The view from No Candidates' Land
It was a contradiction in campaign messages. Candidate Lesley Hughes held a press conference in a Liberal office, surrounded by Liberal signage and cheerleaded on behalf of Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, the man who had only just fired her a few days earlier as the Liberal candidate for Winnipeg's Kildonan-St. Paul.
"On his very worst day, Mr. Dion is the better leader for the country than Mr. Harper," Hughes said.
Trouble is, Hughes isn't supposed to say that anymore. In fact, she Isn't supposed to be in that office and isn't supposed to associate herself with the Liberal team either.
"It's over," Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs said. "There is no future for Ms Hughes with the Liberal party of Canada. She was told that she could not use that office now. She chose to use it anyway."
Confused? Imagine being a voter in this riding.
Kildonan-St. Paul is traditionally Conservative. But it is also a riding that the Liberals had hoped they would have a chance in when they recruited Hughes, a former CBC radio personality and familiar face around town.
Then someone dug up the six-year-old article Hughes wrote about the 9/11 tragedy, in which she referred to certain conspiracy theories that surrounded the events, alleging that certain groups had been tipped off in advance.
That led to the Liberals dropping her from their campaign last week. But the decision came too late for her to be taken off the balllot.
So while Hughes isn't running as a Liberal anymore, her name will remain on the ballot and with the Liberal designation beside it. Should she win, she will sit as an Independant.
Veteran politicians like Carstairs were stunned when Hughes announced plans on Thursday to continue campaigning, albeit under no political banner but her own.
"I appear to be speaking to you from No Candidates' Land, a new territory," she said, and wrapped up her press conference by clearing out of the Liberal offices, once and for all.
— Donna Carreiro
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