|Where have all the Jewish MP's gone? Canadian conservatism's worrying deficiency.|
While Canadian Jews mull over the impact of the Conservative victory in the Jan. 23 federal election – including the hope it will mean warmer relations with Israel – they are also realizing there will be no Jewish MPs on the government benches for the first time since the brief administration of Tory prime minister Joe Clark.
Jewish representation in the House of Commons will decline from six to four MPs – all of them Liberals: Irwin Cotler (Mount-Royal), Susan Kadis (Thornhill), Raymonde Folco (Laval-Les-Isles) and Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre).
Richard Marceau, who represented the Quebec City-area riding of Charlesbourg for the Bloc Québécois and who converted to Judaism last summer, lost to his Conservative rival, while Jacques Saada, who had served in Paul Martin’s cabinet, was defeated in Brossard-La Prairie by the BQ candidate (see adjacent story).
Non-Jewish Liberal incumbents in ridings with high concentrations of Jewish voters were re-elected. And all Jewish Conservative candidates were soundly defeated: Neil Drabkin in Mount Royal, Sam Goldstein in Trinity-Spadina and Michael Mostyn in York Centre.
While “it is important to have voices representing Jewish and other ethnocultural groups, you don’t have to be Jewish to bring forth the issues,” Kadis told The CJN.
Liberals, she said, will continue to make the case for the Jewish community’s concerns as the official Opposition.