Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Former NDP MP, Now Wants To Run For Ontario Liberals

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Debater

I wonder if Shan's opponents will bring up the fact that the TDSB just spent $250,000 to hold an election for Trustee?

Stockholm

They might...but that would beg the question of why the Ontario Liberals are causing $250k to be spent on the provincial byelection in the first place. and the TDSB byelection that Shan won was cxaused by another trustee quitting to run federally! BTW: we still don't know why Balkissoon resigned so abruptly...and coincidentally there is all this news about Liberal MPPs being accused of sexual harassment and having been asked to quitely resign - where there's smoke there's fire.

aka Mycroft

Normally, Shan quitting as trustee after only a few months might be an issue but given that Tory Mikey Ford just did the same thing in Etobicoke and the Liberal MP for Scarborough Rouge River also quit his trustee job after a few months I think it would be difficult for either the Liberals or the Tories to make much of an issue of it in this particular by-election.  

Debater

Valid point.

It appears that the phenomenon of playing musical chairs is all too common.

All parties are guilty of it, but it can still be an annoyance to voters.

Ciabatta2

Shan?  Is this guy ever going to stop running in elections?  This pretty much neautralizes any critique of Sitsabaiesan should she actually win the nomination.  These parties need some new blood.

Stockholm

How does it "neutralize" any critique? Neethan Shan has been doggedly loyal to the NDP every step of the way and is willing to run over and over again and build something up. Rathika put her name on the ballot once in 2011 and was in the right place at the right time and got elected unexpectedly, then turned off almost everyone in Ottawa, ran a lazy re-election campaign, lost and then picked up her marbles and joined the Liberals the moment it was clear that she would face an oppoent for the ONDP nomination.

Ciabatta2

If the critique of Sitsabaiesan is that she's being an opportunist interested in furthering her own career by running for the first thing in sight, then running a guy that just won a Toronto school board seat, after having already run for anything and everything he could ever run for (party roles, MPP, councillor, York region school board) doesn't really combat that.  IIRC he joined the NDP after some alleged shenanigans were pulled on him when he went for the Liberal nomination back in the 2000s?  If that's untrue I will retract.

The only thing the public likes less than opportunistic career politicians are unsuccessful opportunistic want-to-be career politicians.

Debater

Andrew Foulds pulled a similar stunt in Thunder Bay over the past 2 years.

In June 2014 he ran provincially in Thunder Bay-Superior North.  He lost to incumbent Liberal MPP Michael Gravelle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunder_Bay%E2%80%94Superior_North_%28prov...

He then ran municipally a few months later in Fall 2014 and got re-elected to his Municpal seat.

Then just after he had he gotten re-elected Municipally he launched himself as the Federal NDP nominee in Thunder Bay-Superior North!

In October 2015, Patty Hajdu beat Foulds by nearly a 2-1 margin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thunder_Bay%E2%80%94Superior_North

So within the course of a year or two, Foulds had run provincially, municipally & federally!

aka Mycroft

New  trustee to seek MPP seat - just four months after elected: https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2016/05/19/new-trustee-to-...

Geoff

aka Mycroft wrote:

New  trustee to seek MPP seat - just four months after elected: https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2016/05/19/new-trustee-to-...

I suspect he will meet the same fate as Andrew Foulds, and a well-deserved fate it will be.

aka Mycroft

I think one of the NDP's flaws is confusing when spin works inside their own echo chamber on Richmond Street with whether the same thing will work in the rest of the world (or even among the party membership). Example: Hey, let's parachute Adam Giambrone into a Scarborough riding. 

Stockholm

The headline after Rathika declared her candidacy should have been

Ex-MP to seek MPP seat - just six months after being defeated!

I have no idea what will happen in Scarborough-Rouge River - but i see no comparison at all to Adam Giambrone. Neethan Shan is NOT in any way shape or form a parachure candidate. He lives in that area and has run for public office in northeastern Scarborough many times. The local riding association there would be almost entirely composed of people loyal to him and no one else is running for the nomination.

Sure in retrospect if Neethan Shan had known that Balkissoon was going to quit under suspcious circumstances - he would not have run for school trustee and would have run in the byelection instead. But that doesn't take away from the fact that he is still by far the strongest candidate the NDP could possibly run in that riding. He has name recognition. He won the school board byelection in a landslide and he is a pillar of the community. There is no one better for the NDP to run in that seat.

Considering how unpopular Wynne is these days - there is a chance the NDP could win with Neethan Shan. if they ran an unknown no-name canddate there would be zero chance. What's Shan got to lose. If he wins he goes to Queens Park. If he loses he is still the trustee for the next two and a half years

Stockholm

Just to add to the musical chairs - the PC candidate will apparently be doddering old Raymond Cho the 79 year old city councillor who ran for them in 2014 and came in third behind Neethan Shan -

http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/6565030-toronto-councillor-raymo...

If Cho were to win the byelection, he would force a byelection for his city council seat - i wonder if Shan and the Liberal candidate would then run for that one too?

Debater

Geoff wrote:

aka Mycroft wrote:

New  trustee to seek MPP seat - just four months after elected: https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2016/05/19/new-trustee-to-...

I suspect he will meet the same fate as Andrew Foulds, and a well-deserved fate it will be.

I think Neethan Shan has a better chance of success than Andrew Foulds, but time will tell.

Ciabatta2

aka Mycroft wrote:

I think one of the NDP's flaws is confusing when spin works inside their own echo chamber on Richmond Street with whether the same thing will work in the rest of the world (or even among the party membership). Example: Hey, let's parachute Adam Giambrone into a Scarborough riding. 

