Quebec NDP MP jumping to Liberals?

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KenS
Quebec NDP MP jumping to Liberals?

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KenS

So far its only half a rumour.

Un néodémocrate chez les libéraux?

 

Press conference this morning, for whatever it is.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Well, this would make me pretty dam mad! And of course, we can expect our friend gloater to chip in as well I am sure.

KenS

Lets just wait and see.

I think the article says Coderre's press people 'did not deny' what may be nothing more than a reporting guessing. If a reporter hands you an opportunity to create some mischief in the NDP- even if only briefly- and the rumour gets bodies to the press conference, whats not for them to like.

If it does happen... why get mad? Shit happens.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

KenS wrote:

The main reason I decided to post this before it is confirmed, or not, is that it is a good reminder even if it does not come to pass.

The remeinder being that when 58 people sweep into being MPs- over half of whom were recruited only to be names on the ballots... some of them will be flakes who do flakey things.

And if they happen not to do anything particularly flakey- their chances of being re-elected are low anyway.

Why the hell are you reviving the Tory-created "just names on the ballot" smear?  That was discredited already.  And nobody argued that it discredited the Tories when Belinda Stronach crossed over to the Liberals or when that Liberal idiot in B.C. crossed over to the Tories.

KenS

Smear?

A lot of those people were names on the ballot. Period.

Having got elected, they will or will not make something of it. But that does not change how they got there.

Parties are big tents. So when you recruit whoever will put their name on the ballot for the many seats where there is only a national campaign, not a serious candidate... some of those recruits will be good people [like REB], and some will be flakes. That is just the way it goes.

Some of the names on ballots are quite politically astute, but that doesnt change how they got elected.

 

Charles

The Globe is reporting it too. Regardless of whether or not it's one of the surprise, "less serious" candidates (and let's be clear, there are some who fit into this category, even if not nearly as many as suggested by our opponents), it's a scummy thing to do this soon after one comes to office under the auspices of a party. I remember Angela Vautour doing the same thing shortly after she was elected in '97 (and boy that worked out well for her) and it rankled just as much. Why in god's name would one leave the 102-seat caucus to jump to the moribund Liberals? Ideological reasons? The Liberals have no ideology. Strategic reasons? How stupid would one have to be to think it strategically side to jump to the Liberals given their place in the firmament, *especially* in Quebec? If this is true, I would suspect it's one of those who is not involved in the leadership race by having endorsed one of the candidates. If true I fear it may be a certain Montreal MP I think really highly of and celebrated his win in May a great deal.

I dearly wish Stoffer's floor crossing bill had come to fruition........ 

janfromthebruce

My heart sank - I don't get it at all if this is true. I don't care what would be offered it is just so unethical. You would think that someone would wait for the leadership race to select a new leader before one took their goodies somewhere else. I just don't get it one little bit.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Original rumours had suggested that Coderre was makin a "career announcement" - possibly a return to rivate life?

Unionist

Personally, I value each and every one of the newly-elected MPs a great deal more than the self-important opportunistic careerist old hands that tend to get a lot of applause on this board for their 30-second sound-bite talents, their firm handshake, their ability to maintain eye contact, their personal grooming, their ability to work a crowd, and their mean streak in a debate.

Having said that, I recognize that the mathematical odds of the turncoat being a newly-elected MP are 98.3% (assuming they're from Québec), so that's a fairly safe guess.

We can take much comfort in the observation that no seasoned, experienced, committed, high-profile NDPer would ever jump to the Liberals. Just the young flakes.

 

 

janfromthebruce

Unionist I have no idea who it may be. I'm disappointed because if there was a problem I would hope that MP would talk with Nichol or approach others in caucas. Considering what a backlash came to the newly elected Quebec NDP MPs from the Liberal camp, one would wonder how any of them would consider joining that crew.

KenS

The main reason I decided to post this before it is confirmed, or not, is that it is a good reminder even if it does not come to pass.

The reminder being that when 58 people sweep into being MPs- a good number of them being recruited only to be names on the ballots... some of them will be flakes who do flakey things.

