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January 30th, 2015

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When Joliette Ward 4 councillor Danielle Landreville announces her bid for the NDP nomination in the north shore riding of Joliette, QC Friday morning, it will be the third NDP riding in Québec to see a challenger announce a nomination bid before the sitting MP could do so.

NDP Joliette, QC MP Francine Raynault

The sitting Member of Parliament in Joliette is long-time NDP activist Francine Raynault, who finally ran in 2011, taking her turn after supporting earlier runs by her husband in the same seat. Mme Raynault will be turning 70 years old in March – not to suggest that our elders don't belong in Parliament, but most people had assumed back in 2011 that it would be the younger NDP Québec MPs who would face nomination challenges this time around.

NDP Laurentides-Labelle, QC MP Marc-André Morin

Same goes for Marc-André Morin, who was beaten out of the gate by a young doctor from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts. Simon-Paul Landry announced his bid for the NDP nomination in Laurentides-Labelle, QC last week with a video, released a day before Morin's nomination Facebook page went live. Morin will be turning 64 four days after Raynault's birthday.

Meanwhile, nearly all the younger MPs have been acclaimed already.

 
 

NDP Jeanne-Le Ber, QC MP Tyrone Benskin

The third NDP Québec incumbent having to compete for his nomination so far is Jeanne-Le Ber, QC MP Tyrone Benskin, whose riding was split in two in the redistribution. LaSalle-Émard MP Hélène Leblanc has already been acclaimed in the new riding of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC leaving Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs, QC for Mr. Benskin, where he's now facing two challengers, international human rights lawyer Allison Turner and former riding activist, digital policy analyst Vincent Héritier.

 

Two other members of the NDP's Québec caucus already faced challenges: (i) MP Jean-François Larose in Repentigny wound up leaving the party rather than lose to the previous NDP candidate in his riding, economist Réjean Bellemare, who intended to challenge him for the nomination and has since been acclaimed, and (ii) former leadership candidate Pierre Ducasse launched an abortive bid to win the nomination in his former riding of Manicouagan, QC against the sitting aboriginal member Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, but unfortunately timing his launch for the day the NDP caucus used some parliamentary maneuvers to win a debate on the issue of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, and soon thereafter concluded that it was not wise to continue, allowing Genest-Jourdain to be acclaimed in November.

But people in the party hint we haven't seen the last of the challenges yet. Still unrenominated in Québec ridings are NDP MPs: Réjean Genest, Pierre Jacob, François Lapointe, Alexandrine Latendresse, José Nunez-Melo, Marc-André Morin, Francine Raynault, and Romeo Saganash, though Saganash for one has said he's running again, and so I believe has Lapointe.

Challenging first-time MPs for their nominations is not unheard of in Québec. Bloc Québécois MPs were frequently challenged, and indeed 11 of the 54 MPs in the first Bloc caucus elected in 1993 were not on the ballot again in 1997.

Challenging sitting MPs isn't the rawest form of open nominations, either – that distinction goes to the case of sitting MPs running against each other for a nomination, something we haven't seen at all in this round of redistribution, but in the last post-redistribution election of 2004 12 MPs lost their nominations to either outsiders or caucus colleagues.

  • Bloc Québécois Manicouagan, QC MP Ghislain Fournier lost his nomination to fellow caucus member Gérard Asselin
  • Bloc Québécois Laval Centre, QC MP Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral lost her nomination to Serge Ménard
  • Liberal Pontiac – Gatineau – Labelle, QC MP Robert Bertrand lost his nomination to David Smith
  • Liberal Ottawa – Orléans, ON MP Eugène Bellemare lost his nomination to Marc Godbout
  • Liberal Oshawa, ON MP Ivan Grose lost his nomination to Louise Parkes
  • Liberal Davenport, ON MP Charles Caccia resigned from the nomination rather than lose it to Mario Silva
  • Liberal Mississauga West, ON MP Steve Mahoney lost his nomination to fellow caucus member Carolyn Parrish
  • Liberal Hamilton East, ON MP Sheila Copps lost her nomination to fellow caucus member Tony Valeri
  • Liberal Niagara Centre, ON MP Tony Tirabassi lost his nomination to fellow caucus member John Maloney
  • Cdn Alliance-turned-Liberal Richmond, BC MP Joe Peschisolido lost his nomination to former MP Raymond Chan
  • Reform-turned-Conservative South Surrey – White Rock – Langley, BC MP Val Meredith lost her nomination to Russ Hiebert
  • Reform-turned-Conservative Surrey North, BC MP Chuck Cadman lost his nomination to Jasbir Singh Cheema

Other MPs successfully beat off challenges in 2004 (Conservative MP Dick Harris in Cariboo-Prince George, BC for one).

Meanwhile – and contrary to what Lysiane Gagnon wrote last weekend – between the nomination challenges to some incumbents, the 3 new Quebec seats, some retirements and a few defections, the NDP will have a decent number of new faces on its Quebec ticket, including EI rights advocate and lawyer Hans Marotte in Saint-Jean (where Tarik Brahmi is retiring), Lac Simon municipal councillor Chantel Crête in the new riding of Argenteuil-Le Petit Nation, economist Réjean Bellemare in Repentigny (where Jean-François Larose left the caucus), psychologist Marie-Josée Lemieux in the new riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, posties local president Karine Trudel in Jonquière (where Claude Patry left the caucus), former Bloc MP Maria Mourani in her riding of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, apparently as many as 8 nomination contestants in Pierre Boucher-Les Patriotes-Verchères (where Sana Hassainia left the caucus), and so forth.

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