联邦自由党曾数次被指空降明星候选人至本党的要塞选区。而在总理办公室高级助理Mary Ng决定在非其居住地的Markham-Thornhill选区寻求补选提名后，数名潜在华裔候选人立即宣布退出角逐。据Bob Mok称，这种空降候选人行为会加剧自由党内部的不满情绪。
The federal Liberals had faced several allegations of parachuting star candidates to the Liberals’ strongholds over the past. But after Mary Ng, a top PMO aide decided to seek by-election nomination in Markham-Thornhill -- a riding she does not reside in, several potential nominees with Chinese heritage withdrew immediately from the race. Bob Mok writes that such a practice may fuel malcontent within the party.
Recently, five by-elections were called quickly by Prime Minister Trudeau to fill vacancies for MP's in our Parliament. These elections are to take place on April 3, 2017 and shortly before the Conservative Party of Canada chooses its new leader in May, replacing interim leader Rona Ambrose.
Mr. Trudeau's strategy is simple – to catch the opposition party off-guard and in the middle of their leadership race and to provide better chances for his party to increase their majority, and for his star candidates to be promoted to Cabinet appointments later.
Star candidates are mostly elected through “parachuting” into strong ridings held by the party. A “parachute” candidate is one who does not live in the riding where the election is held and therefore are typically unfamiliar with local issues and needs of the riding assigned. Parachuting is necessary but not necessarily ethical when there is no reliable talent indigenous to the riding or that the party wishes to give a candidate an easier election than would happen in one's own home area. “Parachuting” a candidate is contrary to the principle of having a “local” (residing) representative. That concept is to have a candidate who understands all the local issues to serve as an effective bridge between the Parliament and the riding constituency.
The Liberal Party has a history of “parachuting” candidates into ridings. Just to give our readers some examples: Chrystia Freeland was parachuted into the safe seat of Toronto Centre in a 2013 by-election due to Bob Rae's departure. Freeland was living in New York City at the time but she won nevertheless. In 2005, Michael Ignatieff was parachuted into the safe riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore and acclaimed as a candidate. This was made possible after the existing MP and a Minister of State, Jean Augustine, who was also parachuted into the same riding in 1993 by Jean Chretien, announced that she would be one of those MPs not seeking re-election.
The Markham-Thornhill riding clearly demonstrates what “parachuting” is all about. One of the first to declare her nomination for the riding candidacy was Mary Ng, a top PMO aide who lives in the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, Ont., currently represented by rookie Liberal MP Marco Mendicino. As soon as the by-election date was set, Ms. Ng was off and running with a web site complete with endorsement from many politicians and other potential nominees who withdrew immediately from the race.
在这些退出的潜在候选人中，有三位华裔候选人，他们分别是律师Scott Au，女企业家孙晓明Sophia Ming Sun，以及律师江邦固Bang-Gu Jiang。此外，安省国际贸易部长陈国治（之前亦被视为潜在候选人，但他已宣布无意参选），万锦市议员Amanda Collucci，旺市市议员Sandra Racco以及万锦-康山自由党协会执行副总裁Francis Yuen也都支持Ng参选。
Three of these potential nominees with Chinese heritage were identified as lawyer Scott Au, businesswoman Sophia Ming Sun, and lawyer Bang-Gu Jiang. Ontario International Trade Minister Michael Chan (previously considered a potential candidate who declared his intention not to run), Markham Councillor Amanda Collucci, Vaughan Councillor Sandra Racco, and Francis Yuen, executive vice-president of the Markham-Thornhill Liberal Association, have also endorsed Ms. Ng.
One potential nominee (Ms. Juanita Nathan) was concerned about the cutoff date to register new party members for a nomination vote that was to take place on March 4, 2017. She claimed that more than 2,000 people she has registered as Liberals are considered ineligible because the party retroactively set the registration cut-off date for Feb. 14 — the day before she started entering names into the system. However, the Party Officials stated that all is fair and square and that there was a five-week gap between the date when the previous MP John McCallum announced his departure from Parliament to accept an appointment as Ambassador to China. Ms. Nathan withdrew from the nomination race.
In the end, only 2 nominees fought for the candidacy and Ms. Ng won. The total vote count was only 186. The party's nomination rules may not have been broken but as we all know, but perception is everything in the political arena. If a candidate is not perceived to be selected fairly in a contest, both the candidate's reputation and that of the party's will be tarnished. The “anointed” candidate may have won but the seed of malcontent within the party is sowed. Mistrust will creep into the party ranks and it may have lasting consequences for the party's internal harmony, lasting well into the future.
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