Recently elected Calgary Centre MP Joan Crockatt confirmed to Parliament what many pundits observed after she won her riding -- that it wasn't so much she who clinched the seat, but rather the fumbles of others that handed it to her.
In her address to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Crockatt took the floor and thanked Calgary voters for choosing her but Crockatt's colleagues broke into chuckles when she went on to thank Liberal leadership hopeful Justin Trudeau, former federal resource critic David McGuinty and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair for her electoral win.
"I want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank the voters of Calgary Centre for electing me to represent them in Canada's parliament," said Crockatt, who went on to say, "I'd also like to thank the members from Papineau, from Ottawa South and Outremont for their contributions to my success, however inadvertent."
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In the lead up to the November by-election to replace retired Calgary MP Lee Richardson, as Crockat found herself in the middle of a polls free-fall, McGuinty was reported by Sun Media as saying that Alberta Conservatives should "go back to Alberta" and that they don't belong in Parliament unless they adopt a more national view of the energy industry.
A few days later, Trudeau found himself backtracking and apologizing after Sun News Network unearthed a two-year-old French language interview, in which he told the Tele-Quebec program Les francs-tireurs (The Sharp Shooters),"Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work."
Trudeau was quick to apologize and MGuinty quit his shadow cabinet post but the damage in Calgary Centre, a hotbed of Alberta conservatism for four decades, was done. Anti-Liberal sentiments that for so long ruled Calgary and most of Alberta and that had started to dissipate and lose steam, started to boil back up to the surface again, just in time for the vote.
In the weeks leading up to the November contest, Crockatt was constantly criticized for her unwillingness to debate and for what many saw as her non-existent supply of new ideas.
At one point, it looked like if momentum continued, the Liberals would do the unthinkable and take the riding, as opposition parties seemed to be riding a progressive wave that many said was gaining strength in Alberta.
But in the end, vote splitting between the Grits and the Greens, as well as McGunity and Trudeau's loose tongues gave Crockatt a marginal win, getting 37 per cent of the vote - only four per cent higher than the Liberals.
Following the results, Alberta Premier Alison Redford also came out and said the federal Grits likely caused the Liberal challenger Harvey Locke the election.
Trudeau too later stated that his comments may have "hindered a little bit," but this is the first time Crockatt herself acknowledged the part federal Liberal personalities may have played in her victory.
And the way she went about it may have garnered chuckles from her Parliamentary colleagues but those outside the chambers, including watchers in social media, referred to Crockatt's move as "a stunt," described her as "a buffoon," and prompted others to accuse her of trying to introduce a "glass ceiling" to the House of Commons.