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LETTER: Welcome back, Jack

['Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram<br />Jack Harris speaks to his supporters at his headquarters Monday night as Ryan Cleary looks on.']
Former NDP MP Jack Harris.

The 2019 federal election is approaching and we are starting to hear about who will be running. It is no surprise that Jack Harris is trying to make a comeback. A number of people are enthusiastic about this and some are not.

Some people are excited at the possibility of having a Member of Parliament to stand up for our province again, and some are saying that Jack’s time is done and it is time to move on and for him to enter retirement.

Jack is known to be a respectable person, a hard worker and a strong voice for Newfoundland and Labrador. In my opinion, Jack is the best premier that our province never had. Jack was in provincial politics and led the provincial NDP party for many years before he entered federal politics. He spoke in the news on a multitude of issues and was a National Defence Opposition Critic.

In 2015, Jack’s seat was considered one of the safest.

Even with the incoming red wave it was still expected that he would win. Some people were even sarcastically sayings things such as, “I’m willing to bet my house on Jack winning.” That is how certain his win was. It was one of the biggest upsets and left many in disbelief.

Nick Whalen was unknown to most in the St. John’s East riding, and those who were not in the Liberal circle. After eight years of the same government, there was a thirst for change.

Many people joined the bandwagon and voted for the Liberal party to be a part of the team to defeat Harper. It is unfortunate that we chose the party over the candidate.

In the 2008 federal general election, Jack received 78 per cent of the vote and was he was re-elected in 2011 with 72 per cent.

But in politics anything can happen.

In the 2015 election, Jack lost by only a few hundred votes.

This is an example of why we need electoral reform, many people found themselves in the situation of having Jack as their preferred candidate, but wanting to replace the government and did not see the NDP being in a position to do that.

The Liberal party promised electoral reform but when they couldn’t have the electoral system they wanted that would benefit their party the most, they tossed reform out and put it on the back burner because they did not want a system implemented that would give their party less seats.

Jack is now four years older and he still has a hill to climb to win back his seat. Now, is his opportunity to convince voters that he deserves to win.

Matt Barter,
St. John’s


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