And if they happen not to do anything particularly flakey- their chances of being re-elected are low anyway.

Unionist

Jan, maybe have a look at my post [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/quebec-liberal-mp-cross-floor-..., where I try to explain that in Québec, people play musical chairs with political parties. There's no long traditions of "my team" vs. "their team" (not since the Quiet Revolution, anyway - before that, there was a lot of bleu vs. rouge etc.).

So, it's no surprise that on babble we are now discussing:

1. A former long-time Liberal MP jumping to provincial CAQ.

2. A sitting NDP MP about to jump to the Liberals.

3. A sitting PQ MNA jumping today to CAQ.

Never mind that the NDP may soon elect a former Liberal cabinet minister...

Hey, it's Québec - join the fun!

Seriously though, given my peculiar belief that the party should be loyal to the people, rather than vice versa, I rather appreciate the Québec way of doing things. You lose a few good ones, but what the heck. Parties should get the lesson: Perform, or perish.

 

KenS

If it is a flake who never dreamed they would be there, switching parties is a possible response that would happen anywhere in Canada- nothing necessarily to do with Quebec political culture.

Charles wrote:

Why in god's name would one leave the 102-seat caucus to jump to the moribund Liberals? Ideological reasons? The Liberals have no ideology. Strategic reasons? How stupid would one have to be to think it strategically side to jump to the Liberals given their place in the firmament, *especially* in Quebec?

 

Unionist wrote:

We can take much comfort in the observation that no seasoned, experienced, committed, high-profile NDPer would ever jump to the Liberals. Just the young flakes.

Did someone say 'seasoned' would not do it? And did anyone suggest that it would be a young flake?

We're talking what is most likely Unionist.

And one of the things that happens when people are swept into being MPs from nowhere- ironically considering what you just said against careerists, is that some of them wake up in the House of Commons and what most occurs to them is "I want to stay here." And I'm not very concerned how. And they grasp at something that comes along, that looks stupid to the rest of us [not just partisans]. Like Charles pointed out- in just 7 MPs coming in on Alexa's coat tails, we had one of those.

Since I know how people's names end up on the ballot in what are assumed to be zero hope ridings, I dont see why that would not repeat itself. Most people are sensible enough when asked to be on the ballot ask 'what happens if I get elected?' They get assured 'dont worry about that. Never going to happen.'

But it could also be someone who did not really just get swept in from nowhere.

If this is happening at all.

Unionist

Yeah, well, Ken, you're just confirming that in your view, a new inexperienced NDP supporter is more likely to be a careerist and opportunist than an old warhorse. My bias in life is more in favour of the new, the inexperienced, the plain and ordinary.

And if you're predicting that the turncoat is a first-time MP, as I said before, you're on relatively safe mathematical ground. Unless Mulcair or Boivin have been regretting their moves.

 

JeffWells

FWIW, from Twitter:

Hugo Lemay

Une source bien informée me dit que Lise St-Denis (St-Maurice) passera du NPD au PLC CC:

janfromthebruce

Well, perhaps I am missing something about represesnting the people. I thought that looking at polling coming out of Quebec that the population was relatively happy with their choices. NDP, although gone down is still 10 points ahead of the next closest party which is the Bloc, and than way below that is Liberals and Cons. That's what I don't get.

KenS

I didnt say they are more likely to be a careerist- you exempted them from it. And I'm pointing out that people who drop in completely unexpectedly are suceptible to a particular form of careerism.

And I only think that they are more likely candidates- not that it simply will not be any of the MPs who got there with more intentions and plans than the name on ballots crew.

janfromthebruce wrote:

My heart sank - I don't get it at all if this is true. I don't care what would be offered it is just so unethical. 

When people think there place in politics is threatened, they are capable of AMAZING pretzel logic. It doesnt matter whether they've been in that place forever, or just got there following through a hole in the sky. Quite a lot of people will do just about anything not to be booted out.

Bending ethics is nothing. Neither is picking a 'strategy' for staying that looks to most observers like it is not even in their careerist self-interest.

