But in Vancouver Centre, where Hedy Fry is fighting to stop crosses from burning on the lawns of Prince George as we speak, Svend Robinson is becoming the exception that proves the rule. Who would think that in at least one riding, voting Liberal is the way to show disgust at corruption and thievery in politics?
Svend Robinson's past troubles with the law are derailing his bid to become MP for Vancouver Centre, a new poll suggests.
Liberal incumbent Hedy Fry, the riding's MP since 1992, is in the lead in a Mustel Group Poll commissioned by The Province.
Fry had 41 per cent support among decided voters, compared to 33 per cent for New Democrat Robinson and 19 per cent for Tony Fogarassy, the Conservative candidate. Jared Evans of the Green Party had seven per cent; four per cent cited "other" and there were seven per cent undecided.
Respondents were answering the question: If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party's candidate would you support?
The results, based on interviews with 500 eligible voters on Jan. 5th and 6th, provide a look at the dynamics of one of Canada's most closely watched races.
And the pollster didn't even have to ask people why:
Evi Mustel, president of the polling company, said there were striking results in answers to the question: "Why have you chosen not to vote for Svend Robinson of the NDP?"
Twenty-five per cent cited "past criminal charges" or "honesty, integrity, and character." That's far behind the 44 per cent who said they "prefer policies of the other party."
But Mustel said it's notable because answers in this area were not prompted by pollsters and "the fact that one-quarter would volunteer it as a reason shows it is significant."
Robinson, 54, quit politics in 2004 after admitting he stole a $64,000 ring for his partner.
Even if he hadn't been caught stealing a ring for his boyfriend, his days as the political icon for the homosexual community may well have ended, and Scott Brison taken his place as the great gay hope.
Robinson's best days of photo-ops are behind him; his days of going to jail for protesting at Clayoquot Sound, rushing to Sue Rodriguez's bedside to hold the needle steady, and getting his trousers torn at summit protests are fading memories.
The outrage at the theft of the ring is just another excuse for voters to reject a long-time politician well past his prime.
In some ways, this is a shame, because as repugnant as I find Svend, he at least provided some entertainment.
Hail and farewell.
Source: Vancouver Province