They’re giving away seats in parliament?

Conservative Hugh Segal should know better. Liberal Greg Sorbara likely never knew better. And I have no idea who the NDP’s Zanana Akande might be. It was just that the three of them want to give away seats in Canada’s parliament. They have some silly idea written up in the Toronto Star that the new Green Party leader should just be given a free seat in parliament. I am the old-fashioned type. I have always felt that you should win your seat in parliament through hard work.

Of course, in the case of the seat being contested in Toronto Centre, CTV’s Marci Ien has already been appointed as the liberal candidate by Justin Trudeau. Few people would question her likelihood of winning. That area of Toronto has been mainly liberal since 1968. It was when I helped my late friend Robert Kaplan first win the adjacent Don Valley riding against conservative Dalton Camp. I always kidded Bob about his father-in-law Joe Tannenbaum bragging to his friends at the Primrose Club that it only cost $75,000 to win a seat in parliament.

The three writers tell us that the precedent for this seat give-away is that in the 2019 Burnaby, B.C. bye-election, the Greens did not run a candidate against Jagmeet Singh of the New Democrats. Do they dare tell us how well that has worked for the NDP? Since then, the NDP have been on a downhill route.

And we have absolutely no idea how the new Green party leader will preform once she (if ever) gets to parliament. All we know is that the former Green leader, Elizabeth May, was not handed a seat. She worked darn hard at winning a seat and did a good job once she got there.

Our tradition in Canada is for party leaders to work for their seat in parliament. It is a system that works well for us.


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