Sheila’s not alone; incumbent Liberal MPs have been dropping like flies of late, losing their nomination battles. My own MP, Robert Bertrand, lost the nomination for Pontiac to newcomer David Smith from Maniwaki, my old newspaper reports. Though the story only gives the barest bones of an outline — who’s the new guy, anyway? — it seems that Bertrand was simply outhustled for the nomination.
Pesky Joe (see previous entry), who was elected as an Alliance MP in 2000 but switched to the Liberals in 2002, met a similar fate in Richmond, B.C., losing the nomination to Raymond Chan, the Liberal MP he beat in 2000.
Neither of these guys had much of a profile in the House: Bertrand always struck me as the ultimate rural constituency MP; we’re not sure what Peschisolido’s been up to. But it’s interesting to note that while the Pesky Joe/Raymond Chan battle gets national coverage on the CBC web site, thanks in no small part to the notoriety of the story, Bertrand’s defeat is all but invisible. It’s not showing up anywhere in my Google searches. It’s like you now need the interesting angle to get any coverage at all — a sitting MP with a decade in the House losing his nomination battle (and, quelle horreur, being magnanimous about it) is no longer sufficiently newsworthy outside the riding.