Nov 18/10 - Pt 2: Keith Martin

Keith Martin has spent 17 years as an MP. He has sat with three political parties and as an independent. Now, he's walking away from politics entirely because he thinks partisanship is getting in the way of policy.


Keith Martin

We started this segment with a clip from Liberal MP Keith Martin. Last week, he announced that he is leaving politics. In 17 years in Parliament, Keith Martin sat with three political parties... He began his career in 1993 when he was a 33-year-old medical doctor running for the fledgling Reform Party.

Fiscally conservative... socially liberal... Keith Martin introduced a variety of private members bills over the years ... Including one in 2002 when he was a member of the Canadian Alliance which urged the decriminalization of marijuana. When it was blocked, he walked across the floor and grabbed the ceremonial mace ... a clear breech of Parliamentary protocol.

In 2004, Keith Martin walked away from the newly formed Conservative Party ... first to sit as an independent and later to run as a Liberal. Keith Martin has been a Liberal since that time but he hasn't always seen eye-to-eye with his colleagues on that side of the house either. His belief that Canadians have a right to purchase private health care has brought him into conflict with other Liberal MPs, including the party's health critic, Ujjal Dosanjh.

Despite the feathers Keith Martin has ruffled over the years, he has also managed a number of legislative successes. Keith Martin was in Ottawa. And he will not be running for re-election.

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