Ever since we saw the big flurry of events at the end of March/early April that led to the expulsions from the Liberal caucus of two well-regarded and like cabinet ministers, all of political Ottawa and Canada have been wondering; what will they do? What will be the future for Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott? Well it looks like at around lunch time Monday we’ll have our answer:
Monday morning in Vancouver and Markham we’ll see the next scenes in this political drama play out. Both have seemed to keep their cards very close to them and haven’t given any major hints about where they might end up. The only things that seem to be certain here is that both will run again in some capacity, in some way and that they won’t go to the Conservatives. Given everything they’ve said and the issues that they’ve stood out on and cared about, it’s clear that they aren’t going to walk away from political life right now and they don’t match up with the Scheer Conservatives.
So where will they land? Honestly your guess is as good as mine on this. By timing their announcements the way that they are, I’m led to believe they will both be going in the same direction though. Its never been a given that both would go to the same place or take a similar decision, but of the things you can read into this turn of events for Monday, the fact that they are both announcing within minutes of each other in such a coordinated way is a sign that they are probably going together.
Regardless of the choice that they make, this is will have huge impact on what happens in the Fall for the parties out there. Let’s face it; both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott have far more credibility in the eyes of the public than any other leader in the campaign to come. By joining with any other party, that part will gain a great deal of momentum from that credibility choosing their team. Conversely, having been passed over by Wilson-Raybould and Philpott will go a long way to sapping other parties and will hurt them. This decision will have the chance to be rocket fuel for the party that they join (if they do join a party), and will potentially put cement blocks around the ankles of the party that is passed over. When the news of this pending announcement broke, you already started to see the kind of sentiment that this could set loose:
If I’m the Liberals and I’m counting on trying to push progressive voters back into their fold in the upcoming campaign with the usual “Red door or Blue door” argument, this should frighten them. Monday is a day of reckoning that has been coming for a while. The only question remains who is going to be the ones to benefit from that reckoning.
Over this weekend I expect the fine folks in the Parliamentary Press Gallery will be trying to read all the tea leaves they can find, checking the where certain party leaders will be on Monday and looking for every clue they can get. We have another 48 hours or so to ponder and wonder but by the time that Question Period comes on Monday, we’ll have all of our answers and the new reality will start to settle in. Monday promises to be a big, watershed day for sure and will be a big landmark in the run up to the Fall election. After these two big shoes drop, it’s hard to say there are any bigger ones out there waiting to come down to Earth.