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There are widening cracks in the caucus walls

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18.03.2019

In the U.K., the U.S. and Canada, we may have seen the first cracks in the partisan walls that guarantee caucus discipline in each place.

In the U.S., 12 Republican senators defied a presidential demand they support his "national emergency" to shift money from defence spending to his wall. This is a first in his presidency and may now make it easier for others to split over the next confrontation, a budget showdown.

In Canada, two former ministers, each of whom have publicly criticized their own government, still sit as Liberal MPs. Why? It can only be because the PMO fears what the two might say, and the reaction from other MPs, if they were to be ejected. It will be interesting to see what happens at Wednesday's inevitably tense and chilly caucus meeting.

But it is in the U.K. that the cracks are widest, threatening both the Conservatives and Labour. Eleven members of the parties' caucuses have defected to the new Independent Group. Perhaps even more astonishingly, a dozen cabinet members defied their party whip on a key Brexit vote, abstaining or voting against the prime minister's........

© Peterborough Examiner