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Experts torn whether Jody Wilson Raybould can rejoin Liberals
VANCOUVER – Jody Wilson-Raybould vows she will fight for climate change and Indigenous issues when she returns to Ottawa for the 43rd Parliament.
But political scientists agree she will have significantly less power as an Independent. She will not have the advantages of caucus or cabinet and it’s unlikely the minority Liberals will need her vote.
“We might hear some conversation about whether she would affiliate with the Greens, so at least get some companionship there,“ said UBC professor Richard Johnston.
“I think that she has a moral pulpit,” said UBC associate professor Gerald Baier. “She will be the person that people look to for reaction to government proposals."
Asked whether there was any chance she could re-join the party that gave her the boot, experts are torn.
Some argue there’s too much bad blood over the SNC-Lavalin debate, and she did just beat the party in this election.
At the same time, making up with the Liberals may be advantages for the party and for her.
“Jody Wilson-Raybould herself said wanted to see a Liberal government,” said professor Katherine Harrison. “Ideologically, she is still aligned with the Liberals.”
Without them, the newly re-elected MP acknowledged she will be likely be stuck on the back bench
“I obviously recognize that I am one Independent, probably will sit in the same place that I sat when I left Parliament last time,” said Wilson-Raybould on Monday night.
Still, one of her greatest strengths is her name recognition – and she vows to be heard in the nation’s capital.