Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It seems that former Saskatoon-Humboldt MP Jim Pankiw is likely going to run in this election. He wants to run as an independent in Battlefords-Lloydminster. The incumbent MP in the riding, Conservative Gerry Ritz, smartly commented Monday that "He got a brand new parachute for Christmas and I guess he wants to try it out." I can't say I had really heard of Ritz before today, but I do like that comment. One can only wonder why Pankiw is running again when he seems less than interested in the actual work of being an MP, defending his absense for three quarters of all Parliamentary votes since 2000, and all of them in 2004, by stating that voting "changes absolutely nothing." Ritz thinks Pankiw is banking on voters in a largely rural riding being more supportive of his behaviour than those in a largely rural one. I suspect he's wasting his time. Ritz has been MP since 1997 when he was elected as a Reform member, and the people of Battlefords-Lloydminster apparently support his eventual membership in the current Conservative Party, or they would have voted for someone else. And Pankiw's candidacy isn't likely to hurt Ritz that much, as Ritz won by more than 5000 votes over his nearest competitor, Shawn McKee of the NDP, in the 2004 election. My conclusion? Pankiw shouldn't bother, but I guess the spotlight is too hard for him to stay away from.

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