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A Good Day for Canadian Democracy

October 15th, 2008

I’ve written before that I support the concept of floor crossing, think it’s an important safeguard against “the tyranny of the party“. I have, however, also stated before that the way to deal with floor crossers is not to ban the practise, but “voters who will punish floor crossers.”

It bears repeating, if Scott Bryson and Belinda Stronach had gone down to defeat in the last election, David Emerson and Wajid Khan would never have crossed this time (Garth Turner might have anyway).

This Parliament we had the three above mentioned floor crossers, plus unelected Michael Fortier taking a senate seat and sitting in cabinet, a move that didn’t sit well with voters at the time. And what happened during last nights election?

Wajid Khan

The riding [Streetsville] was considered a bellwether for the country because of Khan’s well-publicized decision to leave the Liberals and join the Conservatives gave the Tories their only seat in Mississauga. If he could have held the seat, observers said, it might have been an indication Stephen Harper’s party could win a majority.

But Khan couldn’t hold on to it.

Garth Turner

Apparently I am too much. Too much for a successful career in Canadian politics, anyway. As you may have heard, last night I lost my seat in Parliament in the first elections in the world to be held in the immediate wake of the financial and economic mess enveloping us.

Michael Fortier

Michael Fortier gambled his Senate job against a seat in the House of Commons but he did not hold the winning cards in Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Bloc Québécois incumbent Meili Faille, 36, who lives in the riding off the western tip of Montreal Island, trumped the Conservative star candidate, just as she beat other high-profile opponents in the last two general elections.

As for David Emerson, the heat over his floor crossing never subsided in his BC riding, and he chose to not even run. That makes a perfect four for four (444?) of candidates who crossed the floor or were appointed undemocratically. Any candidate who choses to cross the floor in the next Parliamentary session will have to think twice, will know that facing the consequences of their decision means more than some unpleasant editorials and a few blog postings.

Congratulations to voters in each of those ridings, who did the right thing, and proved that we don’t need bad laws to save our democracy from itself.

floor crossing

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