The NDP are planning to introduce legislation that would prohibit MP's from crossing the floor.
On the surface, the plan sounds like it might be a good idea. Problems like the ones created when Stronach crossed the floor, or more recently the Emerson debacle, would be avoided. The democratic process would be preserved because, as we all know, people vote for the party.
Or do they?
Is there ever a case where crossing the floor might be a good thing? Historically we know there have been cases. Winston Churchill crossed the floor at least twice. It can certainly happen that an MP might feel that a party's policy has so diverged from what it was that he or she can no longer be a party of the group. They may choose to join another party, or they may choose to sit as an independent. It may even happen that an MP's constituents may feel that a party's policy has so diverged from what it was that they no longer wish their MP to remain a member of that party. The MP may then change parties in order to better reflect the desires of their constituents.
Lately, however, changing parties has not happened for these reasons. It has happened so that particular MP's may further their career. Power and prestige have been placed ahead of the common good. This is no doubt why the NDP are proposing a ban on floor crossing. Please note however that sitting as an Independent could have the same effect. As an Independent, what is to prevent an MP from voting according to the party they would have switched to? What is to prevent other parties from trying to influence the vote of an Independent?
I would want to see the proposed NDP legislation before I render judgment. It is my opinion though that even if it were a good idea (and I'm not saying it isn't), it is unlikely to have the desired effect.