Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

For The Record

Posted by JJ in Federal Elections, Hats Off, Gentlemen (Thursday January 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the scorecard for “The Repentent Radio Host”, the “Seceded Secessionist”, Jean LaPierre. In just over two years of play since his return to federal (and federalist) politics in 2004, LaPierre managed to rack up an unimpressive record of irrelevance and failure as Quebec Lieutenant for Prime Minister Martin and Minister of Transport.

Fighting the Bloc
Bloc seats in Quebec went from 38 in 2000 to 54 in 2004 to 51 in 2006. Their vote count went from 1.37 Million to 1.67 Million to 1.55 Million. Even with the sponsorship scandal accounted for, Mr. LaPierre’s effect is, to put it politely, hard to measure.
Fighting for the Liberals
Liberal seats in Quebec went from 36 in 2000 to 21 in 2004 to 13 in 2006. Well done.
Fighting Words
Mr. LaPierre called Gilles Duceppe a “Nazi” for suggesting that the Liberals would be “eliminated” in coming elections, and a “coward” for not abandoning federal politics to run for the provincial party’s leadership. Presumably, Mr. LaPierre had already realized that the place for cowards is in federal politics.
Fighting for Canadians
Presided over Transport Canada while an open-skies agreement was concluded with the US. Signed air transport agreements with China and India. Saw increased investment in container facilities in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Reduced fees from airports (spin-offs of the federal government) to the federal government, lest they fail and the federal government have to take over their running again.
Special Honours
*Received the fewest votes of any Liberal candidate in the ever-red riding of Outremont since a by-election in 1942.
*There were 25% more voters in Outremont in 2004 and 2006 than in 1942.

But the real question, naturally, is whether this “star candidate” qualifies as one of the most laughable seat-warmers in history? Even against competition like this, the smart money is on LaPierre.

Hats off? In celebration. Good riddance, Mr. LaPierre, and thank you for courageously leaving federal politics, just as the going gets rough for a party trying to make its way back from opposition.

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