The Liberals have welcomed defectors from the right (Eve Adams) and from the left (Lise St. Denis), and they’ve had defectors to the left, so it’s about time they have one to the right.
Notley and Mulcair have been tittering on Twitter about supposed Liberals who tore up their membership cards over Bill C-51 and volunteered themselves as sacrificial lambs—that is to say, as NDP candidates—in the part of Ontario that isn’t Toronto. Yes, there is a part of Ontario that isn’t Toronto. Moving on.
Unlike most other turncoats, this one actually has held a seat in the House of Commons—just not presently. Andrew Kania was the Liberal MP for Brampton West from 2008-2011 when he lost a riding that had (via its former incarnations) been Liberal since 1993. Kania lost to 38 year old Conservative Kyle Seeback, who famously called his caucus colleague Brad Butt a “bitch,” and who had narrowly lost to Kania in 2008. Seeback is running again, this time for Brampton South, which, in 2011, had more blue than the Conservatives’ “non-partisan” ads about the budget proposal.
This has left the Conservatives hunting for a candidate, as parties do when desperate to fill a seat (like the NDP in Alberta). The Tories turned to Kania. Or perhaps he turned to them once he realized a seat was open—a seat that the governing party had won by a healthy margin in the previous election. Seems one term simply wasn’t enough for this former MP.
He could have run for the Liberals. In fact, he had actively sought the Liberal nomination during the fall of last year. Inexplicably, he withdrew his candidacy after being approved to run, leaving his opponent RN Kamal Khera to win the Liberal nomination unopposed. Perhaps he felt impotent next to the 25 year old activist and registered nurse who is likely far more capable of connecting with Brampton’s large Indo-Canadian community. If it seemed obvious that the loser from last time wouldn’t win the nomination from his own party, perhaps he decided to take his marbles elsewhere. He would only be the most recent politician to chuck his “principles” aside in the quest for power. We can remember the Hon. David Emerson who ran for the Liberals in 2006, won, then crossed the floor to the Conservatives within a month in order to keep a cushy cabinet post. Countless others have crossed the floor, ran as independents, run for a different party, or pretended to change ideologies when they switched. That’s just politics.
Apparently, Kania has been in talks with the Conservatives for some months, but hasn’t yet come to a decision of whether or not he will jump ship completely. While Kania is keeping mum for now, his talks with the Conservatives do confirm one fact of Canadian politics: one party’s loser is another party’s hero!