01.10.2012 12:22 PM

Suggested political party floor-crossing talking points

The NDP’s epically-dumb response presser now done, here’s what they should’ve said instead:

  • We very much regret that [BLANK] chose to cross the floor.
  • We’re sorry to see him/her go.  But we wish them the very best.
  • [If pressed on the need for a by-election]  It is true that [BLANK] was elected under the banner of our party.  We believe he/she should ratify his/her decision with the voters of [BLANK].  Under our system of government, however, there is no legal requirement that he/she do so.
  • So, those of us elected as [BLANK] Members of Parliament will continue to work hard for the people who elected us.  And, again, we wish [BLANK] well in his/her future endeavours.
  • Thank you.


  1. Michael S says:

    That would have been their response if their Quebec organization wasn’t a clusterfuck and their leadership campaign a totally boring disaster, which is hard to do.

    The tale o’ the tape is this:

    Ils ont voté pour Jack Layton. Jack Layton est mort.”

    “They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton is dead.”

    The reason the NDP is in such an angry snit is because they know it is true.

    Once the outrage is over I suspect that Ed will phone Jean once again. One side has MP’s, the other has organization. They have two years max to get the machine running under a new banner.

  2. TheSilentObserver says:

    I seem to remember Garth Turner daring the government to call a by-election after he left the tories for the grits, and for that matter challenging them to call a by-election for the seat of grit-cum-tory Wajid Khan. Epically dumb move on the part of the then opposition Liberals? In fact, I can remember other instances, though not any names unfortunately, from throughout Harper’s two majorities of the opposition of all stripes calling for a by-election after a floor crossing. But, you know, they’re the NDP, they don’t belong in opposition, voters be damned. The Grits can say what they want, they can do no wrong, even with 34, soon to be 35, seats

  3. Kre8tv says:

    One thing for sure: whe someone leaves Official Opposition and all its budgetary perks to join a scrappy (but vital) third party, it’s anything but political opportunism. Clearly the direction (or lack thereof) in NDP caucus is enough to scare away the sensible minded.

  4. Jim Hanna says:

    When I first saw this on the TV in the Cafe, I misinterpreted the headline (in French), and thought that a Grit went over to the NDP. While I was disappointed, I didn’t think that there was anything fundamentally wrong with that happening 9in our system of government. I was pleasently surprised to see it was the other way around.

    The fact is that until there is some very serious reform as to the power the Leader has over his caucus and nominations; and to the seleciton of the leader himself; the ability to cross the floor is about the only serious power an individual MP has right now to make a difference. Banning the practice renders them total vassals to their leader, unable to do anything to effect any kind of change. Requiring byelections would be a major impediment and cost; at the end of the day, the voters elected the person, whether thats what they were thinking or not. And assuming that the move is made out of a sense of survival, then chances are the MP gets elected anyway.

    And technically, if byelections were required when MP’s change stripes, then they would be required when parties merged. After all, when the PC’s and Reform Alliance merged, all of their MP’s become Conservatives, although it was a new party….would that require a hundred byelections? Presumably; which would inhibit the ability of Parties to reorganize.

    The NDP has a huge caucus, and a lot to manage. There is no one manning the helm right now, and its not a surprise this happened. I’m surprised some of them haven’t gone over to the Tories yet, to be honest. This has all the shades of the ADQ meteoric rise (and fall).

  5. Cynical says:

    You might consider rewriting this posting in full as a mail-merge document. The way things are going, the NDP might need it as a form letter.

  6. Dan says:

    As a New Democrat, this probably hurts the Liberal Party even more than it hurts us. It probably helps the Bloc the most.

    By the 1980s, after years and years of political dominance, the Liberal Party was being infiltrated by careerists. People who wanted the power that came with governing, who wanted to do anything to stay elected, and who wanted to make a lot of money doing it. That’s essentially been the battle for the soul for the Liberal Party ever since: between people who think that Liberals need principles, and people who think you can appeal to everyone for 8 weeks and then legislate for the donors on Bay Street.

    Every time someone crosses the party lines to join the Liberals, it reinforces the narrative that has been killing them: they’re the party of power-hungry yuppies. Admittedly, watching a New Democrat cross the floor doesn’t reflect well on the NDP, since it may lead people who vote NDP to ask if they’re supporting a liar and a hack. But if the NDP insists on by-elections for these situations, it will mute the downside for the NDP. The Liberal Party will just annoy the shit out of everyone running victory laps with Belinda Stronach, and the social credit refugees in British Columbia, killing their brand across the country.

    I want you to bookmark this post. When the Liberals loses the seat in an epic fail, you’ll know why. And if it’s to the Bloc, the Lise St-Denis will know why too.

    • Warren says:

      Folks, we’ve got this year’s winner, so far, in Most Arrogant and Irritating Commenter!

    • Jim Hanna says:

      Calling a 71 year old a careerist power hungry yuppie is a bit of a stretch. She didn’t expect to win and probably won’t run again. She was involved with the NDP for years locally, and when she gets to Ottawa, and hears what the Liberals have to say for themselves (outside the spin doctoriing of the Quebec media)…she realizes she is more comfortable in those ranks.

      Thats a pretty compelling narrative, actually…and one which could help disaffected voters take another look at the Liberals.

      If this was anyone else, you might have a point (and there are tremors and rumours about Southwest Montreal) but with St. Denis, not so much…

  7. marta says:

    reality sets in new year is for awakening..

  8. T. says:


    has anyone ever bothered to cross the floor to the NDP?

  9. Lumipallo says:

    The advice offered here is pretty good, but not ‘zackly consistent with “Benedict Baldy” type rhetoric now, is it?

    • Jon Powers says:

      Yes. I wonder if all those comments will be taken back now. I’d love to hear an explanation why endorsing this move and criticizing “Benedict Baldy’s” switch would not make ones judgment slightly, shall we say, inconsistent? Especially considering Rossi switched allegiances before an election. Maybe I’m missing something.

      • Warren says:

        1. Rossi was the national director of the Liberal Party of Canada. He was more a partisan Liberal in a single day than Ms. St. Denis was a Dipper in ten lifetimes.

        2. She didn’t leave to advance her career – in fact, she probably set it back by going to a third party. Rossi was a duplicitous rat who was trying to find a quick route to power.

        3. You’re an idiot.

        • Lumipallo says:

          Warren sez: “3. You’re an idiot.”

          My mother, who has always said the same thing with a conspiratorial “we’re-all-girls-together” wink at her daughter-in-law, agrees with you. Hmph.

          “She didn’t leave to advance her career.” Neither, apparently, did Mr. Rossi.

  10. JamesHalifax says:

    Frankly, I think Warren’s nailed it.

    After watching this woman perform in front of the camera’s, the first thought to my mind was also how “blank” she seemed to be. She was incoherent and disingenuous in both languages.

    She was like Stephane Dion….minus about 80 IQ points.

  11. JamesHalifax says:

    But then again…..finding a loonie in the gutter is better than not finding one. Even if you can’t get the dirt completely off of it.

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