Bartender MP in NDP bootcamp -

Bartender MP in NDP bootcamp

‘Vegas’ candidate Ruth Ellen Brosseau preparing for public appearance


Ruth Ellen Brosseau, the newly elected NDP candidate who has faced a series of minor scandals, including spending some of her campaign on vacation in Vegas and allegedly fudging some signatures on her candidacy papers, is reportedly in a sort of PR boot camp. NDP officials have said Brosseau, along with other greenhorn candidates, is receiving a crash course on how to be an MP as well as improving her French—an important skill for Brosseau, as her new riding is 95 per cent francophone.

Montreal Gazette

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Bartender MP in NDP bootcamp

  1. How much scrambling is going on behind the scenes right now to try and make this into a reality TV show?

    What the heck…I'd watch it.

    • It definitely has Erin Brockovitch potential. Single mother bartender, does a friend a favour, ends up in Parliament, is pilloried by media.

      All it needs is a denouement.

    • Ms Brosseau has given a radio interview , mostly in english to a local newspaper. She sounds a bit nervous, and does have some knowledge of french. The NDP communications rep with her should have told her that she would visit the riding to help deal with the severe flooding in the area.

    • I seriously think it would be an awesome movie. Since you can take the basic idea and change it however you wish, I’d like to see her voted in as Prime Minister through some fun prorogation/coalition third choice. And do fabulously, of course.

  2. The Liberals have contested her election. Apparently 90 of the 138 signatures on her nomination papers are invalid. If this information is confirmed by the courts, then a by election will have to be held.

    There is another riding in quebec won by the NDP where the names on the nomination papers are being questioned.

    I believe there may be more reviews of the nomination papers of NDP elected MP's in Quebec.

    • I think it's just the Liberal candidate who has been throwing around the '90' figure. She has to get at least 39 people to sign an affidavit stating they didn't sign that sheet before a court would even look at it, I'd imagine.

    • Elections Canada says the results stand. Don't know about the 90 figure, but if it were 90, I doubt EC would have made that decision. The Liberals are foolisih for challenging her. She's got to be the biggest asset they have in their fight to win back some support from the NDP.

      • I kinda doubt that the Liberals are acting as a unitary whole right now. It's probably the local candidate driving this.

        • I believe so. Because any seasoned political mind would instantly see the potential of Ms Brousseau to hurt her own party. None of that is to say she won't mature into a fine MP some day. But if I had to bet…..

      • Elections Canada said the results stand subject to a court ruling. If the Liberals proceed with the court battle it could get ugly. I can imagine a court hearing whereby several of the 138 names on the list deny ever signing a form __From a political strategy move, it is easier to let the newly elected MP self destruct.__In the french media, Radio Canada reported that several residents of the riding are outraged that Ms Brousseau hasn't visited the riding since the floods began a few days ago.

        • To be fair, she's only been an MP for a week, and doesn't even have a constituency office yet. Aside from the symbolism of such a visit, which I grant you is undeniably important, I'm not sure what practical support she could provide without an office or staff to assist constituents.

          • "several residents of the riding are outraged that Ms Brousseau hasn't visited the riding since the floods began a few days ago."

            But not so outraged that the same issue would stop her from winning the seat. Selective outrage, it seems.

    • Regardless of the legitimacy of the names I would think the Bloc, NDP & Cons all want her (and the other NDP MPs that require 'bootcamp') to stay put and make asses of themselves discrediting the NDP brand for four years, non?

      Think about it. Who wins a by-election now? The NDP will be getting some superstar local candidates now in Quebec, and I can't imagine that within months the electorate will go from voting for an Anglo from Vegas carrying the NDP flag to one of their own carrying the same flag.

      • It seems unlikely that there will be a byelection now,but if there was one then the Conservatives would have a shot at winning. For the first time since 1979, the Conservatives have won an election with no more than 6 members from Quebec. In 1979, I think the PC's had 2 seats and had to appoint people from the Senate to sit in Cabinet.

        Quebecers have made a strategic error by having defeated many of their own cabinet ministers. They won't have much representation in Cabinet. It also appears unlikely that anyone from the Senate will be appointed to cabinet when there are 167 members of parliament available.

        I predict there will be byelections in Quebec over the next 4 years when some of the newbie MP's make gaffes.

        The media has focused on Ms Brosseau, but I am sure there are skeletons in the closets of some of the new NDP MP's.

        The good news is that the next election date has been fixed for October 2015, so there is plenty of time to do proper background checks on future candiates of all parties.

  3. Let the games begin! Meanwhile, after thinking "all these newbies are going to have to be tightly controlled so as not to commit gaffes," the old hand Mulcair comes through with some crazy of his own…

    • How dumb are we all going to look if they end up being the brightest lights in the House? And really, how hard is that?

  4. I hope she does well. Her name/story has been written up in the Economist, LA Times, plus all the Canadian media.

    Rick Mercer should do an interview with her, as, she is the age group he was targeting with his ''vote" campaign

    • Indeed, she was the candidate tailor-made for vote mobs.

      • That's the problem, once the band wagon has passed, reality bites us all in the a$$.

  5. Personally, I hope that both the media and the public have the decency to be civil to this woman while she learns the ropes. The fact is, this could happen to any party. They all run place-holder candidates in ridings they (theoretically) don't stand a chance of winning. Ever met the Conservative candidates that run in East Vancouver?

