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Quebec NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau, who took a Vegas vacation during the election campaign, is shown in a handout photo.


I've never met Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the new Honourable Member representing the good people of Berthier-Maskinongé in Parliament, and so can't vouch for what kind of an MP she is going to turn out to be. But I do have a few thoughts to offer about her.

First, after an initial look there appears to be no truth to the claim - advanced by her bitter, mean-spirited, defeated political opponents - that she falsified her nomination papers. Those papers are publicly available. The required signatures were obtained through a door-to-door canvass conducted for her by her party. The two signatures in question are in sequential order with neighbours on either side who also signed, to help this young female candidate out. It is therefore not clear whether something has happened here to reflect discredit on Ms. Brosseau, or (ultimately) on her angry and humiliated Liberal opponent.

Second, in building up Ms. Brosseau like this, our friends on the red team may be making another of their trademark clever little moves that turn out to be strategic mistakes - the kind of stuff that helps turn a natural ruling party into a distant third party.

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What if Ms. Brosseau turned out to be a likeable young single mother, let's say? Who simply agreed to put herself forward so that her party's supporters would have someone to vote for? What if she was as surprised as everyone else was by the result? What if she were to now promise to make something of her new role; to speak for young single mothers like herself; to get to know her new riding and speak for it as best she can? What if folks there decided to adopt her, help her with her French, and turn her into a bit a local celebrity? What if people realized that what we have here is a young woman being singled out by an angry political party outraged at the loss of its entitlements; that the claims being made about her nomination papers are false; and that she's actually a sincere, normal person trying to do her best?

If something like that were to happen, then the mud would end up back on those who threw it - once again.

And so, third and last, as I was saying yesterday, maybe this isn't the best way to greet Canada's new crop of federalist Quebec MPs.

The New Democrats have some work to do to step up to the central role Canadians have given them in the new Parliament. Judging from the news this week, it would seem that some folks on the orange team are first in need of some sleep and a few days off, after a long campaign. Maybe the mud throwers and peashooters should think about doing the same.

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