So, at lunch time (Eastern Standard Time) today journalist Marci Ien announced that she wanted to be the Liberal Party‘s candidate to fill Bill Morneau’s now vacant seat in the federal riding of Toronto Centre …
Well, I thought to myself, good for her! I don’t think many people, believed that her political sympathies lay with anyone other than the Liberals, did they? There are plenty of Canadian journalists who favour other parties or are studiously neutral, but Ms Ien wasn’t one of them.
Then, just a few hours later, I saw this:
That didn’t take long, did it? In just than six hours Ms Ien announced that she would like to run for the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau did the detailed analysis that one assumes a party leader does before he appoints a candidate, rather than allowing the voters of a constituency to choose one in an open, democratic manner.
We must all presume that the voters of Toronto Centre would not have been able to select anyone from their own community with Ms Ien’s unique qualifications for elected office.
The next question is: when is the by-election? Elections Canada says that a by-election must be held no earlier than 11 days and no later than 180 days after the Speaker of the House of Commons tells the Chief Electoral Officer that a seat is vacant. Prime Minister Trudeau has not always been hasty in calling by-elections. For example, the late Gord Brown, who represented the riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes died in 2 May of 2018. The by-election was not held until 3 December 2018. Similarly, Peter Van Loan announced his resignation on 29 July 2018 but the by-election in York-Simcoe was not held until 25 February 2019. I’m sure the fact that those were both Conservative seats and remained so, as expected, after the by-elections had no baring on when Prime. Minister Trudeau decided to call them. I guess, based on Prime Minister Trudeau’s record, that we can expect a by-election in Toronto Centre in mid March 2021, can’t we? Or will he have a vested interest in having Ms Ien in his caucus sooner than that? She appears as well qualified for his cabinet as many of his other ministers, doesn’t she?