Liberals lose majority by 13 seats …
Despite the bad mouthing and the betrayal by Jody Wilson-Raybould and her apparently conspiring with her friend Jane Philpots that could not stop PM Justin Trudeau from getting the most seats in the October 21, 2019 Federal elections. Todate the Liberals have 157 seats falling short by 13 to get an outright majority. The Conservatives got 121 up by 26 seats over 2015, the NDP 24, Bloc Quebecois 32, the Greens 3 and finally one Independent in the person of Jody Wilson-Raybould making up the 338 seats Federal Parliament of Canada.
Jody Wilson-Raybould and her “partner in crime” Jane Philpots decided to embark on an Independent route. As independents they not running in an established party or existing party structure. To run on a party ticket one is guided or restricted to party rules and there are reporting structures and usually a party hierarchy to contend with. There is little or no external funding for Independent candidates.
There is the vexed issue of party rules and you are subjected to party discipline and a publicly stated platform and possibly no prospectus. Such strictures are not for everyone and based on what we have seen with Jody and Jane it is not surprising they would opt to be their own “party bosses”.
To be a team player is no ordinary feat.
Utterances and party positions on especially sensitive issues like same sex marriage, abortion, LBQ issue and related public positions and or utterances to name a few have to be adhered to or you could face the consequences of disciplinary action and even expulsion. For example a Green Party candidate was pulled for alleged comments considered contrary to the party’s stated stand.
An independent candidate is at a real disadvantage when compared to other conventional candidates. Under the Westminster form of Parliamentary democracy … the system used by Canada and many other countries like the United Kingdom. Independents are not known to fare well as a rule of thumb. For example funding and brand recognition to name a few. There are exceptions to this well known convention. In the October 21, 2019 poll in Canada one Jody Wilson-Raybould ran as an Independent … was successful in her candidacy as an Independent for Vancouver Granville. She was a Liberal MP who was removed by PM Trudeau after a falling out over the SNC Lavalin debacle.
The big question is how will the Liberals govern with Alberta and Saskatchewan et al , that end of the country without a Liberal MP. Time will tell. The Conservatives took all those seats. The Liberals were shut out of that area of Canada. There is a sea of blue out there. Blue is the Conservative party colour. This is an opportunity for parties to work together to get consensus on certain issues. So called horse trading has to be done. A new paradigm in governing. The Liberals have their work cut out. We wish them well. Will Canada be best served in the end? As usual the verdict is yours. We will be watching developments closely. These are real new challenges for governance in Canada.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent for GTA Weekly