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May 23, 2005
Maybe They Should Have Chosen A Better Spokesperson

The Liberal Party sent new Cabinet minister Belinda Stronach to campaign in a critical federal by-election in Labrador this weekend in order to ensure the retention of a Commons seat for the Grits. While the seat in Goose Bay has historically been safe for the Liberals, with only one Tory elected in the last 50 years, the appearance of Stronach might not make for the best reminder of Liberal politics at the moment:

Belinda Stronach was among three Liberal cabinet ministers campaigning in Labrador yesterday, two days before an important federal by-election in the region.

The newly minted Human Resources Minister gave her first major speech since defecting from the Conservative Party last week, supporting Todd Russell in tomorrow's by-election to succeed the late Liberal MP Lawrence O'Brien.

If the Tories can pull off an upset, they can gain a seat in the Commons and once again have a thin majority for a new try at a no-confidence motion. Likely, however, Paul Martin will simply prorogue Parliament if the Liberals lose in Goose Bay, and may well keep Parliament out of session until next year, hoping for better political fortunes. After all, Martin has his budget, and he's met the requirements for this year in having Parliament in session. That already seems likely even without losing Goose Bay.

It's precisely that kind of machination that Stronach represents, especially in her new position as Human Resources minister. The G&M didn't give the gist of her speech, but her appearance must have seemed rather odd to the staunchly Liberal riding. Her recent defection cannot have built much trust in her convictions, and her opportunistic elevation to the Cabinet only reinforces the garage-sale tactics of the Martin government. The Tories in the riding, already seething from her betrayal, will build even more momentum in getting out the vote.

One wonders why Stronach has been asked to appear anywhere outside her own riding. Do the Liberals have a problem in getting more reliable campaigners on the road?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 23, 2005 5:57 AM

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» If you can’t fix it, then feature it: from The Wild Duck
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Tracked on May 23, 2005 7:14 AM

» Not much of a compliment for Belinda Stronach from Angry in the Great White North
Captain Ed wonders why Belinda Stronach was campaigning for the Liberals in the Newfoundland by-election:Her recent defection cannot have built much trust in her convictions, and her opportunistic elevation to the Cabinet only reinforces the garage-sal... [Read More]

Tracked on May 23, 2005 1:14 PM

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