Yesterday Jody Wilson-Raybault and Jane Philpott decided to run as independent candidates in the next election.
While I respect their choice, I do wonder if it was the wisest move for these two talented MPs.
Obviously, they have reasons for not choosing the Green Party, most likely policy differences. However, it is rare that any MP or party member agrees 100% with an entire platform.
Both MPs have received constant media attention and adulation since resigning from the Trudeau cabinet. If they expect this to continue, they are sadly mistaken.
By election day they will be yesterday’s news as the media moves on to other issues. There will be a spike in attention to see if they win their seats, but it won’t last. I expect they will win their seats, although the record of MPs running as independents is not good. Assuming they win, what happens after that?
The governing party sets the seating allocation in the House and office assignment as well. My guess is that they will be buried in the furthest corner away from virtually every possible camera angle.
They will be kept off of committees, rarely get to ask a question of the government and that question will be in the dying minutes of Question Period when reporters are already packing up.
The two MPs seem to crave the limelight, but they have pretty much assured themselves of rarely returning to it.
If they had joined the Greens, much of the above would also have remained true without official party status in the House, but there would have been three talented MPs (Elizabeth May, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott) working together. They could have been a formidable force in Canadian politics, the type of force the Green Party needs to expand – a missed opportunity for now.