Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Lessons in backbench power... from Guyana

While Britain awaits the Brexit vote, in which every MP's vote is both vital and unpredictable and the party leaders seem almost as much spectators as everyone else, news comes to Canada of another country where parliamentary proceedings are actually interesting. 

In Guyana the government, in power since 2015, was defeated on a non-confidence vote. One of its own backbenchers voted no confidence along with the opposition, and given the government's one-seat majority, that was enough. 

Okay, the MP, Charrandas Persaud, has since fled to Toronto -- to teach backbenchers here about political courage, hopefully -- and his party has both kicked him out and started recall proceedings to get him out of parliament altogether.  So Guyanese parliamentary processes have some shortcomings.  But they have made a start.

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