Conventional wisdom says the New Democrats are going to lose plenty of seats to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the 2015 general election.
Conventional wisdom also says the NDP are going to lose their official opposition role – to either the Liberals or the Conservatives – and be returned to their traditional role as the third party in the House of Commons.
Conventional wisdom evidently hasn’t met Joe Cressy yet.
Joe Cressy – who you might not know much about, but will soon enough – is a handsome young fellow seeking the the NDP nomination in the Trinity-Spadina riding in Toronto. He is not just one of the most organized and committed guys I have ever met in politics – he is also the most likeable.
Oh, and this: If NDP leader Thomas Mulcair had a national army of guys like Joe Cressy, he’d have the biggest majority in the history of Canadian democracy.
Now, Joe is going to be mad at me for saying this kind of stuff, but too bad. Over the past year or so, Joe and I have become – full disclosure – very good friends. We got together to volunteer on a potential municipal election campaign and, despite our alleged ideological differences, we hit it off big time.
His mom told me once that she would prefer I call him Joseph. So, periodically, I do so. When I do, Joe winces. To everyone in Toronto politics and media, you see, he is just Joe.
No one knows if the guy called Joe is going to win the NDP nomination in Trinity-Spadina, which has been held by the party for many years. But it’s a pretty safe bet he will. The New Democrats very much want to hold the downtown Toronto seat in a byelection that is expected to come sooner than later.
If Joe is the NDP candidate, he will win. He is assisted, in this regard, by his opponents.
The Conservatives are only protected in Trinity-Spadina by endangered species laws. The Liberals, meanwhile, have made a bit of a mess of the riding.
Here’s why. When he won the Liberal Party leadership, Trudeau promised he would not intervene in riding nomination battles.
In the view of not a few Liberals, Trudeau didn’t keep his word. He certainly seemed to make his preference known in another Toronto riding, Toronto Centre. Then, last week, he much more directly intervened in Trinity-Spadina, saying he would not permit a woman who had run there twice before to run again.
The woman is married to a man who formerly held the riding for the Liberals. Apparently the man used angry words with some young Liberals, and so his wife is being denied an opportunity to participate in the race.
As someone who has used angry words with young Liberals since the dawn of time, I found this claim highly suspect. I also found the notion that a woman would be penalized for the alleged sins of her husband to be more sexist than anything heretofore seen in Canadian politics, and that’s saying something.
But back to Joe. His departure from the municipal campaign we were both working on is a big loss.
But, bottom line, this guy has got it. He’s the kind of person we need more of in Parliament.
I’m a dirty rotten Grit, but if I lived in Trinity-Spadina, I’d sure vote for Joe Cressy.
If you live there, you should, too.