Thursday, January 12, 2012

With St-Denis, NDP Can't Move On, Only Down

NDP MP Lise St-Denis turned Liberal, and just as her former party capitalized on Jack Layton, so is her new party.

The recently elected Quebec MP Lise St-Denis left the NDP and in a carefully crafted statement provided the most potent thrust the Liberal Party can offer to Quebec and probably did through the lips of St-Denis.

In justifying her change to those who voted for her, the newly minted Liberal MP offered a powerful reminder, Quebeckers didn't vote for the NDP, "They voted for Jack Layton, who is now deceased."

It might be that the Liberal Party did not influence St-Denis's choice of words, but considering the boon it was for the Grit caucus to grow and the potential opportunity it offered to strike at the NDP, there is little chance that the framing of the NDP as being lost with their Leader was no coincidence.

St-Denis represented the orange wave that swept through Quebec. She was elected by many who voted for the NDP for the first time. Her switching parties when the NDP was most vulnerable could not have been a more persuasive advertisement for the Liberal Party; with polls beginning to show minor leaks in NDP support, the timing of St-Denis's announcement was more than likely strategically planned.

The connection of NDP support in Quebec to the departed Jack Layton implicitly argues that the support was temporary and now with its raison d'etre gone, is unwarranted. St-Denis, through brillantly contrived optics or through rare Liberal luck, is offered as an example of where that support should go.

Just as the NDP capitalized on Jack Layton for Quebec, in the same province the Liberals will try to capitalize on his absence.

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