A ‘Country gentleman’ trades his integrity for politics du jour

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THUNDER BAY – On his parliamentary profile, MP Peter Stoffer lists his occupation as “Country gentlemen”. Today from his Nova Scotia Office, it is likely some of the people who the MP has listed as his friends are crossing him off of their Christmas card list.

Claiming that he has failed, Stoffer has reversed his opposition to the federal long gun registry and has announced that he will vote to keep the registry.

In that statement Stoffer is right. He has been re-elected repeatedly by his constituents, likely because they have agreed with his stance on the wasteful efforts at gun control offered by the Liberals.

When Stoffer was first elected In 1997, his margin of victory was 39 votes.In the 2004 election, he won by over 6,000 votes. In 2006, he took 53 per cent of the vote, the second placed candidate was over 12,000 votes behind. In the federal election of 2008, Stoffer received 24,290 votes or 61.5 per cent of the total votes cast. He was more than 16,000 votes ahead of the candidate in second place. (Source: Wikipedia)

His growing margins of victory strongly suggest that his support was growing.

By flip-flopping on his long held position, and now saying it is simply to reflect the views of his constituents, Stoffer didn’t offer anything solid that caused him to change his mind. He simply decided to change his views, all the while claiming he has not.

Should the MP decide to run in the next election, it will be interesting to see how he fares.

What Stoffer likely will see is by changing his long-held stand, those who supported him for it will work for someone else. Those who he has helped will have moved on having used the MP and tossed him aside.

When an MP leaves office, most have a difficult time finding employment. Many reflect on how during their time in office they failed to make a real difference. Today, Stoffer likely set the course for the rest of his post-political life where his actions this week will be his real political legacy.

It’s a shame. Stoffer has had a good career in politics until now. Chances are his actions today are going to change that. Trading his integrity for political points will likely mean years from now the MP will be dogged with doubt over his decision to not do the right thing.

All Peter Stoffer stands for today is “politics du jour”.

James Murray

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