Friday, February 10, 2006

Emerson versus Stronach

Peter MacKay says the International Trade Minister David Emerson's defection to the Conservatives is different than Belinda Stronach's previous defection to the Liberals. On this point he is right.

Belinda Stronach would have won her riding as a Liberal - as she indeed did this year. Stronach's riding of Newmarket-Aurora was created in 2004 by a merger of the ridings of North York and Vaughan-King-Aurora. Vaughan-King-Aurora had been held by the Liberals since the riding was created in 1997 and North York has not voted Conservative since 1979, electing an independent in 1984 and Liberals in 1988 and 1997. Belinda won Newmarket-Aurora in 2000 for the Conservatives against Liberal Martha Hall Findley by a margin of only 689 votes. She won the riding as a Liberal in 2006 by a margin of over 4800 votes. Had she run as a Liberal in 2000, based on the ridings Liberal voting record and her high profile she would have won by an equally high margin of votes.

David Emmerson's riding of Vancouver has not elected a Conservate MP since 1958 - essentially swinging between the Liberals and NDP. There is damn little chance that David Emerson would have won as a Conservative. The closests a Conservative has come to wining this riding was a distant 2nd place finish for Canadian Alliance candidate Alice Wong in 2000 garnering 29.6% of the vote.

At the very least, David Emerson should return the $90,000 in funding he recieved from the Vancouver Kingsway Liberal riding association and immediately resign his seat to face his constituents in a bi-election.

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