ITQ to Senator Michael Fortier: Resign!

And we mean that in the nicest, most constructive way.

You are, after all, the nominated candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulange. The very instant that the writ drops on Sunday, you’re officially in the running for a seat in the Commons –  and although Elections Canada doesn’t explicitly disallow sitting senators from running – which, incidentally, strikes ITQ as one of those unintended statutory consequences, since it’s unlikely anyone would have anticipated a situation like this – the Constitution makes it pretty clear that a senator “shall not be capable of being elected or of sitting or voting as a Member of the House of Commons.”

Now, you might argue that you haven’t actually been elected yet, so technically, you shouldn’t have to resign until the voters have had their say. Heck, you might even be correct, at least as far as the law. Is standing for election the same as “being capable of being elected”? It’s one for the constitutional law professors, legally speaking.

But given that you promised, on more than one occasion, that you would resign from the Senate and vie for a seat in the Commons as soon as you got the chance, I don’t think you’ve got much choice but to submit your resignation — ideally, sometime before the Prime Minister heads to Rideau Hall on Sunday. We’re just trying to save you from political grief – and your boss from the bad optics hangover of his decision to appoint you in the first place. See you on the campaign trail!

UPDATE: As a commenter points out, the same stark choice confronted erstwhile Chretien-appointed senator Bernie Boudreau, who was appointed after the Great Nova Scotia Liberal Massacre of ’97. He resigned just days after the writ dropped in order to run in the 2000 election, only to be defeated by the NDP’s Wendy Lill.

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