Lise St-Denis, the NDP member for Shawinigan, has stunned her colleagues by defecting to the Liberals.  Of those who elected her, St-Denis, says “They voted for Jack Layton.  Jack Layton is dead.”

The relative speed with which Ms St-Denis decided to bolt the party shook up Ottawa, especially since she spent about a decade as an NDP party volunteer. St-Denis said she did not feel at ease in a party that wanted to quickly pull out of Libya, called for the abolition of the Senate and rejected any private-sector involvement in building a new bridge in Montreal.

The NDP said the defection was a betrayal of the wishes of her riding. And they have demanded that a by-election be called in her riding.

Should an elected member of  Parliament be able to cross the the floor and join another party without consulting his or her constituents?

Should an elected member who wants to join another partyy be forced to resign, then run again under the label of her new party?

Should there be a by-election in this case?

What do you think?


Just for the record, this is post number 1000 on this blog


  1. 1

    Members of Parliament are such as a result of the Constitution of Canada;political parties are not。

    There is no moral,legal, or constitutional reason why there should be a byelection。Tough luck to the constituents of her riding。 They can refuse to vote for her next time she puts herself forward as a candidate。

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Meanwhile, for the next three years her constituents are stuck with a member of a party they did not vote for. Tough luck, you say. But is it fair?

  3. 3

    “The NDP said the defection was a betrayal of the wishes of her riding.”

    How would they know that? Have they ever bothered asking the constituents of that riding?

    Chuck Cadman was my MP when Harper tossed him out the door in favor of somebody who had sold more cookies. Harper didn’t bother consulting the constituents here, either, and in the next election, we voted in Chuck by a rather large landslide — as an Independent!

    You cannot tell the voters that they have to vote for a party. That might be, in effect, what they have done, after all the beans are counted. But that’s not necessarily what they do in that voting booth.

  4. 4

    I saw on the news today, that Sir Winston Churchill crossed the floor. (Trivia).
    I think that most MP’s give the changing of their party some very serious consideration. I usually vote for the person & not the party although I did vote for the NDP last time, with the intention of skewing the vote- It helped to “Skew” the Bloc right out of business. Mission accomplished! Surprise!
    There’s an election just around most corners…

  5. 5

    Neil writes:

    Meanwhile, for the next three years her constituents are stuck with a member of a party they did not vote for. Tough luck, you say. But is it fair?

    No, it’s not fair if one votes for someone based on his party affiliation but them’s the rules of the ballgame: no provisions for political parties in the constitution…and we have no “recall” provisions either. And no impeachment proceedings either.

  6. 6


    You voted for the NDP? For a party that had the Sherbrooke Declaration as their official policy?

    If separation ever happens and you want to then know how it could have happened, look in the mirror.

  7. 7
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Winston Churchill not only changed parties once, he later changed back again. When Churchill was criticized for this he famously replied”

    It takes imagination to rat; it takes a great deal of imagination to re-rat.”

  8. 8

    Hi Tony-You are fond of trotting out that old Sherbrooke Declaration as though it’s a law of the land. It was 2006. The NDP, like all other political parties pandered to Quebec saying one thing and to the rest of Canada another. Quebecers would not hold the NDP to that declaration, because the vast majority don’t want separation.
    That’s politics in a nutshell. They all lie, all the time. Or, lets give them the benefit of the doubt: they have some intentions but when the rubber meets the road, circumstance prevents them from following through.(?)

    We had this choice in Quebec: Liberals headed by that bone headed Ignatieff-(Obviously, the same opinions across Canada), or the BLOC. For once, it was very clear that we had to vote differently, to get a different outcome. We did, en masse, much to my own surprise. Actually, our NDP rep. is very active and doing a good job.

    If Quebec EVER separates, it won’t be because of the Sherbrooke Declaration or the NDP! I won’t have to look myself in any mirror and take responsibility. I have lived here (and not been an Anglo deserter) all these years, paid taxes and I would be counted among those who have saved Quebec from separation, by virtue of staying here and voting against it!
    Believe me, I have questioned my mental competency, many times. I love it here but it’s very tiresome…

  9. 9

    The last timie Quebec was pandered to like this was back in Brian Mulroney’s day and it led to the 1995 referendum

    As for your local NDP MP,why don’t you call her up and see what her position is on the Sherbrooke Declaration and then get back to us what her response is?

  10. 10

    In case you haven’t noticed, Quebec is always “pandered” to. (After all, we are a large Province with 7 million population & lots of natural resources) The government here constantly challenges the Federal government and in the long run, they are given more power and/or special terms. In some practical terms, Quebec is already “separate”. Too bad that the political aspirations of the misguided, has reduced this province to a “have not” and if you’ve visited here recently, you would see that our infrastructure is crumbling. It was nearly impossible to move around Montreal this summer, that is if you could get onto the island at all. Neglect & corruption has been the modus operandi as far back as I can remember, and blackmail was in the “new terms”.
    Having said that, the other provinces have often benefited by Quebec’s demands & it would be a disaster to ALL of Canada if Quebec separated.

    It’s highly unlikely. The old guard like Parizeau, Marois, Landry and all the founders don’t seem to be getting any younger (or any smarter)…ah! We can only hope to outlive the bastards.

    Re: The NDP MP here: I wouldn’t waste my time or hers by asking her position on The Sherbrooke Declaration (She’s probably never heard of it). It’s a dead issue.
    We always said that being head of the NDP was the best job in Canada: they could promise anything, but would never have to back it up!

    Thanks, I’ve had my rant for today…it’s good for the blood pressure, but as I said, it gets tiresome…

  11. 11
    Neil McKenty Says:

    The leader in today’s Gazette comes out flatly for by-elections:

    “The honourable and principled thing for paRTY switchers to do is to resign their seats and stand for re-election under their new party’s colours.”

  12. 12

    Neil, that’s an editorial opinion, not a law. It has no teeth. It doesn’t even have dentures.

    You have to ask the constituents what THEY want.

  13. 13

    I think the constituents will answer loud and clear in the next election.

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