The NDP have their candidate in place as the count down towards the call of the by-election in Labrador ticks away. The party rejected a call from the Green Party to sit out the election so as not to split the “progressive vote” and ensure that the Conservative Party candidate looses.
I suppose, the Liberals could have sat this one out as well considering that the candidate who was robbed of the seat by Peter’s cheating will not be in the race for a rematch.
The ink on Penashue’s news release was hardly dry when Yvonne Jones announced her intention to seek the nomination. There was no courtesy afforded to Todd Russell who represented the riding for 3 terms and lost the election by some 79 votes.
Yvonne’s rush to shut Todd Russell out has not gone over all that good in some parts of Labrador where many people think the Liberal Party should have just appointed Russell. They feel he was robbed by Penashue and is now being mugged by Jones.
Russell is currently president of the NunatuKavut Community Council. He has stated that he will remain in that role and not seek the Liberal nomination.
I think Todd should have had an opportunity to announce his intentions before being bushwhacked by Jones and much of the provincial caucus. Russell was an effective voice in the Canadian Parliament and certainly deserves more respect than is currently being afforded to him.
Still with the Labrador situation, the by-election call should not be made until the details of Penashue's plea deal with Election Canada is known. It seems pretty obvious that a group of inexperienced campaign aids screwed-up. So far, nothing has surfaced that point towards an orchestrated conspiracy to break the election laws. If no intent can be found, Elections Canada is not going seek a remedy from the courts.
What they will do is settle on a compliance agreement, if they have not already. The result is Penashue will be educated on the election laws, repay illegal contributions and own up to mistakes. It will not prevent him from running again.
What he owns up to and the details of the arrangement with Elections Canada must be made public prior to any by-election call.
Besides the people of Labrador, the real loser here is Todd Russell. Robbed of the election and mugged for the nomination.
It is that kind of self-serving approach to politics that has all but destroyed the party. Most pundits say that who ever wins the Liberal nomination is a sure bet to win the election. It is taken for granted.
If I were a Russell supporter, I would be voting for the NDP. Surely voters are tired of being taken for granted by professional politicians who want to fatten their pensions.