Sunday, February 17, 2008

Former Liberal MP dumps her party: Considers running with Layton's NDP

It will come as a surprise to English readers (as well Liberal MP Marcel Proulx it would appear) that the latest bombshell to hit political Ottawa is the speculation that Francoise Boivin may run for the NDP in the next federal election.

The former Liberal MP for Gatineau and chair of the women's caucus has given up on her old party and is speaking very positively about running with the NDP following her discussions with Layton, Thomas Mulcair and even party stalwart Ed Broadbent.

The stunning news of Boivin’s decision is another sign of the changing face of federal politics in Quebec.

In the next election, Quebec will be key. Yet it is in Quebec that the misdeeds of the Sponsorship scandal have the most resonance and where the Liberal brand is the most discredited.

The NDP has been out performing the Liberals in Quebec since the 2006 Repentigny by-election and the September 2007 by-elections where the Liberals lost their Outremont stronghold to Mulcair and placed a shocking fourth overall.

For a party to defeat Harper in the next election, it will need to have credibility on the war, credibility on the environment, as well as the crucial name recognition of former MPs like Boivin in Quebec.

Boivin’s interest in the NDP is another sign of what could be a hopeful reemergence of a progressive federalist force in Quebec. The Harper Conservatives have reason to look worried.


James Curran said...

Geez. I wonder who will finish second third and fourth in the March 17th by-elections (should they Happen).

Oh yeah, and two of the four Liberal Candidates happen to be ex NDPers.

Jaker said...

Second, third and fourth... what does that number remind me of?

Oh yes, it's how the liberals *actually* finished in the Quebec by-elections.

Sean S. said...

In Saskatchewan being a provincial NDPer doesn't exactly equate to being a Federal NDPer (on paper yes, in values no)...Our SaskNDP is a hybrid Lib/NDP beast....

Blogging Horse said...

James - Boivin's move shows that the NDP is the one building in Quebec to take on Harper and what remains of the Bloc. The coalition McGrath called for on Friday is coming to pass.

Sean - Not sure where your point fits on the topic. That said, the traditions of pragmatic MB/SK New Democrats are very much in line with the Layton-led NDP. The tradition of Liberals on the other hand - that of promising change in elections and then not delivering - has no place in the NDP at any level.

janfromthebruce said...

Sweet. As long as she stays in our fold. Considering how the libs are sitting on their hands, not showing up for votes, Afghanistan position the same as Harper cons, abstening from fall budget vote and thus giving away our national cookie jar, and overall propping up the Harper Cons, what do you expect from 'progressive political persons' who have principles they actually live by, as opposed to the principle of winning, power, polls.

Overall, sweet!

Blogging Horse said...

Jan - Having Boivin join the team is sweet indeed. Her positions on in favour of same sex marriage and against missile defense may have made her a lonely Liberal but are very much in the main stream of the NDP.

Boivin is also following in the footsteps of the late Pauline Jewett - a hero among progressive women - who served as a Liberal MP but quit the party over the War Measures Act and joined the NDP under whose banner she was later reelected.

James Curran said...

The history of the NDP in Gatineau does not bode well for Francoise.

Jaker said...

The history of the NDP in Outremont did not bode well for Mulcair either.

It's not solid but it's certainly possible following Outremont. In this case, aside from not being a byelection, it might be called more favourable conditions. Being the well-regarded former liberal MP in a left-leaning federalist riding against a weak bloc incumbent there is a great deal of opportunity. The Conservatives are reportedly running a decent candidate who is a local councillor and businessman so should draw well on the centre-right. NDP also has strong organization in the area with Ottawa next door.

Jim said...

To James Curran, are you the same "James Curran" who had to step down as a Liberal candidate in Niagara?

If so, what in the hell are you doing telling the NDP what it can and cannot do?

The Pundits' Guide said...

To change the subject for a second, I just wanted to say thank you, blogging horse, for linking to my new Pundits' Guide. I think you're the fifth or so person who's linked to me either in a blogroll or as a citation in a blog-post, which is still new enough to me to be really exciting.

OK now, back to your banter, all you pundits.

James Curran said...

What's your point troll boy. You think I'd hide from an idiot like you?

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogging Horse said...

Whoa, now. Let's keep it friendly, okay.

And in that spirit, thanks to you, Pundit Guide for a very cool website and a valuable service! Now, if only Pundit Guide had the John King-style touchscreen from CNN. :)

ARK said...

Sweet news, indeed. But seeing as how Quebeckers already have a left-wing tradition with a (locally) nutritiously nationalist flavour in the sagging yet still breathing PQ, does the NDP really have a realistic chance in the province? Or will the effect simply be vote-splitting on the margins?

(I'm not being cutely contrary -- gnuine question.)

Malcolm+ said...

Pauline Jewett was certainly a marvellous woman and a fine MP.

While the imposition of martial law by the pig Trudeau was the straw that broke the camel's back for Pauline, her disillusion with the Liberal Party's utter lack of integrity, honesty or any other redeeming quality began much earlier.

She was known to tell the story of having asked Mike Pearson about prosepcts for advancement. What could she do to prove her value and perhaps be considered for a future cabinet appointment?

Mike looked at her all bemused and said that he already had one woman in cabinet.

Indeed, Mike. Why would you have more than one woman in cabinet - considering that so many of the men in your cabinet were hardly shining lights.

It is amusing watching Liberal hypocrites wax indignant that the NDP won't just shut down and endorse them. Their culture of entitlement drives all.

Please stop lying, Liberals. Admit that you really don't disagree with the Conservatives on a single damned thing. Admit that you are and have always been a right wing party.

Blogging Horse said...

thanks, ark.

well, a lot depends on what happends to the BQ, who have been losing support steadily since 1993. 15 years ago they could count on almost 2 million votes, now it's down to 1.1 million when you look at the PQ's results in the last provincial election.

In short, politics in Quebec is changing because the national debate is changing.

The Outremont by-election is among the examples of BQ voters as well as disillusioned Liberals choosing the NDP as a force for change.

The NDP, and now Boivin with them, are banking that can be replicated in a lot of ridings across the province.