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Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:03 am    Post subject: David Pratt steps down as liberal cand in Ottawa West Nepean Reply with quote

Pratt withdraws as candidate for next election
Veteran Liberal ‘nostalgic,’ but moving on

By Mohammed Adam, The Ottawa CitizenApril 2, 2010 OTTAWA-A wistful David Pratt has stepped down as the federal Liberal candidate in Ottawa West-Nepean, bringing the curtain down on a career in politics going back 30 years.

Citing increasing commitments outside Canada, Pratt, 55, has told his riding association and the party hierarchy that he will no longer be their candidate. The former federal defence minister says he now spends so much time in Iraq as an expert adviser on parliamentary democracy that he hasn’t been able to properly discharge his responsibilities as a candidate. To be effective, a candidate must be in the riding, participating in events and carrying the party banner, but he hasn’t been able to do that.

“I was very honoured to be nominated Liberal candidate, but I haven’t been there for the riding as I should be. When that happens you have to step aside and give somebody else a chance,” Pratt said Thursday.

Pratt, who served for eight months in Paul Martin’s shortlived cabinet until his defeat in 2004, says his resignation also means the end of his political career.

“I can’t foresee a situation that will have me run again. I think this is the end,” he said.

“I’ve had a good run, I’ve had a fascinating political life, I’ve had some incredible experiences and I’ve enjoyed it enormously.

“You can’t help but feel a little nostalgic, but now is the time to move on.”

Pratt began his political career in 1980 as a parliamentary assistant to federal MP Peter Lang. He also worked for then-Liberal MP and rat-packer John Nunziata.

“It was a fascinating time to be in politics,” Pratt recalled, saying the experience led him in 1988 to run and get elected to Nepean council. He became a regional councillor and in 1997 was elected MP for Nepean-Carleton, where he served two terms. He served as chair of the Commons Defence Committee and later as defence minister.

In one of the most shocking upsets in Ottawa federal politics, Pratt was defeated in 2004 by Pierre Poilievre.

Pratt has also worked as special envoy for West Africa, during which he spent time in Sierra Leone and Liberia, helping with international development. He has also worked for the Canadian Red Cross, spending time in southeast Asia countries, including in northern Sri Lanka after a devastating tsunami struck the region on Boxing Day 2004.

Lately, Pratt has worked as a senior parliamentary expert in a U.S. to help Iraq’s fledgling democracy. He has been to Baghdad several times since August, and it is those frequent trips to Iraq that have forced his retreat from Canadian politics.

Pratt says he was torn, but has decided he couldn’t keep his life on hold while waiting for an election to take place. He believes his work in Iraq is important. He says he will miss the political life, especially the chance to make a difference, either at the constituency or national level.

“Having an impact on public policy at the cabinet level was great. I had the opportunity. I wish it had lasted longer but I made the most of what I had,” he said.

Pratt’s decision immediately prompted speculation as to who might replace him as the Liberal standard bearer against Conservative cabinet minister John Baird.

In September, there were rumours that Janet Yale, a Telus executive with extensive ties to the Ottawa community, was considering challenging for the Ottawa West-Nepean nomination that was won by Pratt. In the end, Yale decided to seek the nomination in Ottawa Centre. She lost by 49 votes to a veteran Liberal volunteer, Scott Bradley. Another name being mentioned is that of prominent lawyer Jacques Shore.

“I’m sure there’ll be many strong candidates interested in the riding,” said Susan Smith, a long-time Liberal strategist. “There’s lots of young people coming forward, next-generation-wise. You could see some of that crowd pop out of the woodwork.”

Caroline Andrew of the University of Ottawa echoed that point, saying that choosing a next-generation candidate was an “option” the Liberals should consider.

“There is something electable now in reaching into a younger generation of candidates,” citing the example of Yasir Naqvi, the Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre at Queen’s Park. “On the other hand, Janet Yale certainly has lots of contacts, visibility, and capability. She has done a lot.”

Marlene Catterall, who represented Ottawa West-Nepean for the Liberals between 1988 and 2006, said she understood Pratt’s decision. “He just felt that he’d been away for six of the nine months since he became the candidate and it was not fair to the riding association, or to the riding, if he couldn’t be here.”

Catterall declined to speculate on who might be interested in replacing Pratt, saying she was sure there would be “many good candidates coming forward.”

With files from Robert Sibley


( wow truly shocking considering he was seen as having ran a strong campaign here last election during a horrible election for the liberals , now i have no clue who they might run in this riding, more bad news for ignatieff and good news for john baird )
Cool Blue

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He either realized or was told that there isn't going to be an election for at least another 6 months, maybe not a year.

Candidates can't put their life on hold waiting for Iggy to man-up and "sh1t or get off the pot".

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool Blue wrote:
He either realized or was told that there isn't going to be an election for at least another 6 months, maybe not a year.

Candidates can't put their life on hold waiting for Iggy to man-up and "sh1t or get off the pot".

i really don't know all the reasons for his decison but it is a big lose for the liberals as it means they have lost another one of there big name ottawa candidates . last election they ran high profile candidates or former mp's in ottawa west nepean , ottawa orleans , ottawa centre and glengary prescott russell . this election they will have just about a total slate of nobodys in those ridings .

but david pratt wasn't really a good candidate in the sense , he was well known but since having been nominated he was not even in the country most of the time and not active in the riding much if at all . so the liberals will miss his name but not miss his lack of effort . but i don't really see them finding anyone better for this riding and there new candidate will be facing an extreme challenge in this riding .
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David Pratt steps down as liberal cand in Ottawa West Nepean

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