The NDP’s representative for former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s old Saint Maurice-Champlain riding in Quebec, has announced that she, MP Lise St-Denis, is joining the Liberal caucus. In some political circles this is known as “ratting”, and, although I agree with Liberal leader Bob Rae who is reported to have said that jumping to the third party from the Official Opposition can hardly be seen as opportunism, I find the practice lacking in respect for democracy.
How can a candidate spend an entire campaign telling voters her party best serves their aspirations then within a scant three months or so defect to another party?
This is unconscionable.
We all know that many politicians change sides. Some even change, then change back. But only three months after an election?
True, the New Democrats’ leadership is in a state of flux, and a poll done in late December shows NDP support in Quebec is sliding. But this hardly sufficient to justify an MP switching sides.
Lise St-Denis’s defection leaves the Dippers with 101 MPs in the Commons, 58 of which are from Quebec, and gives the Liberals 35 seats, only eight of which are from Quebec.
Copyright © 2012 Russell G. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.