    People who are willing to step up and do their part for democracy without any expectation of power and payoff deserve our respect and our help, not our derision. If, after a good few months of training, she's still not pulling her weight to serve her constituents, then sure, pass judgment. But let's let her find her feet.

    • Well, aprat from her age– which shouldn't be an issue actually– her motivations for running for Parliament seem a touch dubious. I've been guilty of piling on about this myself– because her election victory is both sublime and ridiculous at the same time. People should reserve judgment until she's had a bit of time in her new job. Maybe she'll be great, who knows? I guess I'll lay off the jokes for now until she has a chance to learn-on-the-fast and demonstrate competence.

      • The Canadian political system does not allow a separate vote for leader vs local candidate like the USA does. You could vote for a Democrat for President & Republican for Congress.

        A voter who wants to support "Jack" has to vote for Ms Brousseau even though they have never heard of her, or think she won't make a good MP.

        The unpredictable date of the elction contributes to parties finding last minute candidates.

        hopefully, with the elction date sate for October 19, 2015, all parties will be more thorough in selecting candidates.

        Ms Rousseau deserves a chance to prove herself, but I doubt the media will give her a fair shake.

        • Sorry but the "unpredictable date" was well known by the opposition since they were the ones that called it. They all went into it unprepared and they committed political suicide. At least before the election the NDP had *some* power. Now they have none. Liberals have even less.

  6. Here we go again – being 'nice' Canadians. This entire, ridiculous affair must be terminated NOW, by Layton and staff, by 1. booting the bartender back to whichever bar she had escaped from; 2. investigating (and, if possible, having charged) the party lowlife who engineered this fraudulent nomination; and 3. conducting a mental health survey among the voters in the riding in question who had elected someone a. they had never met; and b. who doesn't even speak the (undoubtedly only) language of the (vast) majority!

    • So, you're saying you don't like democracy because voters are stupid?

    • Wouldn't want to be accused of being a nice Canadian, so we'll keep this short and sweet. Unless you've got facts to support your allegations, stick a sock in it, buddy.

  7. .
    The entire party, as well as the Liberals, have to re-train their thinking to deal with a company that bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Conservatives of Stanfield, Clark, or even Mulroney.

    Case in point: Harper vs Guergis. It looked like Terminator 1, until the end. Then the button is pushed, and it's Sarah Conner who is crushed in the hydraulic press. The horror of thing is that at least half the liberal faithful stood up and cheered at the spectacle. Guergis, and the rest of us, are still left without even an apology, let alone an explanation.

     Look outside the window, there's a woman being grabbed.
     They've dragged her to the bushes and now she's being stabbed.
     Maybe we should call the cops and try to stop the pain.
     But Monopoly is so much fun, I'd hate to blow the game.

     And I'm sure it wouldn't interest…anybody…outside of a small circle of friends…

    –Phil Ochs. 'Small Circle of Friends.'

  8. $147.000 annual salary … just for allowing then to use her name? Goodness me, if only I'd known.

    • And now everyone is saying be easy on her, I say, like hell, she put her name into the political ring, she is collecting our tax dollars, she must take what comes with the position. Next time, I hope the NDP show a little more responsibility with their nominees, really, never even been in the constituency before?

      • She's following in the steps of Sir John A. Elected in 1878 to the riding of Victoria, BC. A chunk of the country he never visited.

    • Yeah, if only you'd known…or bothered in spite of not knowing.

  9. Does Ms. Brosseau deserve this job? No – nothing she has done in her life seems like it would warrant her current position. But in terms of her ability to perform the job of an MP, I'm not sure it matters. I posit that, despite never visiting Berthier-Maskinongue and not speaking French fluently, Ms. Brosseau will perform no differently from most of her NDP peers. In our system, backbench MP's don't contribute very much, beyond their presence on close votes (of which there will be few, since we have a majority government again).

    Brosseau's importance is symbolic. Right now she is the personification of the inexperience of the current NDP caucus (as a hardworking single mother, I posit that she may not have as steep a learning curve as some others, for whom living
    away from their parents and holding down a job is a new experience). Yet there is also a tremendous opportunity for both the NDP and for Ms. Brosseau. If Ms. Brosseau can learn to speak French fluently, and come to represent her constituents ably over these four years, she will do great credit to her party and herself. Quebecois don't despise English-speakers – they despise English speakers that don't put in any effort.

    • Another thing in her favour is that being a single mom working as a bartender, she's certainly familiar with the basic costs of things like milk and gas and so forth– things that her constituents directly feel in their wallets. My hunch is that most front-bench politicians don't pay close enough attention to stuff like that.

  10. I think Ms. Brosseau should open her office in her riding and meet her constituents asap. Have an open house and coffee meeting to say "hi, what a pleasure it is to be your MP, thank you for voting for me, etc." It is the least she can do.

    • She does this through a translator? ;)

  11. Great idea, except… "bonjour… c'est, um, un plaisir de, um, que je suis votre MP… merci pour, um, pour…"

  12. Except that (I've read that) she wasn't a "bartender," but an Assistant Manager of the pub/restaurant, with a $54,000 annual salary. But let's not facts get in the way of calumny.

    • Hey, she's already had more private-sector work experince than Tony Clement.

  13. She has had more private sector work experience than her leader, jack the dipper.