Canada’s’ Red Tories – Parliamentary Privilege
Last week’s Conservative party convention in Calgary was cancelled due to the floods in Alberta. Alas, a potential dustup which could affect the entire Tory brand remains in play.
There was going to be a convention proposal to change the voting process for future leadership races back to one member, one vote. When the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives merged in December 2003, that particular system was replaced with one giving each riding 100 votes, regardless of the number of local memberships, which benefited Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
Peter MacKay, the last federal PC leader who pushed heavily for this change, was obviously displeased. He told the media “people would leave the party” over this issue. When asked if he would join this exodus, he said matter-of-factly, “I’d think about it. It would be a very different party with a very different future.”
Parliamentary privilege (also absolute privilege) is a legal immunity enjoyed by members of certain legislatures, in which legislators are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties. It is common in countries whose constitutions are based on the Westminster system. A similar mechanism is known as parliamentary immunity.