1. MPs should not be permitted to change parties without resigning and running in a byelection.
2. Election dates should be fixed and held every four years.
3. Reforming the electoral process by combining proportional representation with the current first-past-the-post system.
4. There should be spending limits and transparency conditions on leadership contests within political parties.
5. Tougher laws to end unregulated lobbying and political cronyism.
6. A fair process for government appointments to end unfair and unethical patronage practices.
7. Better access-to-information legislation to make government more transparent.
The party switching rule is a little silly in my opinion and likely just there out of mischief since neither the Liberals or Conservatives came out of the Belinda fiasco looking very good. Points five through seven are vague, although they can likely score on the lobbyist and patronage issues given the government's track record in these fields. I will comment on the other three points though, since they are significant proposals.
2. Fixed Election Dates: Although I'm fully aware that election speculation makes up a good percentage of my posts, I can really get behind the idea of fixed election dates. Obviously you'd still allow governments to collapse during minority situations but fixed election dates would remove the ability of the party in power to call an election at a time of their choosing because of sheer opportunism and it would provide all parties some certainty. It's extremely difficult to time nomination meetings when you don't know the election date and this would give the party structure for all parties a definitive timeline to plan nominations, fundraisers, conventions, etc.
3. Mixed Member Parliament: Call me old fashioned but I like the good 'old first past the post. It isn't perfect and the preferential ballot would help, but our system is based on the principle of voting for your representative and any form of PR goes against that. In addition, party leaders would have way too much power when it comes to selecting lists. It could easily turn into a patronage factory with the man at the top seeing this as a way to get the Johnny Bethels and Billy Cunninghams of the world into Parliament. The members of this list would lack any sort of legitimacy or accountability.
4. Spending and Transparency in Leadership Contests: Great idea. I wouldn't even be against the idea of turning all leadership contests over the Elections Canada. The last few Liberal leadership races would make third world dictators blush and it's not any better in other parties. Better to add a bit of transparency to the entire process.