They don't need Senators to chill in Mexico -- their candidates already do
For years, it was the ultimate in outrage. Senator Andrew Thompson, Liberal Senator from Ontario, was spending his time in La Paz, Mexico, instead of in Ottawa.
Moreover, Thompson was collecting his salary for the privilege. It was one of the episodes that for so many years disenchanted Canadians with the upper chamber.
For his own part, NDP candidate Jim Koppens isn't collecting a salary to relax in the Dominican Republic.
So, while the 2011 federal election continues, Koppens has yet to spend a single day campaigning, despite the fact that the campaign began more than a week before he left for his vacation.
In all fairness, reports indicate that Koppens has no cancellation insurance for his vacation. As a meatcutter, it's unlikely that he could casually accept the total loss of his vacation.
That being said, being an MP comes with having to make sacrifices. If Koppens isn't willing to sacrifice his vacation, or at least sacrifice his candidacy to an individual prepared to campaign, it's more than fair to wonder if Koppens is ready to be an MP at all.
For his own part, Liberal incumbent Mark Holland -- against whom Koppens is running -- seems just fine with his absence. Imagine that.
“I am a local boy and I know he is a good guy,” Holland remarked. “He will have to answer for all his actions.”
Naturally, Holland is far from outraged by Koppens' absence. If his vacation harms the NDP's prospects in Ajax-Pickering, it will likely be Holland who is the benefactor. It's unlikely many of Koppens' supporters will back Conservative candidate Chris Alexander.
In fact, the Liberals would probably like it if a great deal more NDP candidates would run off to the Carribean to catch some rays.