Why are so many Liberal MPs Jumping Ship Before the Next Election?

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on August 9, 2021

As part of what seems to now be a clear trend, last night three incumbent Liberal MPs suddenly announced that they would no longer be seeking reelection, quite close to when most expect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call an election.

The first to announce he would be seeking reelection was MP Adam Vaughan, followed later in the evening by Will Amos and Karen McCrimmon in quick succession.

The whole situation seems odd to political observers, especially those who had been convinced Trudeau would be dropping the writ for a new election on Sunday. Many now don’t know if the departure of these three Liberals indicates an election is now coming sooner or if this will delay an election call until later in August or even early September.

Something noteworthy about Vaughan, Amos, and McCrimmon is that all three of them were MPs for more than one term, and all of them were from ridings that were safe Liberal seats. In the worst election outcome between any of the three McCrimmon still won her seat with 43.1 percent of the vote, a comfortable 6.6 percent lead over her Conservative Party opponent.

Left to Right: Karen McCrimmon, Will Amos, Adam Vaughan. (Photo from The Hill Times)

Left to Right: Karen McCrimmon, Will Amos, Adam Vaughan. (Photo from The Hill Times)

So none of the three were in any danger of losing their seats, so why now are they unwilling or potentially unwanted, by the Liberal Party leadership, as candidates in this next election?

It isn’t even just those three; five term (non-consecutive) Liberal MP Larry Bagnell from the Yukon is also not running for reelection, despite having been renominated by the Yukon Liberal riding association for the next election, so it does not seem like his departure was expected.

Catherine McKenna the former Environment and Climate Change Minister and current Infrastructure and Communities Minister also announced she was not seeking reelection a few weeks ago, which again came as a shock as she was a very prominent Liberal MP since she was elected in 2015, and was unlikely to lose her reelection in Ottawa-Centre if she stuck around. If anything, having McKenna not seek reelection has opened the door for the NDP to potentially pick up the seat.


If getting rid of these MPs was a decision from the top of the Liberal Party it seems unclear on what advantage Trudeau is gaining, and if these MPs left for their own reasons it definitely will damage the chances of a Liberal majority government next election, as they were already walking a tightrope to win back their majority. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

2 responses to “Why are so many Liberal MPs Jumping Ship Before the Next Election?”

  1. Larry Larkin says:

    Golden pension time.

  2. Larry Larkin says:

    Golden pension time.