It was revealed Tuesday that Nycole Turmel, the interim leader of the NDP, used to be a card carrying member of the Bloc Quebecois.
Pundits and columnists immediately jumped on the story, some lashing out at the NDP over the fact that the woman at the helm of the official opposition would support a party that wants to break up Canada.
There are others who feel the criticism is overblown, saying that politicians flip parties all the time and the Bloc shares a number of policy ideas with the New Democrats so it shouldn’t be surprising.
So is this a bad thing or is it just the dog days of summer and reporters are starved for controversial stories from Parliament Hill?
Whether you think it’s a problem or not, it’s clear the NDP is in damage control. Not long after the news broke the so-called spin doctors were out explaining Turmel is first and foremost a federalist and only joined the party to support her friend Carole Lavallee, a former BQ MP.
I guess the big question is, will this whole issue stick to the NDP? There’s a good chance it won’t. Turmel is an interim leader and once Layton is back (whenever that may be) it may blow over. Sometimes in politics, memories can be short and there are many MP’s from all parties with controversies or scandals. The only people who can name those MP’s and their past problems are political junkies who have likely already made up their minds.
In the grand scheme of things this probably won’t hurt the party, but I guess only time will tell.