Obligatory Bev Desjarlais Post
Well, as many have probably heard, Churchill Manitoba NDP MP Bev Desjarlais has decided to leave caucus and sit as an independant. Sad news for the NDP at a time when everything seemed to be going well for the party, but not a big deal nor, frankly, real surprise.
Bev, of course, will be missed. She was and is a very good MP. I'm not sure why the members of her riding association chose not to nominate her again, but that's what happened. Bev herself seems to think it had something to do with the Same Sex Marriage controversy, in which Bev, against party discipline and contrary to a signed promise she made when she was last nominated (to either support the SSM bill or abstain), voted against the same sex marriage bill. For that, she was removed from her critics position.
Normally that would have been that. But unfortunately, the membership in Churchill did not see it that way, and it is the local riding association that has the final say in the nomination. Again, I'm not sure why they chose not to nominate her, but given that, I understand somewhat her decision to sit as an independant and to run as one in the next election.
Despite the differences that may have led to this, Bev is still a progressive and a good MP for her riding and I for one wish her the best of luck.
With all the partisan consipracy theories going around ('Bev was dumped because of SSM", "Jack Layton engineered this", blah blah blah...), I was curious about the person she lost to Niki Ashton.
Let's see, she is a young woman with a degree in Global Political Economy, is currently studying for a Masters in Interantional Affairs at Carleton University, she speaks Greek, French, English and Spanish fluently, has studied Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish and is currently learning Cree (how many sitting politicians speak Cree?). She has been educated in Hong Kong, travelled to and volunteered in Athens Greece during the Olympics and to Costa Rica while in highschool, has been a teacher, and is currently researching the affects of the free trade agreements on labour rights.
Never mind all that conspiracy crap. The distinct possibility exists that Niki Ashton was seen by members of the riding association in Churchill simply as a better candidate.
I certainly would have voted for her.
As hard as losing Bev Desjarlais is right now, having Niki Ashton as a candidate certainly makes up for it.
Hat tip to the Coyote Howls for the link...