So when is a private member's bill not a private member's bill?

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It's been suggested by many observers that a Conversative MP doesn't table a private member's bill without the explicit permission of the government but until now I don't think I've seen it stated in the media quite this bluntly. This is from a CBC piece by Chris Hall on Jason Kenney's recent public statements concerning citizenship and terrorism.

Conservative insiders say every bill put forward by Conservative backbenchers are all vetted by ministerial offices, and do not proceed without a sign off.

I'd be curious to know who the "insiders" are and how reliable their information is. It's not a big leap from vetting the proposed legislation to amending it before it's ever presented. It's not that much bigger a leap to writing the legislation and giving it to a backbencher to put forward, which would be a way to game the system so that policy can be proposed without actually having the leadership's fingerprints on it. The phrase "plausible deniability" comes to mind.

So does this apply to motions too? Does this mean that, as just one example, Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312, calling for a committee to be struck to debate the point at which a fetus would be considered a human being, was vetted by a minister before being tabled in the Commons? Could someone track down those insiders and put the question to them?

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Did you see this rather grim blogpost from Glen Pearson on Wednesday, excerpted :
"Lacking the courage to break with the system, the politician does what his constituents have learned to do: go on, because there really is no choice once you take your real identity out of the equation. Citizens have learned to do without you and you slowly learn to take them less and less into account. You are a passenger in the juggernaut of political power, sadly realizing you can’t control it. The power lies elsewhere – not in your identity but in the managers of the party."

and Colin Horgan's blogpost about it : The Fearful MP.

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This page contains a single entry by pogge published on February 8, 2013 10:40 AM.

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