The NDP would like to hold on to Jonquiere-Alma

No by-election, but there will be a campaign

In regards to Claude Patry, the NDP is following the playbook hinted at by their reaction to Lise St. Denis’ defection. First, they assigned a New Democrat MP to mind the riding. Now, the party is calling Mr. Patry’s constituents to reassure them.

A copy of the robocall was obtained by Radio-Canada. In it, the party’s deputy national director, Chantal Vallerand, tells constituents in the Quebec riding that Patry was elected to represent them in 2011 as a member of Team Layton. It’s a reference to the party’s popular former leader Jack Layton, who died of cancer months after the election.

“Last week, he mocked you and all voters in Jonquière-Alma in quitting the NDP to join another political party,” Vallerand says in French. “We believe Mr. Patry should have the courage of his convictions by stepping down and running in a byelection. Since Mr. Patry didn’t ask your opinion before making his decision, we decided to do so.” The call then instructs listeners to press 1 to be redirected to a voicemail box where they can leave a message for Patry and provides a toll-free number for the NDP, as well as the address for the party’s headquarters in Ottawa.

In Ms. St. Denis’ case, there were two complaints about the NDP tactics: that the calls were identified as coming from the NDP and that the calls forwarded constituents to Ms. St. Denis’ riding office, thus allegedly jamming the phone lines. In Mr. Patry’s case, the NDP is identifying itself and seems to be collecting messages itself (apparently to be forwarded to Mr. Patry at a later date).

Here be the permanent campaign.

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