Much talk of renewal and rejuvenation in this great electoral flush of 2015, with 199 fresh fundaments plopped into the seats of power, but that new parliament smell is undercut by an unmistakeable mustiness.
The rebound in Liberal Party fortunes brings with it a certain inevitable complement of queasily familiar and shop-worn unemployables who have returned to breathe much-needed stale air into the nation’s polity and top up those even more-needed parliamentary pensions.
Didn’t the electorate, in its crowd-sourced wisdom, reject these otiose losebags? In most cases, yes, but then a tragicomic thing happened — again. Herewith, a dozen pre-unenjoyed honourable members who will need no directions to their accustomed stations at the trough:
Omar Alghabra (Mississauga Centre) Jug-eared Trudeau bumboy and previous one-term wonder (2006-2008) has strived mightily to reattach to the public dugs in every running of the reptiles since. Omar’s homecoming will no doubt mean more skeevy incursions into the personal space of the parliamentary pages, who will once again be required to interact with him as a condition of their employment.
Larry Bagnell (Yukon) Yesterday’s Bagnells. First elected in 2000 in a 70-vote squeaker by Dipper Louise Hardy, Lar’ snoozed peacefully on the backbenches but for a stint as parliamentary secretary stint in the Junior Martin interregnum and 2011 short-sheeting by Tory Ryan Leef.
Bill Casey (Cumberland-Colchester) Versatile multi-partisan bore (PC, CPC, Bill Casey Party, and now Liberal) held onto his seat and perks even after voting against President Steve’s Atlantic Accord screwjob, resulting not only in his punting from the party but a purge of his riding association and draining of its accounts. Rejected repeated come-ons from the Liberals until electoral gravity finally caught up with him in 2011. Now that he’s finally aboard, a guaranteed pain in the ass for Justin.
Navdeep Bains (Mississauga-Malton) Longtime Liberal turban-wrangler dumped by electors in 2011 for the more cerebral Eve Adams. Late-breaking beneficiary of Tory Jagdish Grewal’s hopeful solutions for homosexualists, which got him turfed as candidate past the deadline for replacement.
Sukh Dhaliwal (Surrey-Newton) Released into the wild in 2011, put the stint as a private citizen to good use, settling multiple tax evasion charges related to a company he ran with his wife last year with guilty pleas and fines.
Mark Holland (Ajax) The despondency of the Canadian Union of Satirical Magazine Employees at losing ministerial ponce Chris Alexander is balanced by the return of the big-haired member for Ajax, whose self-regard is excessive even by parliamentary standards. Frank looks forward to more rambling late-night phone calls threatening legal Armageddon.
Bob Nault (Kenora) Mouldiest of the oldies, former Indian Affairs Minister, first elected in 1988, squeezed into retirement by the Martinite putsch, returns with keen expectation of keys to a new limo, once a portfolio can be found sufficiently untainted by conflicts from a decade of cashing in ministerial markers as consultant-weasel.
Joe “Sausagehead” Peschisolido (Steveston-Richmond East) High-mileage floor-crosser for all seasons, failed Reform braunshirt (’93, ’96, ’97) finally took out Raymond Chan for the Canadian Alliance in 2000, then crossed floor to Liberals in ’02. Lost the Grit nomination to Chan in ’04 and failed in his last comeback attempt in 2011.
Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East) Certified accountant succumbed to the Spirit of ’11 and relentless charisma of wheezing door-kicker Bob Dechert. Mitigating factor: In this legacy tap parliament of brats (Trudeau the Lesser, Dominic LeBlanc, Geoff Regan) at least managed to head off Chris Collenette’s grab for the Grit nomination.
Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier) Claim to fame was alleged performance as ventriloquist dummy during the Oliphant Inquiry into Byron Muldoon’s bribe-taking, asking questions in the House supposedly written by CBC hackette Krista Erickson. She was suspended, then re-instated. Further tales of horizontal debriefings between the gruesome duo were as short of evidence as Pablo is of arse. Nice hair, though.
Anthony Rota (Nipissing-Timiskaming) Liberal caucus chair sent back to bore the bejasus out of students at Nipissing “University” after 2011 loss by a heartbreaking handful of votes to Jay Aspin amid robocall shenanigans. Domo arrigato!
Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre) Vowel-challenged Uke sent packing by Ted Optiz in another squeaker and subsequent judicial recount which went all the way to the Supreme Court. This time, electors ever so slightly less nauseated by Borys than Ted. No accounting for taste.
See also: Alexandra Mendes (Brossard–Saint-Lambert), Rob Oliphant (Don Valley West), Denis Paradis (Brome-Missisquoi) and despair.