Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NDP MP Lise St-Denis becomes a rat and joins the Liberal caucus

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.


  1. Her riding hasn't been Liberal since in years. In 2004 the Liberals came in 2nd place. In 2006 the Liberals came in 3rd place. In 2008 they came in 3rd place again. In 2011 they came in 4th. This riding has been a Bloc stronghold and it might very well be again in 4 years. The Constituents have been voting for the Bloc for years, they try something new in the NDP, only to have their new NDP MP defect in just under a year. Separatism isn't dead, it is on life support. If antics like this keep up we will see the Bloc gain party status in the House again. This riding for sure.

  2. Bob Rae is correct. David Emerson's defection to Harper's cabinet was pure opportunism. I bet you were outraged?

  3. Yes, Anon 2:22PM, I was outraged by David Emerson's opportunistic ratting.