Saturday, March 10, 2007

Bad or good news?

CanWest is reporting that 12 Liberal MPs won't seek re-election. This is bad news in that we will be losing a lot of cumulative parliamentary experience and this fuels speculation about a lack of confidence in the Liberal's electoral fortunes.

On the other hand, this frees up a number of ridings for M. Dion to make good on his promise of one-third women candidates in the next election. Given that incumbents are 'protected' from nominations, we believed that PEI would not have the benefit of a female Liberal candidate. With Liberal MP Joe McGuire retiring, it looks as if this will open up a spot for a female candidate on the Island.

Given that all 12 ridings - including Outremont - are obviously 'winnable' what an ideal opportunity for women. I want to take this opportunity to encourage all Liberals to promote women's candidacies in the bulk of these freed-up safe/ winnable ridings. I have met the majority of would-be Liberal candidates in Ontario and Quebec and they are certainly a meritorious group. I don't think any Liberal would have any problem with any of these candidates being appointed in order to maximise election readiness - unless, of course, they have ulterior/ self-interested motives.

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At 2:28 p.m., Blogger IslandLiberal said...

I don't really see it as a sign of weakness; with the exception of Owen (seven years, three terms), these guys are all in their second or third decade of service, with an average length of 15 years of service, more than double the average length of seven or so; Peterson is in his 23rd year, non-consecutive, while others have been around since 1988 or 1993. They've either done their time in Cabinet or missed the window. Canada has no real tradition of really long-term backbenchers as a rule (safe seats create some, but turnover is usually very high), compared to Britain.

As for McGuire's replacement, I wouldn't bet on a female candidate unless one is forced upon the riding. High profile guys like Keith Milligan, Bobby Morrisey, and Paul Schurman are circling.

At 2:56 p.m., Blogger player_hater said...

The minority situation also raises some a point. Some M.P.s prepare for elections like a boxing match or marathon, they train so they can handle the five week grind. With elections happening every 18 months you can't expect these people to keep going. It is no sense of weakness, besides the Liberal campaign will be more focused on the slaight of candidates, then just the leader, Rae, Kennedy, Trudeau etc.


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