Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lise St-Denis Crosses to the Liberals

I do not think this really matters in the overarching picture of Canadian politics.   I had been waiting for the first person to make this shift.   I honestly had not expected Lise St-Denis to be the first one.

Her reasons for changing parties have got to be the most lame excuses I have heard for a floor crossing

  • She was only elected because people voted for Jack Layton and since he was dead that no longer holds
  • The Liberals have more experience and can be a better job of defending Quebec's place in Canada
  • She was becoming uncomfortable with being in the NDP caucus as she does not share their views on a number of issues.

I am trying to figure out why she ran for the NDP twice if there were positions on issues she did not agree with?

Lise St Denis ran for the NDP in 2008 in Longueuil-Pierre Boucher.   She was clearly a paper candidate in that election.   She only spend $1,131 but almost tied for third with the Conservative Jacques Bouchard who spend $55,552.   She managed 14% of the vote in that election.   In 2011 the riding was handily won by Pierre Nantel for the NDP.

Was she that much of a paper candidate that when she ran in 2008 and 2011 for the NDP she could not bothered to read any of the platform?

I also have to wonder why she came out and backed Thomas Mulcair if she had reservations about the party?  She could have stayed out of the fray if she was unsure.   It makes me really wonder about her decision making process and what her actual interest is in politics.  

If your French is up to it, here is a report from July referring to her as a phantom MP, though this is right around the time she let people know she had cancer.

I have to wonder when she found out she had health issues, did she run not expecting to win and therefore ran even though she had cancer?

How big a deal is this for the NDP?   It does not help but it is not unexpected when you get a whole raft of new people elected that never expected to be elected.   I think the NDP can weather this easily and he defection will be lost in the coverage of the NDP leadership race.

The Liberals get a day of positive media coverage, but there is nothing to indicate the addition of this MP is going to improve their caucus in Ottawa.  I do not think it really improves their chances in St Maurice - Champlain.   Lise St Denis is hardly known as a local organizer and the Liberals as a party have been moribund in the riding since 2004.  

Few first term MPs that cross the floor are able to be re-elected.  Given Lise St Denis' age and her health, I highly doubt she will win in 2015, frankly I would not be surprised if she resigned within the next year.

MPs that crossed the floor since 1997 election (only MPs that changed parties, not became independents)

  • 1997 Election - NDP - 2, PCs +1 -4, Liberals +5
  • 1999 Bill Matthews (Nfld) left the PCs to join the Liberals
  • 1999 Angela Vautour (NB) left the NDP to join the PCs
  • 2000 Andre Harvey (Quebec) left the PCs to become an independent and shortly there after to sit as a Liberal
  • 2000 David Price (Quebec) left the PCs to join the Liberals
  • 2000 Diane St-Jacques (Quebec) left the PCs to join the Liberals
  • 2000 Rick Laliberte (Sask) left the NDP to join the Liberals
  • 2000 Election - CA/PCs/Cons -3 +1, Bloc -1, Liberals -1 +3
  • 2002 Joe Peschisolido (BC) left the Canadian Alliance to join the Liberals
  • 2003 Robert Lanctot (Quebec) left the Bloc to join the Liberals
  • 2003 Scott Brison (NS) left the PCs to join the Liberals
  • 2004 John Bryden (Ontario) left the Liberals to join the Conservatives
  • 2004 Keith Martin (BC) left the Canadian Alliance to sit as an independent but then ran for re-election as a Liberal
  • 2004 Election - Conservatives -1, Liberals +1
  • 2005 Belinda Stronach (Ontario) left the Conservatives to join the Liberals
  • 2006 Election - Liberals -3, Conservatives +2, Greens +1
  • 2006 David Emerson (BC) left the Liberals to join the Conservatives
  • 2007 Wajid Khan (Ontario) left the Liberals to join the Conservatives
  • 2008 Blair Wilson (BC) left the Liberals to sit as an independent and then as a Green
  • 2008 Election - no changes
  • 2011 Election - NDP -1, Liberal +1
  • 2012 Lise St-Denis (Quebec) left the NDP to join the Liberals
That is 16 MPs in 14 years.

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