OTTAWA, November 28, 2005 ( – So far, 26 Members of Canada’s Parliament have decided not to run again in the upcoming federal election.

Yesterday, Etobicoke-Lakeshore MP and Minister of State, Jean Augustine, who was parachuted into the riding in 1993 by Jean Chretien, announced that she would be one of those MPs not seeking re-election. Augustine was also a three-time chair of the woman’s caucus and one-time minister of multiculturalism and status of women.ÂHowever, sheÂwill not be missed by Canada’s social conservatives although she is certain to pop up in some other influential position.

The Liberal MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, and a former Toronto Catholic school principal, is a supporter of abortion, third-world population control, contraception, and homosexual marriage. That is, she is in reality no Catholic. There are still serious questions about how someone with such strong anti-Catholic views could have been a Toronto Catholic school principal.

Augustine is “stepping aside” for another Liberal parachute star candidate, Michael Ignatieff, although, according to Chretien loyalist Warren Kinsella in today’s National Post, she was pushed into giving up her seat. Kinsella writes, “Having endured nearly two years of bullying by Paul Martin’s aids, few believed that she was doing so voluntarily.” Word from the Hill is that real source of Augustine’s tears in caucus, when she made the shocking announcement, may have been produced by her allegedly being offered only a Senate seat instead of a far more desired cushy ambassadorship in a warm Caribbean nation.

Conservative MP Peter Van Loan noted in the House yesterday that Ignatieff is the latest in a long list of candidates parachuted into the safe Liberal riding. Loan stated, “It has been almost two decades since Etobicoke-Lakeshore Liberals have been permitted to democratically select a candidate.” That is, the central party leadership has constantly denied the local riding association and members the normal right to nominate their candidate and has been simply appointing candidates to the riding. Autocratically imposing candidates on ridings, regardless of the wishes and plans of local party members, has been a regular feature of Liberal election tactics for many years.Â

Parachuting in candidates is, however, not entirely unique to the Liberals. The Conservatives have been doing a somewhat similar undemocratic deed in some ridings for what they consider to be their star candidates. The party made certain that strongly pro-gay, pro-abortion Ontario MP John Baird got the nod in Ottawa West without any pesky opposition from pro-marriage aspiring nomination candidate John Pecheco.

See Ottawa Citizen story
  Star Liberal candidate Michael Ignatieff wins nomination after rivals disqualified


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