For myself, I think the idea of a "whipped" vote (when members are formally ordered to toe the party line) is an affront to democracy. Each councillor's first duty is to the residents of their ward, and if that conflicts with party policy, then the residents' interests should win every time.
That said, there is no practical way of telling whether a vote has been informally whipped, with the usual mix of sticks and carrots. And there's always (thankfully) some bloody-minded/ruggedly independent individuals who simply won't do what they're told.
Finally, I do wish politicians wouldn't say things like "People will have to trust us" - it's guaranteed to raise both chuckles and hackles.Read More »