Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Renegade's Return to Power?

So, Svend Robinson is planning to run for Parliament again, this time against Hedy Fry in Vancouver Centre. That could end up being one of the most interesting races in the 2006 election. Of the different ridings that Svend could have chosen to run in, this is probably his best bet, given that Burnaby-Douglas is no longer available. If I were Svend, looking about the lower mainland for an opponent, Hedy Fry would certainly be my target of choice. Not only is does the riding have a heavy concentration of NDP voters already located there, but Dr. Fry has hardly distinguished herself as a Cabinet Minister. Her claim that "crosses are burning" will haunt her long after she leaves office. Of course, I'd prefer it if Mr. Robinson ran against a beatable Conservative, but I don't think that a riding that voted for a Conservative in 2004 is going to welcome Svend with open arms.

The only other riding I would have suggested to Svend is Ottawa Centre. With the departure of Ed Broadbent, the race there is shaping up to be the battle of the party hacks. Ottawa Centre likes a dynamic representative, and Svend is nothing if not dynamic. It is a great irony that same-sex marriage passed Parliament when he was no longer in office.

Frankly, I hope he does run and win. While I have disagreed with some of his positions in the past, and he is not the best team player in Parliament, he is at least a strong personality, and willing to stick his neck out for a cause he believes in (although a less charitable observer might claim that the neck is stuck out to get the cameras to see him). The last Parliament has been dismally boring without the likes of Svend, Sheila Copps and Deb Grey to watch, particularly given the charisma-challenged cabinet. It has led to a rather navel-gazing Parliamentary press corps breathlessly covering the latest possible perceived crack in the Conservative firmament, devastatingly parodied by Paul Wells this weekend.

If the voters of Quebec can forgive Andre Boisclair for his cocaine usage while a cabinet minister, I suspect the voters of Vancouver Centre can forgive Svend for his theft, particularly if they are willing to believe that this was the result of a mental illness.

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At 12:52 pm, Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Also, I think a lot of people (including me until yesterday) believed that when he mentioned mental illness after the incident with the ring that he was simply talking about depression, or some such thing.

I was certainly more than willing to believe him, especially since he was so forthright about the incident, but I think a lot of people thought "yeah, right, he was alittle depressed, so he stole a ring... I don't buy it".

I know now that Mr. Robinson suffers from bipolar disorder, and I think the fact that (again) he has been so forthright about this will mean that a) more people will believe that the ring incident was a case of stress aggrivating his condition and making him do something he ordinarily wouldn't, and b) make many people more likely to vote for him out of admiration for his honesty, and willingness to bring his illness to light, and perhaps help others who are similarly suffering.

I hope he does decide to run (and it sounds like he virtually has) and I wish him well in the election!

At 4:01 pm, Anonymous Chris Chu said...

He skillfully acquired a ring :)


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