A script good enough for Hollywood
Six MPs elected in Quebec in the May 2 elections hardly spent a dime.
The six new members swept in on the orange tide last year.
The six penny-pinching MPs are young; most were still in university before the election.
NDP organizers went looking for them and said: "Here. You're our candidate. "
"Learn the party platform, smile a lot, and shake hands. Jack Layton will do the rest. Don't worry."
The rest was a snap - an inexpensive snap. No office expenses, no campaign office, no furniture, no telephones, no posters, no signs, no flyers, no pamphlets, no printing.
It was as if it was a fantasy. Voters went to the polls themselves.
They already knew they were voting for "Le Bon Jack."
One day Hollywood will do a movie and everyone will say: "This is not true. It doesn't happen like that.
But it did happen like that. And it cost almost nothing.
The best explanation comes from Philip Toone, who won Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
"Expenses? What expenses? There was just me and my orange tie. "
Toone had neither signs nor expenses except for the $12.50 his accountant charged him to write up a very short expense report to Elections Canada after the elections.
Ruth Ellen Brosseau in Berthier-Maskinongé - the famous candidate who to Las Vegas for the elections - spent all of $ 22.50. She probably lost more than that in two minutes at the roulette table.
Three "non-spenders" came from McGill University: Matthew Dubé, Mylène Freeman and Laurin Liu who all won their elections without the big bucks.
Dubé, in Chambly-Borduas, did not spend the $ 112.50 the party had sent him in case he needed some money. He returned it.
The $ 90 that Freeman received in Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel, was never touched.
Laurin Liu put $ 270 into the coffers of her local riding association in Rivière-des-MiIle-Îles.
It's refreshing to see enthusiastic youngsters win their elections without spending our money.
Yes, it is our money because Elections Canada reimburses 60% of each candidate's election expenses.
Spend zero, and you get a refund of "zero."
Compare that to the Bloc Quebecois candidate - who shall go nameless - who spent $ 60 000 and lost his election, or the Conservative who whipped through $ 30 000 and also lost. We paid them reimbursements.
If we only had a few more of those penny-pinching "Dippers" among our 308 MPs.