Member of Parliament Job Description
Nowhere in the Canadian Parliamentary website can one find a job description for a Member of Parliament. There is a “here is what your MP does” but is not very detailed and rather ambiguous. I took this description from the British Labour Party MP Job Description and altered it for Canada, party generic and bi-partisan. Some of the wording may be changed or improved.
Member of Parliament for the Constituency of (Name of Riding)
To represent, defend and promote the national and regional interests and further the needs, welfare and interests of the constituents of (Name of Riding) wherever and whenever possible in a bi-partisan manner.
- In all action be accountable to the constituents of (Name of Riding) both in policy and monetary compensation and allowance.
- Help furnish and maintain good Government and Opposition so that the business of Parliamentary democracy may proceed.
- Monitor, stimulate and challenge the Executive in order to influence and where possible change government action in ways which are considered desirable for the constituents of (Name of Riding).
- Initiate, seek to amend and review legislation so as to help maintain a continually relevant and appropriate body of law.
- Keep the constituents of (Name of Riding) informed as to the general proceedings of Parliament relating arguments both for and against any and all proposed legislation.
- Establish and maintain a range of contacts throughout the constituency, and gain proper knowledge of its characteristics, so as to identify and understand the issues affecting the constituency, the land and peoples and, wherever possible, further the interests of the constituency of (Name of Riding) in general in accordance with the national needs of Canada which are seen to be relevant and important.
- Serve on committees which may be compatible with one’s expertise where it may be possible to further the interests of the constituency of (Name of Riding) in general.
- Provide appropriate assistance to individual constituents, through use of knowledge of local and national government agencies and institutions, to progress and wherever possible help resolve their problems in dealing with matters of government.
- Contribute to the formulation of Government policy to ensure that it reflects the views of the constituents of (Name of Riding) in accordance with the national needs of Canada which are seen to be relevant and important.
- To establish and maintain a constituency office in each community within the boundaries of the constituency of (Name of Riding) for the purpose of distribution of parliamentary information and aggregation of policy information from residents and for the convenience of constituents in dealing with Governmental matters.
Nature and Scope
An MP’s work may be seen under two broad headings. The first is work in and for the constituency. This is in part representational; in part promoting or defending the interests of the constituency as a whole; and in part it is designed to help individual constituents in difficulty. This is traditionally seen as the ‘core’ role of the parliamentarian. The second area is his/her participation in activities designed to assist in the passage of legislation and hold the Executive to account.