Unionist

People here are drawing the most astounding conclusions from the news that one person has decided to switch parties.

 

Unionist

KenS wrote:

When people think there place in politics is threatened, they are capable of AMAZING pretzel logic. It doesnt matter whether they've been in that place forever, or just got there following through a hole in the sky. Quite a lot of people will do just about anything not to be booted out.

Bending ethics is nothing. Neither is picking a 'strategy' for staying that looks to most observers like it is not even in their careerist self-interest.

Right. This 71-year-old MP is definitely trying to position herself for a long stay in the House after 2015 by jumping from the #2 to the #3 party.

 

KenS

There are other flaky reasons.

I will bet she is about to voice at least one of them.

 

We probably agree on one thing I mentioned: shit happens.

Caissa

MP Lise St-Denis is leaving the NDP to join the Liberals, CBC News has learned.

Normally chatty Liberals are silent Tuesday morning in advance of a scheduled news conference by interim leader Bob Rae and Quebec MP Denis Coderre, but CBC News has confirmed it's about St-Denis defecting from the NDP.

St-Denis represents the riding of Saint-Maurice-Champlain, former prime minister Jean Chrétien's riding.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/01/10/pol-lib-rae-coderre.html

robbie_dee

Last year Lise St-Denis  was attacked in the media as a "ghost MP" for being invisible in her riding. She subsequently disclosed that she had been absent since the latter part of the spring parliamentary session because she was [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1024808--new-quebec-... cancer treatment[/url]. While I certainly wish her a return to good health, I can't imagine she has had much opportunity to make an impact as MP in the interim.  I think it would reflect quite poorly on her character if she has chosen an action like this to finally make her mark.

KenS

My philosophy is that people whose day to day working life is electoral politics do it for all manner of reasons that are really impossible to disentangle.

As with any job, careereism is rife and takes an amazaing array of forms. Ditto for the desire to do public service. And can we really tell where one ends and the other begins?

Political people I know about about inhabit a continuum of how much I expect of them. But I dont think I ever entirely lose sight of the fact that continuum is my own costruct.

Sometimes I am more surprised by what individuals do, sometimes less. But either way: shit happens.

Unless I feel, or can see, some concrete and specific betrayal of person or persons, this sort of 'betrayal' is not a big deal in my books. Who knows why the fuck people do what they do. Is politics any different? I just dont like the practical effects. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Bob Rae (on CBC Newsworld just now): "...now, whether anything else happens, I have no idea." Holy cow. Is this an understated indication there are more MPs going to jump parties?

KenS

He's not going to miss a chance to stir the pot further is he?

janfromthebruce

I always thought it reflected poorly on any politician who defected, whether Liberal or Conservative or NDP. It just tells me lots about them as a person. And furthermore, it just sucks so much.

robbie_dee

NDP party policy is that a putative floor-crosser should resign and seek reelection under their new party label in a byelection. I think if Ms. St-Denis really wants to show the courage of her conviction, she should follow the policy she ran on in 2011 and let the voters decide whether they agree with her choice.

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

Good riddance to the nihilist.

Unionist

janfromthebruce wrote:

I always thought it reflected poorly on any politician who defected, whether Liberal or Conservative or NDP. It just tells me lots about them as a person. And furthermore, it just sucks so much.

I respect people more than party labels. Tell me what conclusions you drew about Mulcair and Françoise Boivin because of their defections? Did your opinion of them decline?

And did you respect Jean Charest more when he led the Conservative party than when he switched to the provincial Liberals?

And what about voters, who switch parties - like a few million Quebecers? Did that reflect poorly on them?

What about when a party campaigns from the left, then governs from the right? Is it ok to tell that party to go screw itself?

I think your comment reflects a view of democratic governance that focuses on partisanship and sectarianism. I'll bet you dislike when people switch away from the NDP - not so much when they switch to the NDP.

Parties should serve people, not the other way around.

