Instead of Increasing Seats, Provide More Resources to Members of Parliament

Article 7 / 14 , Vol 42 No. 3 (Fall)

Instead of Increasing Seats, Provide More Resources to Members of Parliament

In this article, the author contends that Canadians need better supported parliamentarians, not more of them. While noting that there is no universal formula for determining the size of an assembly, many jurisdictions around the world function well with a higher per capita ratio of representatives who are adequately staffed and given the resources to be effective representatives. Suggesting that Canadians should ask whether their representatives are providing value for the taxes spent on their salaries and pensions, the author states that quality of services offered by parliamentarians should be privileged over the quantity of representatives. Using the intense research and labour required to draft legislation as an example, she notes that having enough staff to dedicate individuals to daily operations and special projects would likely offer a better return to Canadians than spreading these resources over more elected politicians whose limited resources cause them to rely on talking points from party offices.

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