Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bev Desjarlais + Carolyn Parrish: Radical Independents?

I don't think Ms. Desjarlais becoming an independent is going to favour the government's early demise in non-confidence motions. With the exception of the vote on SSM, Ms. Desjarlais is likely to be expected to follow the NDP voting patterns.

She chose to leave the caucus (she didn't have to) because her nomination as the party's candidate in Churchill was defeated. I don't think there was any vast conspiracy to oust her.

That being said, a quick scan at the Green Party's website shows no candidate for Churchill ... would Ms. Desjarlais be welcome as a Green Party candidate?

What would be kind of an interesting thought experiment would be, would Carolyn Parrish necessarily follow the Liberal Party voting strategy now that she has announced she is not running in the next election? Now, she's given no indication she would do this, so it's complete and pure hypothetical speculation. Well, it's real speculation, just about a hypothetical situation.

Think about this.

She's not running, and we know she doesn't care too much for Paul Martin - granted, she likely hates the Conservatives more - but just hang on to the anti-Paul Martin thing for a minute.

Breakdowns in confidence motions would look like this (theoretically):

Carolyn voting with the Government (Government survives):
132 Libs + 18 NDP + P. O'Brien + B. Desjarlais + C. Parrish + Speaker = 154
98 CPs + 54 Bloc + David Kilgour = 153

Carolyn voting against the Government (Government Falls):
132 Libs (no speaker) + 18 NDP + P. O'Brien + B. Desjarlais = 152
98 CPs + 54 Bloc + C. Parrish + D. Kilgour = 154

In all likelihood, with Parliament's defeat, we'd see a House of Commons re-elected largely in the same proportion as the one today (130-ish Libs, 100-ish CPC, 20-ish NDP, 50-ish BQ, etc).

So, why would she do this? Most opinion says that in the event of another minority, Paul Martin is gone and so is Stephen Harper. Carolyn Parrish kills two birds with one vote.

And, in the worst case scenario, Paul Martin stays on or forms a majority - it doesn't matter. She's gone anyway, to wait until Mr. Martin retires or steps down to make a return.

She wouldn't retire as a simple footnote in history.

Me? I don't really think it would come to pass, especially since the NDP's vote on a confidence motion is based on the government's acceptance of their program priorities. We'll see.

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Anonymous said...

Nice numbers, but O'Brien vill vote against the liberals and with the cons on everything from now on.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

I had him lumped in with the Liberals opposed to SSM. So, he'd vote Liberal with everything - he just left caucus in a protest move.

Do you think he has prospects for winning his seat again as an independent?