Ruth Ellen Brosseau got a lot of attention throughout the recent campaign for taking a trip to Las Vegas during the campaign. Like it or not, this is hardly the first time a candidate has been elected while being absent for some or all of a campaign.
The NDP has always had a problem filling all the slots on the ballot come election time. That's a given in a party that until a week ago hadn't elected more than 40 members to Parliament in a very long time.
So, for all the bashers and haters out there, until you have the balls to put your name on a ballot, any ballot, how 'bout you just shut up already.
First, agreeing to run as a candidate at all takes a pretty brave person. So what if she was agreeing to run just so the party could add one more name to the list? Does that make her any less credible than say, the Libertarian candidate, or the Communist candidate, or the Marijuana Party candidate?
At the very least, it makes her every bit as brave as them and every other candidate across Canada that put their names forward in the election.
So how about you give her a little credit for that?
That she never pounded the pavement in the riding during the election, and never put up a single election sign means nothing other than she never ever expected to get elected. She was just a placeholder candidate for her party and everyone, including the party, knew it.
But here's the thing:
Now we have a young single mother who has the unique opportunity to bring her views to Parliament in a way she never ever would have been able to the day before this election.
Personally, I see this as, at the very least, interesting, if not downright good. If nothing else, she's won the lottery with her new $157,000 a year job on Parliament Hill. That can hardly be a bad thing for her kid, can it?
Does that mean I'd vote for her? Not in a million years. But a lot of people did, since she won her riding by over 4,000 votes... a fact that has severely pissed off her election rivals who spent the entire election pounding the streets, knocking on doors and putting up election signs.
It's actually really funny.
Two other parties that have, for the past couple of decades, felt themselves entitled to a seat at the federal trough have been shown up by a young woman who didn't even bother to come to the riding for the entire election, if news reports are accurate.
So all you haters and mud-slingers.... I don't know why you're getting pissed off with Ruth Ellen for getting elected... it's not like she did it on her own. She was in the right place at the right time and won the votes of the majority of voters in her riding.
It's not like THEY didn't know she was in Vegas for the last part of the election! Every news station in the country ran with the story.
Maybe it's actually why she won the election... Her constituents knew she wasn't there, but was off on vacation instead. Maybe the residents of Berthier--Maskinongé liked the idea that their pretty new MP had something better to do than wander the streets begging for their votes.
What will be interesting to watch is how she handles herself as a Member of Parliament over the next four years.
Unlike so many out there, I'm at least willing to give her a chance. She certainly can't be any worse than the MP she replaced!
But again, to all you haters who are pissed off she got elected... instead of complaining about it, how about putting YOUR name on a ballot next election?
Maybe then you could win the lottery too!