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Readers disagree over byelection strategy in Labrador

Categories: Community, Politics

The story that garnered the most comments over the weekend was our coverage of NDP's announcement that it would field a candidate in the byelection in Labrador, called after the resignation of Conservative MP Peter Penashue. 

Penashue

Penashue quit his post earlier this month after Elections Canada found his election campaign had accepted 28 different ineligible donations.


Green Party leader Elizabeth May announced Saturday that the Greens would not be running a candidate in an upcoming Labrador byelection and urged the NDP to follow suit.

But the NDP rejected that call. "If someone should stand down in this byelection it is Peter Penashue while Elections Canada completes its investigation," said NDP National Director Nathan Rotman in an email to CBC News on Sunday.

The CBC Community was split on May's move, and whether the NDP should have followed suit. 

  • "Like her politics or not, this is the kind of country-before-party attitude that endears many to Elizabeth May. One gets the feeling from the big parties that they care only for the party, not for the bettering of our nation. I applaud the Green Party in taking this self-sacrificing position," said Edmontonian.

  • "The Green Party got about a hundred votes in Labrador last time -- this is not a huge sacrifice on their part," replied already in use.

  • "The gall of Elizabeth May to try and tell other parties what to do and what not to do. I cannot blame any other party leaders who tell May to go pound sand," said RobFrost.

  • "If Labradorians want to kick Mr. Penashue out, they will. No need to play games here," said leepulig.

  • "The NDP have every right to enter this race. I do not know what percentage of the vote the NDP got but if they want to invest in this riding it is their choice. Personally, I think the liberals will win hands down, but that is not the point. In Canada, every party can run in every riding," said pickwickpapers.

  • "I do not agree the NDP or anyone should stand down. Elections are about making choices. NDP voters have every right to have a candidate and it is playing the voters to take away their options. If NDP voters do not have an NDP candidate to vote for there is nothing to ensure they will all automatically vote for the LPC. Some may, and some may just not vote. As long as the playing field is level and all rules are enforced let the voters decide," said Kristen T.

  • "While I had a long and cordial involvement with him from the time he was my city councillor, it has to be said that Jack Layton was the best thing that happened to Harper as he split the progressive vote... Until we have a preferential ballot, Harper can look forward to the progressive vote being split between two strong progressive parties and handing him majorities with not even 40 per cent of the vote. Too bad for the 60 per cent who don't want what Harper's doing to the country," said George Not Bush

Speaking of the preferential ballot, some commenters had suggestions for avoiding vote-splitting and strategic voting dilemmas. 

  • "If we are going to have a multiparty system, we need a form of proportional representation to avoid these sorts of quandaries," said MarkHeseltine.

  • "Who can you complain to if something goes wrong in Parliament? Proportional representation would give more power to the leader of the party and takes more away from the real voices of the people," replied Finnicholas.

  • "No,  thank you. Proportional representation leads to the creation of even more parties, each representing smaller and smaller segments of society. It's the single transferable vote system we should be looking at," replied Cuthbert Calculus.

  • "The answer to all of this is a higher turn out rate at the polls. Sixty per cent or lower and steadily declining just doesn't cut it. A party can win an election with 35 per cent of the 60 per cent turn out. That means in essence that 15 per cent of the voting population decides who wins. It's pathetic if you think about it," said dligert

Thanks for all your comments and for following our coverage on CBC News.

Tags: Community, Community Reaction, Politics

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