Am I the only one unnerved by the sight of Liberal nomination candidates touting their closeness to the prime minister as a reason for voters to support them? Richard Mahoney did it in Ottawa Centre, Tony Valeri just did it this past weekend, and so did Ottawa South Liberal candidate David McGuinty (brother of). It’s somewhat unsavoury: vote for me and you’ll have a representative who’s buddy-buddy with the boss. I didn’t think that was a qualification for office — at least not in a system not rife with cronyism.

A related argument is to vote for a member of the government party: we’re going to win anyway, so you may as well have someone on the “right” side. This is, essentially, the argument David Northcott is making in Winnipeg Centre.