By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday January 11, 2012
New Democrat MP defects to the Liberals
The federal Liberals have gained a new Quebec MP at the expense of the New Democrats, with the surprise defection of rookie MP Lise St-Denis.
But it remains to be seen whether this is a short-term morale boost for the Liberal party — on the eve of its big convention in Ottawa this week — or a long-term sign of shifting political fortunes away from the NDP.
Liberal interim leader Bob Rae warned against seeing any big trends in the MP’s decision to move to Liberal benches in the Commons.
“It’s certainly not a day where we’re going to make some exaggerated claim as to what trend does this represent. I have no idea,” Rae said Tuesday at a news conference with St-Denis.
St-Denis, though, said she saw far enough into the future to predict that she wasn’t going to feel comfortable sitting in the NDP benches, even after the party gets a new leader in late March. St-Denis was a supporter of the leadership bid of Quebec MP Tom Mulcair.
“I don’t know if anything’s going to change if I wait,” she said.
St-Denis admitted that she had never expected to be elected when she ran for the NDP in last spring’s federal election.
She was equally candid when said she wasn’t elected on her own strength, but on that of the late NDP leader Jack Layton.
“They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton died,” St-Denis said when asked how her constituents would feel about her changing parties. (Source: Toronto Star)