Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Breaking rank: How often do MPs vote against their own party?

Part of Reinventing Parliament, a series examining how to make Parliament relevant again. With thanks to www.samaracanada.com.

Conservative Members of Parliament were far more likely to vote against their fellow caucus members than MPs from other parties, according to an analysis by The Globe and Mail of more than 162,000 votes between June 2, 2011 through Jan. 28, 2013.

Below, track each MP according to how many times he or she voted against the majority of MPs in their party. Use the buttons to re-organize the bubble chart by ranking. Click on any circle to explore each MP's vote in more detail.

Read the full story | More on former NDP MP Bruce Hyer | Methodology

ConservativeLiberals
NDPBloc Quebecois

Conservatives broke rank more often

Below, MPs are divided by those who broke party ranks at least once (on the left) with those who always voted along party lines. Conservatives (in blue) were far more likely to vote against their caucus than members from other parties. "I guess in principle, we're more democratic than other parties," said Government Whip Gordon O'Connor.

Party unity is very high

Even MPs with the lowest party unity vote along party lines more than 97 per cent of the time. The chart below is organized by the per cent of party unity. Then-NDP MP Bruce Hyer voted against his caucus more than other MPs, but he soon left the party to stand as an independent. Only his votes as NDP member are counted here.

Many broke rank only once

This chart, organized by the number of votes an MP made against the majority of their caucus, shows many MPs only dissented once (the collection of MPs on the right). Many Conservatives split on a motion to study the beginning of life — the majority of Tories voted for it, while a minority, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, voted against.

MP Clear selection

Party: N/A

Votes against the his/her party

Mr. MP voted against his/her party on the following bills.

Vote Bill Sponsor Context Voted Website

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.