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 !!" ??
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