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Where Is The Democracy?

June 23, 2007

So, Thunder Bay—Superior North in the last federal election voted:



New Democrat


Votes Cast




So why does that riding now have a Conservative MP? Where is the democracy in that?

Categories: Federal
  1. rabbit
    June 23, 2007 at 11:00 am

    I have always believed in the primary of the individual in
    politics. Voters should understand that they are first and
    foremost voting for an individual, not a party. And this
    is backed by the laws of the land.

    Thus I do not deny the right of an MP to switch parties,
    no matter if the jump (Stronach) or are pushed (Turner,
    Commuzzi, Casey).

    I find it a little strange that you mention Commuzzi but not
    Casey, by the way. The two instances seem completely

  2. Cam
    June 23, 2007 at 11:13 am

    I lived in Thunder Bay for 4 years, and there is no way that Comuzzi will ever win as a Tory, he is simply not that popular there. He won his seat time and time again more because of the “Liberal” on the ballot, not his name.

    Here’s a story for you to tell you about the kind of MP Comuzzi is. During the 2000 election, I attended an all-candidates meeting at Lakehead University. I got up and asked a question about what each party was going to do for Aboriginal people, because I am Metis. Everyone gave their answers, but they Comuzzi got up and said “We pay for Post-Secondary schooling for all Aboriginal people in Canada”. Anyone who is up on these issues knows that is complete BS. This is from an MP who had been in Ottawa for 3 terms already representing a riding with very high Native populations, and he didn’t know this. So I called Joe on this point pointed out that I was a Metis student who received no government funding what so ever for my university studies, and I could produce him another 2 dozen Native Students at Lakehead who I knew who also didn’t receive funds, as he claimed. He went absolulty white and you could see the “holy shit” look on his face. About 2 minutes afterwards, while the meeting was still going on, he rushed off the stage to where I was sitting, and started asking me how he could help me out, taking my contact information at all, obviously worried about what just happened. As he was doing this, I told him that I had already voted by absentee ballot in my home riding, Kenora. At that moment, he stopped, gave me a dirty look and walked away. I guess my problem wasn’t that big a problem for him if he couldn’t get my vote.

    Joe Comuzzi is an unprincipled man, and he will never win in Thunder Bay-Superior North as a Tory. And you add on to this the fact that his riding has been one of the hardest hit by the Softwood lumber sell-out. Thank god his days as an MP seem to be at an end.

  3. JF
    June 23, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Well, NDP MP Peter Stoffer has introduced a bill (C-251, see how the vote played out here) in the 38th Parliament so that this wouldn’t happen anymore, but the oh-so-progressive Liberals (who are really the most ardent defenders of the status quo, even more than the Conservatives I’d say) made sure that didn’t happen. Of course, the Bloc also joined the Liberals because the Bloc, well, they don’t seem to like that whole democracy thing, and half the Conservatives didn’t want it either (thank you for the Conservatives who _did_ vote with it though), and they certainly wouldn’t support it now that they’re in government. They’d lose their backdoor to staying alive in this minority government. Backroom politics for a backdoor government, eh?

    And man, for some reason, your text box bleeds into the side and I can’t really see what I’m typing after a certain point, so I don’t even know if I made mistakes…

  4. Northern BC Dipper
    June 23, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    I find it a little strange that you mention Commuzzi but not
    Casey, by the way. The two instances seem completely

    When Casey goes and joins another party against the obvious democratic wishes of his constituents, let me know.

  5. June 24, 2007 at 11:24 am

    I don’t mind when an MP switches parties, but I do think that when they do they should resign and run under the new party banner in a byelection in order to gain the mandate of his or her constituency to do so.

  6. Maatje Piket
    June 25, 2007 at 11:05 am

    The BC NDP party didn’t seem to mind when Gordon Wilson joined the NDP government caucus some years back. Gordon had been a Liberal, then formed the Progressive Democratic Alliance which he then left to join the NDP as a cabinet minister.

    He did this without so much as a word to his supporters and his riding association. Instead he made his announcement via media leaving in his wake many people feeling betrayed by this move on his part.

    If you are a member of the provincial NDP you are also a member of the federal NDP, so it cannot be argued that this is “different”. Perhaps the NDP should have called for a byelection in the Sunshine Coast riding so that Wilson could have been duly elected as an NDP candidate. Of course, this didn’t happen. As a point of interest though, he was defeated in the next general election along with the vast majority of his NDP colleagues.

    So, explain to me how there is a difference between the situations you are criticizing and the situation within your own party. I would be very interested to hear your rationalization.

  7. Northern BC Dipper
    June 25, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Maatje Piket,

    Wow, sounds like somebody’s desperate enough to drag up ancient history. I can say I wasn’t a New Democrat back then, and I vaguely remember Gordon Wilson being dubbed “Flip”. But then again, I was like, what, just past the first decade of my life?

    I honestly don’t see any difference between the situation.

  8. Maatje Piket
    June 25, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    Well, the NDP and the Conservatives are happy enough to bring up Liberal history when it suits them and it is always instructive to look at what political parties actually do when they have the challenge of governing rather than talking about what they might do if they have the opportunity. History is very informative especially for a party that has never formed a national government – you look at the difference between words and action wherever you can.

    The key is that you recognize that there isn’t a difference. Personally, I believe that if an MP gets thrown out of his or her caucus, having made a choice on principle, then they have the right to decide what path to take until the next election. Then the voters exercise their democratic right to retain or turf you based on their assessment of your choices.

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