or legislative committees, nor is there an obligation for the house to consult them on issues that do require cross-party consultation, such as the appointment of the Ethics Commissioner. They also receive less funding to carry out parliamentary duties. The six parties are Conservative (163), NDP (96), Liberal (35), Green (2), Force et Democratie (2), and Bloc Quebecois (2). For more information go to http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/bp243-e.htm#cother.