Who’s that smiling guy in all the pictures?

Who’s that smiling guy in all the pictures?

It’s fall. Can you smell the politics in the air?

What an exciting time for those of the political persuasion. We have municipal elections, and the fields are crowded. 15 people have stepped forward in Kimberley to run for Council, ten in Cranbrook.

That’s good to see.

Not good to see is no one challenging the incumbent Mayor in Cranbrook. I’m not offering an opinion on the job the current mayor is doing, I’m just saying it’s a shame there is no challenger.

It is during the election campaign where you learn about candidates, where they can reiterate why they ran in the first place, what they’ve done, what they hope to accomplish in the next term etc. It’s a good opportunity to remind yourself why you may have voted for someone, or why you may wish to vote for someone else. People in Cranbrook will not have that choice this fall.

At the provincial level, we have the looming proportional representation vote., which the BC Liberals assure us is very, very bad, the NDP assure us is very, very good. That is going to be very interesting to watch as it plays out. How many people will actually vote? How many people will chuck the voting envelope in the garbage and not bother to participate? And will that be because they don’t care or because the options are so complicated?

And federally, the House just sat for the fall session, which opened with a nasty surprise for Prime Minister Trudeau. The Liberal MP for Aurora – Oak Ridges – Richmond Hill, Leona Alleslev, crossed the floor to join the Conservative Party, saying she felt the Conservatives were better able to handle the challenges Canada faces at home and abroad.

The Liberals benefited in a similar manner in 2015 when Conservative MP Eve Adams crossed the floor to join the Liberals.

Now Alleslev is entitled to her opinion, as was Adams, but I have a problem with floor crossing, even though over 270 MPs have done just that in Canada’s history.

In my experience, I have often voted for Party rather than person. I know which way I lean politically, and will certainly look at candidates, but rarely, if ever, do I vote for a candidate representing a party whose platform I don’t agree with.

So, if a person I voted for suddenly switched parties, my reaction would be that my vote was taken away from me.

I would much prefer that, if an MP suddenly had a massive change in political opinion, they announce they will be running for another party in the next election. If they feel that they simply cannot continue to serve the party they ran with, the door is open to resign.

Just quit. There will be a by-election and voters in the riding will decide if they want you to be in Ottawa representing them with another party.

Ask Eve Adams how well switching parties worked out for her. She couldn’t get the Liberal nomination when she ran again. Maybe because no one quite trusted her not to change her mind again.

I think Ms. Alleslev may run into the exact same problem.

But meanwhile, there is a lot of press on the party switch and one thing I notice is that in every photo of Leona Alleslev in the past few days, there is this blond guy lurking behind her, positively beaming with delight.

Turns out, it’s Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

Scheer, who has been having a difficult time with a turncoat of his own, one Maxime Bernier, is delighted to have the Alleslev defection pop up at this very moment.

Big distraction on opening day of fall session? Check.

Harmful to Justin Trudeau? Check.

Takes news off Bernier’s criticism of Scheer’s leadership? Check.

Couldn’t have worked out better for Scheer. No wonder he’s smiling.