Thursday, January 11, 2007

Shouldn't that headline have scare quotes?

From today's Globe and Mail website: Liberal Lapierre leaving federal caucus

Such a pity... I'm sure that Stéphane Dion would have made him intergovernmental affairs minister if the Liberals won the next election. As longer-term readers of this space know, I had the privilege of having Founding BQ member Jean as my MP while I lived in Montreal. It was enough to make me waste several good weekend hours handing out flyers for a no-hoper NDP campaign in Outremont. Recruiting him ranks high on my list of reasons why I disliked Paul Martin and questioned his judgement. The party will be stronger for losing him. Bu-bye Jean - don't let the door hit you on the way out.

As for the speculation about who should run to replace him, I have no problem per se with Justin Trudeau running for the nomination. But I think that he would do his party more good if he ran in a more contested seat, such as one of the Montreal ridings that the Liberals lost in 2006. Outremont is a very safe Liberal seat - heck, the party even held it with Jean Lapierre as their candidate - and I suspect the party would benefit more from keeping this seat for someone who might need a safer entry into the House of Commons, and would be a more impressive recruit. This is not to say that Justin Trudeau doesn't have star power, but he is not likely to significantly raise the party's profile in Quebec.

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