BINGO. I think this is a perfect analysis of one of the NDP's top problems.  It's such a small group, with minimal ins and outs, it's bound to become echo-chambery.  this in turn discourages new blood.  But if we can't expect our parties to understand public dynamics, public mood, public wants, needs and trends, then what's the point?  I get that there isn't a lineup of viable candidates wanting to run for the NDP in ridings like this, but this just smacks of a yucky political merry-go-round and is one of the reasons why.

Stockholm

Neethan Shan has come close to winning Scarborough Rouge River in the 2011 and the 2014 provincial elections and won the school board byelection in a landslide. Its hard to imagine who could be stronger candidate than he is for this byelection.

Debater

PCs nominate veteran Toronto city councillor for byelection

The Canadian Press

Jun 4 2016

Quote:
TORONTO — The Ontario Progressive Conservatives have nominated their candidate for a byelection in an east Toronto riding.

Raymond Cho is currently a city councillor for the area and a longtime resident of Toronto.

The Scarborough-Rouge River seat has been vacant since Liberal backbencher Bas Balkissoon abruptly resigned in March.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has six months to call a byelection to replace Balkissoon, but no date has yet been set for the vote.

http://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2016/06/04/pcs-nominate-veteran-toronto...

aka Mycroft

Liberals nominate Piragal Thiru as Scarborough-Rouge River byelection candidate

Ontario's Liberals have nominated a candidate for a provincial byelection in Toronto.

Piragal Thiru will run under the Liberal banner in the riding of Scarborough-Rouge River.

The Liberals describe Thiru as a long time regional volunteer and policy professional.

On Saturday the Progressive Conservatives have nominated city councillor Raymond Cho to run in the east Toronto riding.

The Scarborough-Rouge River seat has been vacant since Liberal backbencher Bas Balkissoon abruptly resigned in March.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has six months to call a byelection to replace Balkissoon, but no date has yet been set for the vote.

 

ctrl190

Wow. Huge miscalculation by Rathika.

Unionist

Unionist wrote:

I didn't think much of Rathika before, nor do I know. But wow, was she ever popular around these parts while she was still playing for the home team!

How sad this is.

 

Hate to quote myself, but wouldn't it be nice if people judged people on their merits, rather than on whatever opportunistic team sweater they happen to be wearing at any given time?

Glad to see her fail.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

In the week leading up to the nomination battle this swipe was taken against Rathika, she wrote on her Facebook page (condensed version below)

"Over the long weekend, a Tamil media outlet, Deepam News printed a three page spread about the coming Liberal nomination in Scarborough-Rouge River. The first two pages included a profile and an endorsement of one of the candidates, Piragal Thiru. What followed in the next page was an attack on me, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario Liberal government policies.

The article repeatedly refers to me as an “opportunistic and horny monkey". I am a Canadian woman of Tamil descent, NOT a monkey. Our riding is a diverse riding of many cultures, we are all human beings who deserve not to be dehumanized in this way.

The article also makes mention of my sexual activity."

For the full text go to the link below

https://www.facebook.com/rathikaspage/posts/10153783502542695

She burned too many bridges ever to be welcomed back into the NDP fold ever again. Her only two options are to run in municipal politics, or run under the Liberal banner from this point forward.

nicky

Any indication on the vote split for the Liberal nomination?

ctrl190

nicky wrote:
Any indication on the vote split for the Liberal nomination?

It sounds like Thiru has some deep roots in the riding. There is a huge Liberal base in the area - 1,700 people came out to the nomination.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

Former NDP MP Jamie Nicholls wrote the following on Rathika Sitsabaiesan Facebook page after her announcement to switch parties

Sorry, Rathika Sitsabaiesan , Jack was not a liberal and he probably would have accepted your decision with a lot of grace, tact and politeness because he was that kind of guy. But I'm sure, in private, he would have expressed deep disappointment in your decision to people close to him. He saw the cut-throat politics firsthand in the nomination race of Réné Émard vs. Réné Beaudoin in Vaudreuil-Soulanges in 1968 when his father was the Liberal Riding Association president. Notably both Laytons, father and son, left the liberal party forever a few short years later and never came back. What they saw was a culture of corruption and entitlement. Let's be honest here- you are choosing to run with the liberals because you would prefer a sure thing rather than an uphill struggle. I say that because after working with you for 4 years, I could see that you would easily get discouraged when things got difficult. Most of your former colleagues will maintain their silence but I just can't. Jack joined the NDP in 1971 because of Tommy Douglas' stance on the war measures act and his belief in not letting the state encroach on civil liberties. It was an unpopular decision at the time and he lived with it because he could be steady in the face of uncertainty. It is what made him a great leader. Has C-51 been modified or repealed? You refer in this article to the war measures act being not rooted in today's battles and yet your omission of C-51 shows that as a representative you were willing to regurgitate talking points without really believing or understanding what you were saying. Maybe you depended on your assistants too much to write your house speeches for you. Kathleen Wynne, your new leader, urged Canadians to vote for Justin Trudeau last election which means that she supported their stance on C-51. When the going got tough, you ran to the liberals instead of standing up for principle. Enjoy the seat, Rathika. I'm sure the pay is good. Here's a clip of yourself for you to reflect on your past. I know you have made this decision to embrace the hope of winning again and escape the fear of losing. Watch this clip to remember the way things are and that you are now joining the team that wants to keep this law in place. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGb9yBWBgBo

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