 

Unionist

robbie_dee wrote:

NDP party policy is that a putative floor-crosser should resign and seek reelection under their new party label in a byelection. I think if Ms. St-Denis really wants to show the courage of her conviction, she should follow the policy she ran on in 2011 and let the voters decide whether they agree with her choice.

That floor-crossing legislation went the way of bank service fees. The NDP pushed it for a while, then forgot about it. Like EI reform, after the NDP voted for Harper's phoney reforms and kept the government alive. I personally haven't heard one word about it since.

I'll bet the candidates (never mind the voters) never even heard of the floor-crossing bill by the time the 2011 campaign rolled around.

In any event, the concept is another example of "Party above all". It embodies the spurious logic that voters vote for you because of your party label, nothing else. I would have respected the draft legislation more if it said, "All elected members are subject to a recall vote if they break their electoral promises". But in the minds of some, the only "promise" that matters is the promise to remain loyal to one's chosen party above all else.

 

Slumberjack

OnTheLeft wrote:
Good riddance to the nihilist.

It sounds awfully close to a prayer I recite every day.

Bookish Agrarian

At the same time Unionist she ran on a platform that included a plank on floor crossing.  So in esscence by this action she has been shown to have malleable ethics and essentially lied to the people of her riding.  Hard to have any respect for that.  

To me it is not about party.  I have zero respect for anyone who is elected under one party and during that mandate switches party.  If they do that as a private citizen and then return to public life under a different party that is an entriely different thing.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Nice personal attacks, but the subject is focused on how mps should not switch unless they run in a byelection under their new party's banner. Also some of your examples such as the Mulcair one doesn't make sense, especially in the context of provincial politics and the fact that they did not switch while being elected.

 

I am not a religious person but I must say, its rumoured that the ninth circle of hell is reserved for traitors eh? Elected in the orange wave yet shows no respect to one who sacrificed so much. This story does not deserve that much attention, otherwise it'll simply strengthen the enemy.

JeffWells

Unionist wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

I always thought it reflected poorly on any politician who defected, whether Liberal or Conservative or NDP. It just tells me lots about them as a person. And furthermore, it just sucks so much.

I respect people more than party labels. Tell me what conclusions you drew about Mulcair and Françoise Boivin because of their defections? Did your opinion of them decline?

 

IMO, there's a world of difference between someone who resigns membership in one party and runs for another, and a floor crosser. Sure, Mulcair and Boivin had been Liberals, but they stood for election as New Democrats. Floor crossing is tremendously disrespectful towards the electorate and helps turn people off the process, It's a great distinctive of the NDP, and much to the party's credit, that it will not receive floor crossers.

Bookish Agrarian

Unionist wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

NDP party policy is that a putative floor-crosser should resign and seek reelection under their new party label in a byelection. I think if Ms. St-Denis really wants to show the courage of her conviction, she should follow the policy she ran on in 2011 and let the voters decide whether they agree with her choice.

That floor-crossing legislation went the way of bank service fees. The NDP pushed it for a while, then forgot about it. Like EI reform, after the NDP voted for Harper's phoney reforms and kept the government alive. I personally haven't heard one word about it since.

I'll bet the candidates (never mind the voters) never even heard of the floor-crossing bill by the time the 2011 campaign rolled around.

In any event, the concept is another example of "Party above all". It embodies the spurious logic that voters vote for you because of your party label, nothing else. I would have respected the draft legislation more if it said, "All elected members are subject to a recall vote if they break their electoral promises". But in the minds of some, the only "promise" that matters is the promise to remain loyal to one's chosen party above all else.

 

 

 

You're absolutely wrong Unionist.  It was in the platform and highlighted in candidates materials in that subject area.  Anyone who was running as a candidate knew, or should have known, that this was an issue the NDP was promoting as part of the platform.

samuelolivier

Unionist wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

I always thought it reflected poorly on any politician who defected, whether Liberal or Conservative or NDP. It just tells me lots about them as a person. And furthermore, it just sucks so much.

I respect people more than party labels. Tell me what conclusions you drew about Mulcair and Françoise Boivin because of their defections? Did your opinion of them decline?

