Long-time Progressive Conservative MLA Bev Harrison invoked the memory of former British prime minister Winston Churchill as he confirmed on Friday that he will run for the NDP in the next provincial election.
Harrison appeared with NDP Leader Dominic Cardy at a news conference on Friday to confirm that he will run for the NDP in the Sept. 22 election.
... The NDP’s riding of Hampton is in tumult with resignations, allegations of heavy-handed politics and party switching.
Pat Hanratty, the riding association’s president and a former president of the provincial party, resigned this week and posted on Facebook that he was quitting the "Un democratic party", adding, "I'll be back when the reign of terror is over."
And the riding’s previously announced candidate for nomination, Chris Rendell, has had his approval revoked suddenly.
Rendell said the party is pushing him aside in favour of Harrison.
"What's really going on is a cut-throat vicious group of people in Fredericton who are willing to do whatever it takes to clear the way,” he said.
I've heard a lot of stories out of the New Brunswick NDP recently, some good and some, like above, obviously bad. This is clearly a sign of the times, as NDPers around the country are attempting to turn into Harper-lite groups in their attempts to win elections.
Now I'm not saying getting this sitting MLA to run for you is a bad idea, nor that my own party doesn't have its kinks and questionable practices here and there. As far as I'm aware though, we've yet to shunt aside a nominated candidate in favour of an incumbent aisle-crosser this year, and even if we have somehow, we don't ride high horses into town on a regular basis to begin with. The NDP, from coast to coast, do.
Its also confirming the trend of the NDP moving to a hazily defined "right," which is either characterized by crass populism, legitimate policy shifts, or bold-faced retreating from its traditional roots.
I'm not a personal fan of this attempt to schmooze up the electorate from the NDP. Yes, its a good idea to moderate your policy positions in order to cast your appeal to the widest possible pool of voters.... but its not helpful to alienate voters at the same time.
The recent Ontario election is a good example of what happens when, in an attempt to gain voters, you then start to lose them. Yes, Horwath gained new voters in Southwestern Ontario's smaller cities - areas where the population isn't growing, the voters are fickle, and your in competition with the Conservatives and thus need to modulate your appeal to Conservative voters. Meanwhile, she loses supporters in Toronto where the Liberals can pick up voters, take old strongholds, and help pad their own margins against Conservative competition in this fast-growing area.
Now, to point out that may be the right strategy to pursue for the NB NDP, considering their small stature and nowhere-to-go-but-up position in the province's political spectrum. So, who knows, maybe sacrificing their values that they tended to hold so high was worth it - or... well, maybe not.
Either way, damn shame. Hopefully Mr. Rendell will find another party to join soon enough.