Private member's bills have traditionally provided an avenue for backbenchers to table legislation outside the heavily controlled stream of government bills. MPs are in a position to weigh the merits of the legislation and then vote based on their consciences and what is best for their constituents. In short, party leaders usually don't order -- or "whip" -- their MPs to vote a certain way on private member's bills. As a result, they can be an example of the democratic process at its best. One person who apparently doesn't agree with the principle behind private member's bills is Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. He has ordered his members to vote against a private bill, which was tabled by Tory MP Candice Hoeppner, that would scrap the controversial rifle and shotgun registry.
Read Original at: The Windsor Star (Canada)