And did you respect Jean Charest more when he led the Conservative party than when he switched to the provincial Liberals?

And what about voters, who switch parties - like a few million Quebecers? Did that reflect poorly on them?

What about when a party campaigns from the left, then governs from the right? Is it ok to tell that party to go screw itself?

I think your comment reflects a view of democratic governance that focuses on partisanship and sectarianism. I'll bet you dislike when people switch away from the NDP - not so much when they switch to the NDP.

Parties should serve people, not the other way around.

 

Personally, I always thought crossing floor was a major democratic disrespect. I think it is really arrogant for them to join another party without any democratic consultation. I thought it was an opportunist move when some ADQ MLA joined the Qc Liberal. I think it's an opportunist move for some ADQ and PQ MLA to join François Legault's party, I thought Belinda Stonach was disrespectful to her constituency and even though I would be happy to see a Bloc or a Liberal MP publicly saying that he/she endorse our values and vision, I would still be disapointed to see them crossing the floor to join us without a democratic consultation with his/her constituency. No wonders why voters are getting more and more cynical, Quebec political landscape has been a total joke lately...

 

Slumberjack

dacckon wrote:
I am not a religious person but I must say, its rumoured that the ninth circle of hell is reserved for traitors eh? Elected in the orange wave yet shows no respect to one who sacrificed so much.

Holy Jesus, I fear we have ourselves a new religion.

samuelolivier

Oh and by the way, if I am correct, Lise St-Denis was president or vice-predisent of the NDP Women Comission (Section Quebec).

What's sad about this is that Chantal Reeves asked to run in St-Maurice for the NDP, since she knows the region really well for having lived there for more than 15 years and ended up running in Ahuntsic and was defeated. She also wanted to run actively in St-Maurice, like she did in Ahuntsic. Knowing Chantal personally, she would never had cross the floor...

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

I'm glad I no longer watch Power & Politics as I'm sure Evan Solomon will have a field day with this.

I can hear his spin now with that big grin on his face, "Whoa oh, is this the end of the NDP in Quebec? Has the Orange wave subsided? Are the Liberals making a big comeback?" followed of course by an interview with a gloating Rae or another nihilist Liberal.

Unionist

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

You're absolutely wrong Unionist.  It was in the platform and highlighted in candidates materials in that subject area.  Anyone who was running as a candidate knew, or should have known, that this was an issue the NDP was promoting as part of the platform.

I'm not close enough to the scene, but are you absolutely sure about that, BA? [url=http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-Platform/NDP-2011-Platform-En.pdf]Here's the 2011 election platform.[/url] There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of promises in there.

Where's the floor-crossing legislation?

By the way, don't get me wrong. I think people who run on a platform, get elected, then switch stands on an important aspect, are not deserving of respect. Yes, I think they should resign (not sit as an independent, which was the silly alternative the NDP's draft bill allowed). But why is that confined to switching party labels??

flight from kamakura

well, considering that she was probably the weakest mp in the entire caucus, and that her caucus colleagues probably did little to shore up her struggling in the job, this is definitely more a perception issue than a substantive one.  four thoughts:

1) this will firm up the ndp caucus by giving it a first real taste of the sort of solidarity that comes with running tough battles together, my guess is that you have a lot more indignant quebec mps, especially among the real dippers.

2) the ndp will probably have to deal with some 'ndp in decline'/'ndp in chaos' stories, as the press digs around for malcontents and that.  how this will push the leadership race, it can't be known, but i could guess.

3) we can't have a new leader soon enough.  though st. denis is obviously one of the poteaux who is completely unfit for parliament, this has to be understood as a major failing on the part of turmel.  who loses an mp 6-8 months after her election?  keeping mps happy, especially struggling mps, this is caucus integrity 101.  it's inconceivable that this would have happened under jack, and i'm sure that turmel's staff has already identified the mps in the caucus requiring special attention (which they'll get from now on).

