“I made my mind up back in Chelsea/When I go I’m going like Elsie.”

Next week, Saint John MP Elsie Wayne will annouce if she will retire or run for a fourth term in the next federal election. I think it’s a fair bet that she’ll hang up her ugly sweater once and for all. She was set to retire before the last election in 2000 but was rumoured to be pulling for a Senate seat in exchange for her freeing up Saint John to be a Liberal riding. Mind you, it makes ones wonder why Chrétien, a Liberal prime minister would offer a vacant Senate seat to Elsie Wayne, a Progressive Conservative who spent ten years in Parliament decrying everything the PM stood for.

Anyway, Chrétien, in a clear misreading of the electorate, sent Paul Zed to stand in for the Liberals and defeat Elsie in 2000. Zed, when representing the riding next door in the Kennebecasis Valley, somehow managed to piss off just about everyone and so he was roundly defeated after one term. He returns to Saint John four years later and gets his ass handed to him. It did however cause me to vote strategically for the first time in my life, thinking if enough people could hold their noses and vote for the guy representing the party in power, we’d be rid of Elsie. It didn’t work. Don’t think I’ll do that again and besides, since that time, I’ve become a card carrying member of The NDP (although I should probably send them a change of address sometime).

Elsie may end up pulling some kind of patronage deal in the end – maybe at Veteran’s Affairs like she always wanted. This is kind of frustrating as I now will never have the pleasure of seeing her defeated in an election, not that it would ever have happened, mind you. If my fellow Johnners would have had their way, they would have exhumed her decaying remains to send her to Parliament once again. Hell, for all we know, they’re doing that now.

(I know quoting lyrics from ‘Cabaret’ for a post title might seem odd but fuck it, I couldn’t come up with anything better this early. I’ll just say it’s meant to be ironic. Yeah that’s it.)

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