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JONESIE: The biggest disappointment in this election (so far)

October 08, 2019 - 12:13 PM

 


OPINION


This election is so boring.

It shouldn’t be this way. With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fighting off a series of the dumbest scandals in Canadian history, you’d think that might move the needle and sway some voters but so far, nada. Hey — partisans gotta partisan, amirite?

I had hoped Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott would have a greater impact on this election, but not in the way you might think. Sure, they should have caused more navel-gazing turmoil among their former Liberal friends and surely even more people hoped the Liberals might run a new leader which would make this election so much more interesting (and easier to choose).

I hoped they would inspire more strong candidates to run as independents.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is absolutely right in her messaging that a Green Party could be a greater factor in Parliament if they picked up a few more seats in a minority government.

So why not more independent candidates for the same reason? The huge downside of electing an independent is not having an MP with any power. Ask Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr about that importance — his election campaign is all about the money his government poured in the riding. I mean it’s true, but is that really why we should choose our MPs? That just reeks. Gross.

An independent in a minority government would be the best of both worlds — elevate the importance of a local MP and riding while still holding to principles and being free to criticize the government and its leaders.

Look what happened to Conservative Dan Albas from Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola. He went from Mr. Boring when he was with the ruling Conservatives to suddenly very interesting as an opposition MP.

But both Fuhr and Albas have shown they are good Party Men, unlikely to cause any wrinkles unless you count Albas’s once-strong outward support for former Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier, now (white) People’s Party mouth-runner and soon-to-be-former MP and Canadian history asterisk.

Fuhr, like his fellow Liberal MPs, did some serious mental gymnastics to justify his support for Trudeau in the JWR-Philpott revolt. He fancies himself as an independent thinker, but I think he’s found the limits. It looks terrible on him, even if his plight is somewhat understandable. He’d likely prefer to be free to make other decisions.

How great it would be to see 20-or-so completely independent MPs arguing and working together on individual decisions and votes to get stuff done in a minority government.

But if Wilson-Raybould and Philpott couldn’t inspire that kind of confidence that voters lose nothing with having independent representation — nothing will.

— Marshall Jones is the editor of iNFOnews.ca

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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