Monday, May 16, 2011

Canadian Democracy - Featuring the NDPers June 2, 2011

According to recent news reports, some Quebecois have now admitted that their collective support for the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidates during the May 2, 2011 election was driven by, among other things, a disillusion with le Bloc Quebecois (the separatists party at the federal govt level); the remaining bitter taste with the Liberal Party over the Sponsorship Scandal; and a distrust of the Harper-led Conservatives. Given the limited choices, and charmed by the charismatic NDP leader Jack Layton, many Quebecois basically voted for the names associated with the NDP. So, it came as a bit of an embarrassment for voters and the NDPers alike when the media reported that one of the elected MPs, Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau, had never set foot in the riding she was supposed to represent, had not done any campaigning (she was vacationing in Las Vegas during part of the election), and spoke little French (her riding was 3/4 Francophones). To top it off, she beats the next candidate by over 6000 votes and will receive a $157,000 annual salary for each of the next 4 yrs, plus parliamentarian benefits, travel allowances and an office budget of thousands of dollars.

After the federal election, the more "senior" NDPers have been hard at work shielding their rookie MPs (many are still in or just graduated from colleges/universities) from being interviewed by probing journalists. Unfortunately, it doesn't help improve the party's image when one senior NDP MP, Mr. Thomas MuClair made a conspiracy-theory type of gaffe by telling a CBC journalist that he did not believe the Osama bin Laden photos actually existed. Veteran NDP Foreign Affairs critic Mr. Paul Dewar had to quickly do some damage control by emphasizing his colleague was not disputing Prez Obama's claim. But the damage was already done.

As to the controversial MP, 27 yrs old Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau, she emerged on May 11 and pledged to move into her Berthier-Maskinonge riding (btwn Gatineau and Montreal) to serve her constituents. According to the May 12 Ottawa Sun, the NDP leader rose again to defend the newly minted MP. "Madame Brosseau won by 6000 votes. (The voters) have expressed confidence in her," said Layton. "People wanted changed in that riding and that is exactly what we are going to deliver."

If I were a corporate CEO, I would not have taken the risk of hiring someone with no proven track record and no intention of doing the job. But this is democracy Canadian style and voters have exercised their rights to choose their riding representatives based on whatever criteria they want.

So is the NDP well prepared to become, for the first time in Canadian history, the official Opposition Party? Notwithstanding the track-record of veteran NDP MPs such as Jack Layton and Paul Dewar, I have my doubts at this point. But then I respect Canada's democratic election process and will give the NDPers the benefit of the doubts, as will most of the voters who have given the NDP candidates 59 out of the 75 seats in Quebec.

In the harsh, tough political environment of Parliament Hill, I sure hope that, as new MPs of the official Opposition Party, the new NDPers will learn fast to serve the ridings they represent and the country they will help govern.

All eyes will be on the NDPers when the new session of Parliament starts on June 2, 2011. Conservative heavy-weight John Baird has already predicted (with a grin) that there will be some interesting debates ahead.

Did I hear a young voice from the Official Opposition side of the House shouting: "Bring it on !!" ??

Sent from BlackBerry


the inner space said...


根據現時的規定,所有聯邦候選人需取得最少100名支持者的簽名才能參與競選,但Berthier-Maskinonge選區的自由黨表示支持布羅索(Ruth Ellen Brosseau)的部份簽名可能是偽造的,可能是不居住在選區內的人簽名,他們亦可能不明白簽名的目的。





自由黨候選人戈岱(Francine Gaudet)的發言人施瑪(Denis Simard)說:「人們是因為橙色(新民主黨)浪潮投票給此人的,現在我們知道鬼魂的顏色是橙色。」點票結果顯示戈岱只獲8,109票,比布羅索少三分之二票。


楊格(Rene Young)承認布羅索提名文件上有他的簽名,但他不記得是否為了支持候選人而簽名,而且他不能辨認妻子的簽認。

Berthier- Maskinonge自由黨選區協會主席施維斯岱(Louis Sylvestre)提出布羅索當選同時打擊區內選民的自尊心。他說:「對我們來說,這是極侮辱的事,我們不是愚蠢,是他們撒謊。」

施瑪說:「我們正在逐個核對,我們已有律師,或者有人會被傳召作證。當我們有證據後,我們會要求加拿大選舉局進行重選。」該選區排第二位候選人高德(Marie- Claude Godue)也要求重選。

新民主黨否認布羅索的提名文件有任何問題。林頓和副黨魁穆凱爾(Thomas Mulcair)說布羅爾將努力學法文,確保她能代表該法語選區。


the inner space said...

the Gazette MONTREAL - Mylène Freeman has been studying political theory at McGill University for the past four years, but nothing in her textbooks prepared her for the shock of winning in a riding in which she didn't even set foot during the election campaign.

