The groundbreaking documentary ‘Whipped: the secret world of party discipline’ is available for viewing online. This 43-minute documentary by investigative journalist Sean Holman shows how the secret system of party discipline in Victoria forces MLAs to vote the party line. The title ‘Whipped!’ makes reference to the ‘party whip’, whose job it is to make sure that all members of the party vote the same way. A number of former politicians cite specific examples in order to explain how the system really works.
While the Whipped documentary exposes the inner workings of block voting in the BC legislature, many of the same techniques are used in other provinces, in Parliament in Ottawa, and in parliaments around the world. In the case of Vancouver City Hall, the block voting techniques are used by the dominant political party in power, Vision Vancouver, which controls 8 out of 11 council votes. For a detailed analysis of voting patterns in Vancouver please see the article Independent or block voting in Council? The Failings of a Democracy.
The full documentary is hosted on the Canadian Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) website; please click on the video link to be taken to the site:
CityHallWatch was present at the premiere of Whipped when it was screened at UBC on April 25, 2013. After the screening, a lengthy panel discussion reinforced many of the points raised in the documentary. Sean Holman was joined on the panel by former MLAs Olga Ilich, Harold Steves and Gordon Gibson; the discussion was moderated by David Beers. Further information about Whipped can be found on the Party discipline Facebook page and on PartyDiscipline.ca. Sean Holman’s website Public Eye Online contains a treasure trove of over 6,000 articles centred on BC politics.