Member of Parliament

Although the issue has yet to be resolved, it would not be presumptuous to suggest that many MPs believe they ought not merely to respond to public opinion but rather to interpret and mould it. Former Nova Scotia Premier and Leader of the official Opposition Robert Stanfield once suggested that MPs need to “be ahead of public opinion in some respect.”(2) Many MPs maintain that it is not only their right but, more importantly, their moral obligation to provide leadership in the face of changing public opinion. Indeed, denied this leadership role, MPs are reduced to the level of sheer political opportunists — a state that sacrifices both the individual’s moral integrity and the overall dignity of Parliament. Thus, generally, MPs look beyond the myopic concerns of locality and region towards the larger national interest. As a result, the Parliament they collectively serve becomes more than a sum of its parts.