"It is very surreal," said Freeman, 22, who trounced former Bloc Québécois powerhouse Mario Laframboise by 8,000 votes in Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel in Monday's New Democratic Party landslide in Quebec.

No one was more surprised than Freeman, a fluently bilingual native of Stouffville, Ont., who expected to finish second, despite polls showing surging support for the NDP during the last two weeks of the campaign.

"I still haven't quite realized it," said Freeman, a past co-president of NDP McGill whois to graduate this term.

"It's just shocking in that respect."

Freeman is one of five McGill students heading for Parliament among a raft of political newbies swept to power under the orange banner.

Four of the five spent most of the campaign volunteering for Outremont MP Thomas Mulcair rather than campaigning in their own ridings because they entered the race not expecting to win.

"I was putting my effort in the Montreal area because that's where I thought I would be the most useful to the party," said Freeman.

But while the NDP's sweep was unexpected, all say they will repay constituents' confidence by working hard in the House of Commons.

Charmaine Borg, 20, the new NDP MP for Terrebonne-Blainville, vowed that what she lacks in experience, she will make up in effort.

"I think the biggest challenge right now is proving to people that a 20-year-old can do a good job and that youth actually can have power and create change," said Borg, a second-year student of political science and Latin American studies.

When she knocked on doors in the riding late in the campaign, Borg said, "the reaction was: 'You're so young!' "

But the fluently bilingual native of Keswick, Ont., is confident of making her mark in the new job.

"I think that it doesn't necessarily mean anything that you're young," said Borg, who is co-president of NDP McGill and a former organizer with a union representing casual workers at the university.

"We're just as motivated, just as driven," she said.

Borg had planned to spend her next academic term in Mexico as a foreign-exchange student but instead she will embark on a four-year term in Ottawa.

"I'm much more excited about this," she said.

She hopes to complete her degree eventually but isn't focusing on that at this point. "Right now I have a lot on my plate," she said.

the inner space said...

the Gazette MONTREAL - Laurin Liu, 20, the newly elected member for Rivièredes-Mille-Îles, is in her second year of a joint-honours program in history and cultural studies.

She was working in a polling station in Mulcair's Outremont riding on election day when a friend sent her a text message saying she was leading, followed by lots of exclamation marks.

"I feel a little shell-shocked but I mostly feel a lot of pride because I know a lot of my peers worked really hard to get the vote out in Quebec," said Liu, a graduate of Royal West Academy and Collège Jean de Brébeuf.

Fluent in Cantonese, English and French, Liu is a contributor and director at McGill's community radio station. Liu, who doesn't have a driver's licence or a car, doesn't know how she will commute to the riding from her home in the Mile End district. She is hoping to continue her studies part-time.

Despite her youth, Freeman already has years of political involvement under her belt. She ran for Projet Montréal in Outremont in 2009, worked on Mulcair's 2008 campaign and is co-ordinator of McGill's Women in House program, which encourages young women to get involved in politics by shadowing female MPs.

She grew up in a bicultural household where her Quebec-born mother, Jeanne Major, was deeply involved with municipal politics. "My mother is my hero," she said.

Alex Norris, Projet Montréal city councillor, described Freeman as "bright, articulate and perfectly bicultural and bilingual. She's an impressive young woman who will make a great MP."

At 39, Jamie Nicholls is the oldest of the five McGill students elected to the House of Commons. The new MP in Vaudreuil-Soulanges returned to St. Lazare, where he grew up, in 2003, after studying and working in Vancouver, South Korea and Turkey. He is working on a Ph.D. in landscape architecture. He first joined the NDP at age 18 and worked on Mulcair's last two campaigns. In this campaign, he criss-crossed the riding by bicycle.

"My top priority is to represent the electors who have put me there," said Nicholls.

Matthew Dube, a Political Science major and History minor at McGill, won in Chambly Borduas riding.

Haricot 微豆 said...


Thank you for the excellent quotes from Montreal Gazette and 【加拿大星島日報】. As of today, Election Canada still recognizes布羅索(Ruth Ellen Brosseau) as the successful candidate for the riding. Only the court can rule on her legitimacy/removal.

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