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For Immediate Release

With the opening of the House of Assembly for the 2019 Fall session today, NL Alliance is calling on all political leaders in the province to allow MHAs a free vote on all issues brought before the House, rather than forcing members to vote along party lines.

“It’s always been understood, for the most part, that an MHA in the House of Assembly was told how to vote, based on the desire of their leader and the party they represent,” said Graydon Pelley, Leader of NL Alliance. “We believe that every MHA should have an independant voice and be allowed to vote with their conscience and the needs of their constituents, without fear of reprisal.”

NL Alliance feels strongly that the House of Assembly needs to move away from the partisan way of governing and put the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador at the forefront. It should never be about what party a member represents, but, rather, the people who voted them into the office they hold.

“I have heard from current and former MHAs, who have told me about instances their party asked them to vote for something they didn’t feel they should have,” continues Pelley. “That’s not just forcing a person to be dishonest to avoid facing political consequences, but it does a disservice to the people who elected that member, thinking they’d have their best interest at heart, and not the interest of the political party they represent.”

Newfoundland and Labrador is faced with a unique situation we haven’t seen in over a decade – a minority government that requires members to work together to conduct the affairs of the province. This is a prime opportunity to show the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that much more can be accomplished in our legislature when all members contribute, no matter their position or party.

“The only way we’ll truly see change in this province is by everyone working together, contributing to the conversation,” concluded Pelley. “Those are the principles NL Alliance was founded on, and what we’ll continue advocating for, until it happens.”