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article imageCanada: Quebec MP crosses floor from NDP to Bloc Quebecois

By Karl Gotthardt     Mar 1, 2013 in Politics
Ottawa - A federal member of the New Democratic Party has crossed the floor to join the Bloc Quebecois, becoming the fifth member of the separatist federal party. Claude Patry on crossing the floor said that some things are not negotiable.
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper wasted no time to comment on the NDP defection, stating that this was an issue that has concerned his government for some time.
This is an issue that has concerned us for some time, and does concern us: the ambiguity on Canadian unity that we have among some members of the NDP caucus in Quebec,
This phenomenon with 'Bloc orange,' I think, should give everyone some considerable pause, and I think what has happened today is really another example of this particular problem,
During the 2011 election the New Democratic Party (NDP) won 59 seats in Quebec out of a total of 103, which gave the party official opposition status. Many considered the Quebec orange wave a protest votes against the federal Liberal Party (LPC). With only 34 members of parliament elected, the LPC moved to third party status.
According to CTV News, during yesterday's question period conservative MP Pierre Poilievre also took a dig at the NDP when he asked, “Is it the NDP over there or the NDPQ (New Democratic Party Quebecois)?
Claude Patry, who is the MP for Jonquiere-Alma in Quebec’s Saguenay region, said that he no longer felt comfortable in the NDP and said that some things are non-negotiable.
According to the National Post
Patry used a term often used for politicians that put the interests of Canada ahead of Quebec.
"I will not get down on my knees,” Patry said.
Leader of the Official Opposition and of the NDP, Thomas Mulcair, downplayed the event and the suggestion of ambiguity within his caucus. He called on Patry to run in a by-election, stating that Patry had consulted with everyone, except the people he represents.
He’s talked about all the people he’s consulted. He just keeps forgetting one thing: he hasn’t consulted his electors on this,
The call for a by-election is not so far fetched, although most MPs that cross the floor never do. Patry voted for an NDP motion last year that called on MPs to sit as an independent or run in a by-election.
Patry's defection raises the question of how strong NDP support actually is in Quebec. With the Party Quebecois back in power, Quebec seems to face the re-emergence of separatist sentiments. Pauline Marois has made an effort to enforce Quebec's language bill and the NDP has had two other defections, one is sitting as an independent and the other as a liberal.
More about Canadian Politics, New Democrats, organge wave, Quebec members of parliament, Separatists
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