COMMON decency should have dictated to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he should NOT have run a candidate against federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the Burnaby South byelection.
Back in August, Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May announced that her party would not run a candidate against Jagmeet Singh as a “leader’s courtesy.”
She noted: “The leader’s courtesy is a long-standing Canadian parliamentary tradition that facilitates a newly elected party leader’s entry to the legislature by allowing him or her to contest a by-election unopposed.”
The Green Party said it believed it was right to step aside to allow the leader of an important part of the political spectrum to serve in parliament.
May herself received the leader’s courtesy in 2008 when then Liberal leader Stéphane Dion chose not to run a candidate against her in Central Nova.
Newly elected leaders of political parties who stand in by-elections are often not opposed so that they can enter the legislature. In 2002, the Liberals and Conservatives stepped aside for Stephen Harper when he ran in a by-election held shortly after he became leader of the Canadian Alliance.
The courtesy was also extended to Conservative leaders Robert Manion (1938), George Drew (1948), Robert Stanfield (1967) and Joe Clark (2000) as well as Liberal Leader Jean Chrétien (1990) and Alliance Leader Stockwell Day (2000).
The VOICE wrote last August: “This will now be a test of how graceful Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will prove to be.
“Will they be petty-minded or will they be big enough to emulate May’s gesture?”
Unfortunately for Canadian politics, both Trudeau and Scheer proved to be PETTY-MINDED leaders!
Now Trudeau looks even more pathetic with the Liberal candidate in Burnaby South, Karen Wang, being forced to resign after racist comments she made on the Chinese social media app, WeChat, against Jagmeet Singh.
Trudeau should have condemned those comments himself, but he is hiding behind his party. He has once again failed to show true leadership.
Trudeau played it dirty with Jagmeet Singh by delaying the Burnaby South byelection as long as he could because he is afraid of facing him in the House of Commons. Trudeau and the Liberals are scared that Jagmeet Singh’s performance in Parliament will give the NDP a boost that will be a threat to them in the election later this year.