Like dipping a single toe into the lake from the dock before jumping in, Ruth-Ellen Brosseau robocalled
her constituents yesterday. It was the first thing she has done to earn their trust as their MP since filling out (in whole or part) of her nomination papers.
For many on Pro Blogs, criticism of her election is beyond acceptable. At worst it's sexist. It's prejudice. It's ageist. At best, it is merely the actions indicative of sore losers. (To which I wonder whether or not shooting fish in a barrel confirms a claim that the shooter is naturally a bad shot.)
I sat at a poll on E-Day and scrutineered for the LPC. I watched as a man in his mid-40's approached the desk, took the ballot from the clerk, studied it momentarily and said, "My candidate is not on here." Confused, the clerk asked if he was in the right riding,and the man said yes and showed him his registration card. True, he was a voter of the riding. The man then said, "I thought we were voting for Prime Minister." I put my head in my hands and let out a sigh of exhaustion, disbelief, and total apathy.
I was stunned that he could vote even though he was clearly ill informed about our electoral system. I wondered whether or not a candidate showed up at his door and if so, whether he took the time to talk to them or if he just peered from his living room curtains and continued to watch TV or do something "more important" with his time. I wondered whether or not he picked up his mail and read the candidate's information, platforms, and experiences. I wonder whether at all he gave a shit about who represents him in parliament. Apparently not.
And so this is my critique of the election of Ruth-Ellen Brosseau for Berthier-Maskinongé. It is clear she didn't campaign, since she has never been to the riding. It is obvious that she was a "placeholder" candidate -- a throw away that the party used to make their books look good and to get that 308
number for the records. It is clear she doesn't know the concerns, cares or character of her riding. And moreover, the people of Berthier-Maskinongé don't care that she doesn't know them. Or tried. Or wanted to.
The people of Berthier-Maskinongé
are getting what they deserve. Someone who lives 300km away that has never shown the slightest care for actually representing them beyond filling in (in whole or part) some nomination papers. The people of Berthier-Maskinongé saw a colour
on the ballot, not a name. And if they did see a name it was not Ruth-Ellen Brosseau. It was Jack Layton.
Just like many people of Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar saw "Stephen Harper" rather than Kelly Block on the ballot. This was a factor in stopping Nettie Wiebe short from winning the seat. This is what has kept the people of Calgary-West in a CPC stasis and even the CPC party members of that riding from electing anyone other than Rob Anders who will represent them accordingly in the HoC. This is what keeps dozens of CPC ridings in a stranglehold despite objections from ordinary people about the views of their MP, their hypocritical actions, and general misrepresentation. But, Harper has done a "good job" with the economy. And so, 'X' away!
Will Berthier-Maskinongé be misrepresented by Brosseau? Maybe not. She could be a fine MP. COULD
. If she cares. If she works hard. If she basically does the exact opposite of what earned her those 22,000 some votes.
Right now Jack is playing peek-a-boo with her because he has to. Otherwise she'll get eaten alive.
Let me be clear, she'll get torn apart NOT
because she is a woman. NOT
because she is a single mother. NOT
because she worked at a restaurant.
But because she did not campaign.
To which many Progressive Bloggers are hearing a collective "SO?" from New Democrats. This is a shame.
To justify The Great "SO?" a strategy is devised: Ruth-Ellen will earn their votes after the fact. First, send a robocall. Second, visit the riding and maybe knock on some doors. Third, hold a town hall and meet with municipal and provincial public officials. Fourth, MOVE to the riding (she can afford it) and fifth, stand up in parliament and let their voices be heard.
2015 is a long time away. Long enough to get to know the people who elected you. Use it wisely, Ruth-Ellen. And good luck, cause you'll need it.
Apparently things must get worse
before they get better for The Candidate.
Labels: Canadian Election 2011, Jack Layton, NDP, Progressive Bloggers, Quebec, Ruth-Ellen Brosseau