People shifting parties isn't so unusual when Parliament is sitting, but in the middle of an election...
But that's the table we're looking at this morning with yesterday's news that Elgin-Middlesex-London NDP candidate Ryan Dolby was throwing his support behind his riding's Liberal candidate in hopes to stem a potential Conservative majority government on May 2nd. But for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, as they say. In Vaughn this morning, Tony Genco, who ran against Conservative MP Julian Fantino as the Liberal candidate in a by-election last fall, has thrown his support to his old opponent. It's worth noting though that Genco is not running as the Liberal candidate in this election, Vaughan regional Councillor Mario Ferri took his place as the Liberal candidate on the ballot there.
So this is some pretty heavy political maneuvering in the battleground that is Southern Ontario; one step forward, one step back for the Liberals it seems. Sadly, I'm not sure how much the endorsement of Genco is going to help Fantino, he's in pretty fine position as it is, and besides, Genco lost by less than 1,000 votes in the by-election. And Genco's rationale for supporting Fantino, that the former OPP Top Cop "delivered" for the people of Vaughn in just four short months since his election, smells a little like sour grapes to me for getting bumped from the ballot.
As for Dolby, the only person he's really hurting is his former boss, Jack Layton. Layton has been trying to position the NDP as a viable alternative to the Conservatives, replacing the Liberals as the official Opposition if not forming a government of their own. Still, Dolby's reasons why represent the worst in cynical politics, he endorsed the Liberal candidate, Graham Warwick, in order to defeat Conservative incumbent Joseph Preston and thus prevent Stephen Harper from securing a majority government. Apparently, Dolby had reached out to Warwick prior to the election about a joint appearance where Dolby would publicly withdraw and throw his support to Warwick, but the Liberal said that he "didn’t think [Dolby] would do it." Dolby also ran for the NDP in 2008.
Both occasions are surprising developments in this election that's still not even a week old. Hard to believe that there's still five more weeks of this.