Can Opposition MPs Work With Gov’t?

Can Opposition MPs Work With Gov’t?

By Michael M’mata

Opposition members of parliament (MPs) are elected representatives who belong to a political party that is not in power at the national level.

These MPs play a crucial role in democratic systems by scrutinizing the policies and actions of the ruling party and holding them accountable to the public.

However, in some cases, opposition MPs may choose to work with the government against the wishes of their political party.

This could occur for several reasons, including the belief that it is in the best interest of their constituents, a desire to advance a specific issue or policy, or even personal beliefs or motivations.

When an opposition MP chooses to work with the government, it can create tension within their political party and raise questions about their loyalty to their party and its principles.

In some cases, this may result in disciplinary action or even expulsion from the party.

Despite these risks, there are several instances where opposition MPs have successfully worked with the government to achieve significant policy outcomes.

For example, in the United Kingdom, opposition MP Nick Boles resigned from the Conservative Party in 2019 and voted with the government on Brexit-related issues.

This decision was controversial within his party, but Boles believed that it was in the best interest of the country to reach a Brexit deal.

Another example can be seen in a parliamentary system where the government has a minority in the house.

In such instances, opposition MPs may choose to support the government on key issues in order to maintain stability and avoid elections.

For example, in Canada, opposition MPs from the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois supported the Liberal government’s budget in 2019, allowing it to pass and avoid a federal election.

On the other hand, there are also instances where opposition MPs working with the government has not been beneficial.

For example, if the opposition MP supports the government on a controversial issue, it can alienate their constituents and undermine their credibility.

This can result in decreased support for the MP and their political party, as well as a loss of trust in the political process as a whole.

In conclusion, when an opposition MP works with the government against the wishes of their political party, it can have both positive and negative consequences.

While cooperation between opposition and government can lead to meaningful policy outcomes, as demonstrated by Nick Boles and the opposition MPs in Canada, it can also result in political backlash and damage to the credibility of both the opposition MP and the political process.

Therefore, opposition MPs must weigh the potential benefits and risks before deciding to work with the government against their party’s wishes.


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