Who is Jim Hillyer?


It remains unclear who the people of Lethbridge just elected.

He was dubbed The Man Who Wasn’t There – Jim Hillyer, a first-time Conservative candidate in the southern Alberta city of Lethbridge … He earned his moniker from a local newspaper after failing to show up at a pair of debates, repeatedly refusing interview requests and declining to speak to a local blogger who used Twitter to track him down while he was door knocking, an activity he said was more important. (In a video of the encounter posted online, Mr. Hillyer said he couldn’t talk because he had to use the bathroom.)

If nothing else, this election may be moving us closer to confronting some of the questions about the role and relevance of our MPs that are central to the current state of the House of Commons.


Who is Jim Hillyer?

  1. It seems the NDP wasn't the only party running invisible candidates.

    • To me this is a bigger concern than the NDP backbenchers. These candidates knew they would likely win and purposely hid from the electorate.

    • At least he was door-knocking. Presumably in the riding he was running in. Which means, if nothing else, that he's been there before.

      • That's always a plus. Although I doubt he was knocking on any doors that weren't Con.

          • Exactly. So it's not like he was working hard and couldn't spare the time.

  2. So different – Jean Chrétien used to hop on the streetcars in Toronto to shake hands with as many people as possible. Stephen Harper strictly shakes hands with supporters.

    The evolution of Canada.

    • He only has to govern for 40%, so why waste his time?

      • No.. he has to govern for 100%, he only needs to be elected by 40%

        There is a difference there, and we'd all do well not to paper over it.

      • Chretien won in 1997 with 37%, so I'm not sure how this applies uniquely to Harper.

        • I think only in that he did not campaign with that in mind. Or maybe he did, but just wasn't sure where that 37% could be found.

          • You always campaign for as many votes as you can get. No doubt they expected more. The PC rebound on the east coast and strengthened Reform vote in the west cost Chretien seats. He was able to win because he snagged numerous seats back from the Bloc in Quebec.

          • Really? So that's why Harper refused to get anywhere near anyone who wasn't an already confirmed supporter?

            Of course, the fact that that worked in gaining him more supporters is somewhat confusing. :)

          • Not confusing, apparently, to those who ran his campaign. It all seemed very deliberate.

    • Might be the evolution of Canadian politics, but hardly the evolution of Canada. I don't let the behaviour of my elected officials define my country.

      • A point that is far too often forgotten. We are more than our government.

    • I'm guessing that was pre-9/11, when security wasn't nearly the issue it is now. I'm also guessing Harper's RCMP security detail would quit en mass if he ever behaved like that. They threatened to do just that when Chretien insisted on flying on public flights after his 1993 election. During that election he had promised to retire the government jet that Campbell had used to fly all over the country. On his first public flight, the RCMP detail swept the plane for bombs and listening devices, thereby delaying it for several hours and thoroughly angering the rest of the passengers and the airlines. That was it for Jean's experiment with public transport. Add to that the increased security awareness post 9/11, and you likely won't see PMs on street cars again in our lifetimes.

  3. Ruth Ellen Brosseau and Jim Hillyer should form the 'Landed Ass-Backwards into the House of Commons' caucus when they finally get to Ottawa.

    • How do we know he wasn't with her already? What happens in Vegas…

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