4) finally, keeping on the issue of turmel and the caucus, this also gives some indication of how hard it'll be to kill off the liberals.  basically, right now, they're down to a core of incredibly experienced and talented parliamentarians, and st denis specifically said in her statement that the liberals were just a much better-oiled machine.  we have to grow into that, we have to get ourselves to the level of professionalism that we can go toe-to-toe with the lpc and the cpc.

this should be a wake-up call to everyone at all levels of ndp activism, from leadership on down to activist.

JeffWells

For me, the good news out of this is it didn't turn out to be one of the younger MPs. I'm still optimistic they're too idealistic to pull a cynical stunt like floorcrossing.

mark_alfred

Charles wrote:

If this is true, I would suspect it's one of those who is not involved in the leadership race by having endorsed one of the candidates.

Lise St-Denis had endorsed Mulcair, apparently.

Bookish Agrarian

Unionist wrote:

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

You're absolutely wrong Unionist.  It was in the platform and highlighted in candidates materials in that subject area.  Anyone who was running as a candidate knew, or should have known, that this was an issue the NDP was promoting as part of the platform.

I'm not close enough to the scene, but are you absolutely sure about that, BA? [url=http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-Platform/NDP-2011-Platform-En.pdf]Here's the 2011 election platform.[/url] There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of promises in there.

Where's the floor-crossing legislation?

 

 

 

An online link is not the entire platform candidates are given.  And without going into too much personal detail, I can say I know for a fact it was in the candidate materials.

Wilf Day

Lise St-Denis was not recruited out of a vacuum. She had been a candidate in 2008 in the suburban Montreal riding where she lived, where she was a retired teacher. That's why they asked her to put her name on the ballot in Saint-Maurice, despite her age (she was our oldest MP.)

Other than the fact that "I wasn't named a critic and I was sat in the back row because of my last name, which starts with S, so I had lots of time to look and listen to everyone," I don't know what her grievance was.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/2012/01/10/pol-lib-rae-coderre.html

edmundoconnor

I would have to agree with Caron, and some here in that since she has decided to leave the party she was elected on, and that party formed a large part of the reason people voted for her, she should resign her seat and seek relection as a Liberal. Doubtless some Liberals and sympathetic sources will be playing this as the bad ol' NDP bullying a woman with cancer.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

edmundoconnor wrote:

Doubtless some Liberals and sympathetic sources will be playing this as the bad ol' NDP bullying a woman with cancer.

The party could avoid a ton of negative publicity by just moving on. Shit happens, and all that.

edmundoconnor

Wilf Day wrote:

Other than the fact that "I wasn't named a critic and I was sat in the back row because of my last name, which starts with S, so I had lots of time to look and listen to everyone," I don't know what her grievance was.

Sweet heavens, not everyone got to be named a critic. Most MPs realize that not everyone gets to have the star turn – some/many think that representing their constituents and voting based on the platform they were elected on is satisfying enough. I'm trying to be fair, as the party has had a few mis-steps, but I think it's fair to judge someone by the words they say, and the attitude those words highlight.

This attitude and now her actions indicate to me the party is well shot of her.

edmundoconnor

Boom Boom wrote:

The party could avoid a ton of negative publicity by just moving on. Shit happens, and all that.

I agree, there's not much mileage in keeping on this, but Caron was right to note how it goes against the party's platform, even if it's just for the record.

Bookish Agrarian

 

From the CBC article

 

St-Denis said her decision was based on the Liberals' social policy and job-creation strategies as reasons for the jump, as well as the NDP pulling support for the mission in Libya in its final weeks.

St-Denis says she didn't believe she'd be elected when she let her name stand as an NDP candidate, but that it wasn't unusual for her to run for the party because she'd worked for them for 10 years.

But she said she's been pondering the jump almost since the May 2, 2011, election.

"It’s been six months that I’ve been reflecting and discussing," she said.

"I wasn't named a critic and I was sat in the back row because of my last name, which starts with S, so I had lots of time to look and listen to everyone," St-Denis said

 

 

These are, at best, odd reasons to make this kind of thumb your nose at your contituents move.

But I still believe in love, hope and optimism so I will refrain from any more critical comments of St-Denis.

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