Vancouver Island Liberal MP Keith Martin has announced he will not run in the next federal election.
In a statement released on Tuesday morning, Martin said he believes Canada's institutions need new blood and new ideas, and he feels now is the time for him to go.
Martin, 50, represents the federal riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca on southern Vancouver Island.
He was first elected in 1993 as a member of the Reform Party, but his views often led him to clash with the party leadership and he ran for the Liberals in the 2004 election.
Martin is one of the few backbench Liberal MPs that impressed me, and why he was never given a prominent role in the shadow cabinet or Party leadership astounds me. He's a talented, relatively young guy that chose the right side when he jumped ship, and I hope that whatever he decides to do, he's very successful in it. Maybe he'll run for the BC Liberal leadership? Might as well.
But, then again, I'm not surprised by his resignation; he's been MP since 1993 and he was never prominent in any of the caucuses he sat in. Coming up on nearly two decades now, and still not going anywhere fast? I would leave too.
Keith's decision also makes it likely that his riding, Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca is not going to stay with the Liberals. I don't mean to be negative, but the riding isn't exactly Liberal friendly, and Martin has had a very tough time trying to hang on to it ever since he became a Liberal MP.
That said, I wouldn't call it for the Conservatives or the NDP either. It's definitely a swing riding, and depending upon the mood of the electorate at the time, all three parties could probably grab it with the slimmest of margins. Conservative candidate Troy DeSouza, who came a painfully close second in 2008, will likely be happy with this news, but you can bet that this riding will be a top target for everyone. Heck, play with the numbers enough and it could go Green.